“Oh, my god. I would have him on toast,” gushed an onlooker at the Donna Karan show on Monday night. She was talking about Hugh Jackman, for whom everyone was wrestling one another to get a spot near enough to bask in the glow of his Hughness, and she was right: He would be delicious on a bread product, or pretty much any other food-delivery system. Or just plain. Jackman was fit but not Wolverine-swollen — so, the perfect level of jacked man, if you will — and he looked swoony in a suit, gray sweater vest, white shirt, blue necktie. He was solicitous of and affectionate toward his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, beaming proudly at her, and whenever he did an interview, he made a point of asking the person’s name and then remembering it and thanking them by that name at the end of the chat. It was weirdly sexy. You know you’re getting old when Hugh Jackman is standing in front of you and you think, “Wow, check out the smoking-hot manners on that guy.”
Jackman seemed cheerful about everything: the dramatic movie that played at the top of the show, a couple of sheer outfits (one of which was basically hot pants and a blazer; when he pointed it out to his wife, she gave him a look that amounted to “In your dreams, Jean Valjean”), and even the chill in the air. “I love it. The colder, the better!” he announced. “I’m an Aussie kid. I went to the beach my whole life. I love it here — I don’t want to get away to anywhere else.” Are you sure? Because we’re pretty sure we could find room for you in our suitcases. Bernadette Peters, whose skin was as perfect and hair as divinely curly as we wanted them to be, seemed a bit more afflicted by the cold. She was so huddled up as she hurtled toward the entrance that she smacked into us while we waited in line. “I’m so sorry, excuse me,” she said, shivering. It’s cool, Peters. Anyone who was in the movie Annie gets a lifetime free pass to crash into us anytime she likes.
The buzz in the house was that Katie Holmes would be there, but we all expected her to come out at the last minute, after the reporters were safely in their seats. So it caught us by surprise when she did, in fact, make it to her spot early — although not before her personal wrangler had asked event staffers to back the media away another few steps, and then instructed photographers to be sure and take only full-body photos of Holmes. Holmes herself was calm and undemanding, polite and cooperative, and chatted gamely with Jackman, Furness, and Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler. She had on a dress with a sleeveless leather top (her arms are no joke) and a pleated skirt that looked sheer once the house lights shone on it. We were relieved to see her put on a jacket when the night ended, because apparently being obsessed with our own levels of personal warmth extends to fretting about other people as well.
Holmes wasn’t the only one letting her skin brave the elements: Rita Ora showed up in strappy gold shoes, bare legs, and a sexy, clingy black dress with a deep plunging V-neck. She actually looked totally fantastic, but she was rather adorably self-conscious about whether any of her was falling out of it. During the show she was careful to anchor the skirt so it stayed up over her knee, and when she leaned across the front row to shake hands with and introduce herself to Hugh Jackman — see, nobody can resist him — she clamped a hand on her chest so that her dress wouldn’t fall open and release the hounds.
They all seemed to enjoy each other, though, with Ora and Holmes whispering conspiratorially during the show on occasion, and Furness making everyone laugh when they all needed to turn toward a new pack of photographers and she called out, “Pivot!” If that is indeed the Friends reference it sounded like, then Hugh Jackman has both super-hot manners and good taste in women. If he could just make it about fifteen degrees warmer then he’d be the perfect man.