The Fug Girls: Fashion Week’s Good, Bad, and Punishingly Claustrophobic Moments
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Early in the week we thought Gabrielle Union had this one in the bag, but that was before Vanessa Hudgens rolled into town and made the absolute most of her time in New York, popping by Diesel Black Gold, Band of Outsiders, Marchesa, Anna Sui, Jeremy Scott, Yigal Azrouël, Tibi, and Alice + Olivia — all in the span of three days. Too bad you can't rack up frequent driver miles.
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Most Sadly Absent
How come the cast of The Vampire Diaries isn't enjoying more perks? If Sophia Bush can find her way up to the city from North Carolina for a show or four, surely the stars of the CW's most buzzy — and legitimately juicy — drama can zip up from Atlanta. Nina Dobrev seems like a perfect get for any of Max Azria's three shows, if not all, and it seems criminal that the reliably outlandish Katerina Graham (pictured) hasn't been to the Blonds.
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We'd never really thought about what Alexa Ray Joel would be like, except that we wouldn't blame her if she was a total diva, since her parents are noted musician William Joel and a supermodel. But Alexa was unbelievably down-to-earth, and talking to her was like chatting with an old pal. She was even cool when another reporter started fixating on her boobs, which is right about when we would have asked our PR person to get us some alone time.
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Biggest Case of Celebrity Whiplash
At 2:30 p.m., we were shoving a tape recorder in Salman Rushdie's face and trying (and possibly failing) not to sound moronic. By 7:30, we had just finished interviewing Aubrey O'Day and were getting accidental glimpses of Amanda Lepore's nether regions. That's such a tumble that our ears actually popped.
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On February 11, people were reporting that Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens were "figuring things out." On February 13, Zac attended Calvin Klein Men's; on the 14th, Vanessa made her first appearance at Fashion Week alongside Zac's demi-clone Chace Crawford. Zefron and the Hudge weren't photographed together in the city. What is up? And can we assume that someone at Us Weekly is on this?
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This is the first time throughout all of Fashion Week that we have typed Leigh Lezark's name. Not because she wasn't at shows, but because we finally felt like we had said everything there was to say about her dumbfounding notoriety and could finally move on from those shackles. Free at last!
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We're trying not to say Oscar de la Renta again, although let's be honest: It ruled. But we also loved Jason Wu. And for sheer surprise, we'll say Carolina Herrera — her clothes are often a tad upper-crust (and Upper East Side) for us, but this season she blended that aesthetic seamlessly with a more youthful edge, to stunning effect. And for sheer joy and creativity, it's the Blonds all the way. We wish they did parties. Specifically, our parties. Come on, you guys! Our backyard BBQs could do with more glitter.
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Most Apocalyptic Potential Future Trend
Cynthia Rowley seems like a fun lady. But not for nothing did we call some of the looks at her show "If Muumuus Were Pants."
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Worst Foot Forward
At bebe, one of the models was so inept at walking in heels, it was almost like watching a kid playing dress-up in mommy's closet. The poor girl, in strangely normal-size stilettos, wobbled up and down the runway three times before the finale line, at which point she was so in arrears that she ended up walking on the outsides of her feet — while her shoes were still on — and then jogging the final few steps just to get backstage to safety. Poor kid. Miss J, you are needed.
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Show at Which We Felt Most Likely to Die
Richie Rich was a hellstorm, but leaving that out of the equation, the most surprising near-death experience was at Erin Fetherston, at which the only real question — besides, "How the hell am I supposed to get upstairs?" — was whether we'd perish by fire or suffocation. The presentation was one of four concurrent ones at Milk Studios, yet only one elevator carted people upstairs. The line would not move, the PR people for each show denied knowledge of how to get up to the other ones (which, as if), and the lobby was so clogged that for twenty minutes we actually couldn't part any bodies to get ourselves to freedom. We're hyperventilating just remembering it.
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Best Looking in Person
It may not surprise you that Christina Hendricks is quite pretty in person, but it should surprise you that she was beautifully dressed. Thanks, Carolina Herrera, for showing the other designer whiners that dressing a celebrity who isn't sample size can be done.
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Most Surprisingly Unfortunate in Person
We can't say this enough: Nigel Barker's hair is an affront to his hotness and it must go. We beg you to return to baldness, Nigel. We also beg Harry's Law star and otherwise cute girl Brittany Snow to get some sleep, because girlfriend was looking wiped out when we saw her making the rounds on Monday.
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Celebrities We Are Most Devastated to Have Missed
Jon Hamm was allegedly at Band of Outsiders, and we've been waiting to ask him to marry us for at least two years. After all, who in their right mind would turn down a proposal from a stranger at a fashion show? We're also bummed that we missed Kirsten Dunst at Rodarte — we love her, and apparently she looked cute — and Rachel Zoe (who skipped almost everything), because when else are we going to get an up-close look at her bump?
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Inanimate Object We Are Most Devastated to Have Missed
Last season, Bon Appetit had a little café on-site at Lincoln Center serving not only food but also the Fashion Week staples of coffee and wine. But not this season! You know how cranky we get without our sandwiches; please come back to us, Bon Appetit.
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Proof That the Age of the Socialite Is Truly Over
When we were at Carolina Herrera on Monday morning, we saw a PR girl say to Tinsley Mortimer, "Oh, I guess we can find you a seat." Considering that, three years ago, the mere appearance of the Tinz would have kicked off an orgy of flashbulbs, this unenthusiastic response seems like a bad omen as it relates to the relevance of Tinsley and her ilk. Thank God.
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Best Overheard Moment
We were hanging out near the front row at Nicole Miller when a random girl pointed to a famous brunette and squealed, "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, she's in Twilight!" Her friend scoffed, "She was not." To which Girl No. 1 insisted, "She was. I bet you a thousand bucks." And that girl totally lost her rent money. Because the woman in question was Carol Alt, who was probably only seen in Twilight that time she snuck into the multiplex to watch it with the rest of us. We don't even know for whom she mistook Carol Alt — hopefully not Peter Facinelli — but we hope her friend gets the cash.
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Last season, we bemoaned how horrifying the Port-a-Johns in Lincoln Center were, and this time around, they were even worse: poorly lit, dirty, totally smelly, and still no coat or purse hooks. Simon Doonan even deemed them "squalid." Surely the organizers would die if he said that about their outfits — so can't they do something about their facilities?
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Best Celeb-on-Celeb Moment
We were huddled in the crowd at the Tory Burch presentation when we saw a commotion directly to our right. It was Kanye West, flanked by an entourage. As we eyeballed him, Gossip Girl's Kelly Rutherford sidled up and asked him to pose for a picture with her, which she snapped with her iPhone, just like a civilian. Someone's got a new Facebook profile pic.
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Most Concerning Celeb-on-Celeb Non-Moment
After years of faithful attendance, Julianna Margulies has been absent from Narciso Rodriguez's shows for the last several seasons, and she isn't wearing his clothes nearly as often as she used to. We are concerned that the former besties have fallen out — and life is too short to be at odds with your friends, especially when one of them is prone to giving you really good outfits. So kiss and make up, you two.
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Best End to a New York Visit
On our last day, they shot Gossip Girl around the corner from our hotel. It was our only in-person sighting of Leighton Meester this Fashion Week — although frankly, we prefer her as hilariously scheming Blair Waldorf anyway.
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Grammys 1; Fashion Week 0
Although Kanye and Wyclef Jean ditched the Grammys, they felt like the only ones who chose fashion over music. We didn't see Keri Hilson or Fergie until after Sunday's ceremony, and overall, it felt like a lot of celebs picked either the left coast or London (the BAFTAs were also on Sunday). Can't the fashion gods take this into better consideration next time? Some of those celebs might have needed the help.