The Nanette Lepore show always feels like a family reunion — she invites celebs who are also obviously close friends of hers — but on Wednesday morning it was also a Sopranos reunion: Edie Falco and Aida Turturro sat together, smiling and talking and tapping their toes to the music, with Turturro in particular — per usual — beaming and jamming like this was the best party she’d ever witnessed. On Turturro’s other side was Talia Balsam (a.k.a. Mrs. John Slattery, and also, the one and only woman to get George Clooney to put a ring on it), who was never on The Sopranos but did do an episode of Falco’s Nurse Jackie, so we feel like that qualifies her as a distant Soprano cousin, at least. See? Family.
Another TV matriarch of sorts made an appearance: Kelly Rutherford. Between Lily van der Woodsen at Nanette and her onscreen daughter, Blake Lively, tossing her ridiculously enviable tresses in the Michael Kors front row the same morning, we’re reassured that Gossip Girl lives on in some form (and some hearts), and that its stars didn’t simply vanish into the bloggy ether.
Rutherford sat near actress Peyton List, another young blonde who could pass for her spawn. List, a Disney Channel star (boy did THEY deal Fashion Week a full hand this season), reached over to shake the hand of Homeland’s Sarita Choudhury (she plays the wife of Mandy Patinkin’s Saul). “I LOVE your show,” List gushed before embarking on a long conversation with Choudhury about it. Since List is only 15 and that is an impressionable age, we will step into the familial-advisory role here and suggest that if she is going to watch Homeland, she should basically watch how Dana Brody behaves and then do the opposite. Her parents will thank her.
The buzz, though, was whether Orlando Bloom would arrive. His Romeo and Juliet co-star, Condola Rashād, sat gracefully in the front row, and we heard whispered rumors that Bloom — who many have speculated is dating Rashād on the down-low — wanted to join her but might not actually come inside the venue. And we never did see him, so if that was all true, it sounds lonely to us; she’s so pretty that we think he should be out there next to her, fending off his competition. Despite being nosier than your 80-year-old relatives, we decided not to bug her about it, figuring that’s their business and not ours, and that she’s probably tired of being quizzed about it. Besides, we’d already trod on a potentially tricky line: Every time our conversation with her inched toward her famous mother, Phylicia (also known as America’s mother, Clair Huxtable), we sensed a slight, fleeting tension pass through Condola’s body, as if she were anticipating a question she wouldn’t be comfortable answering, which we imagine happens to her a lot. She did say she’s definitely been on the receiving end of some of those famous Clair stares (“Oh, I’ve seen EVERY single one!”) and that her famous parents prepared her well for her own celebrity: “I’m used to the atmosphere. It doesn’t faze me. It is weird being thought of in that way myself, though,” she said. “But the red carpet is a little more intimidating than [Fashion Week]. With this, you can be seen if you want to, or you can disappear if you need to.” In that vein, Rashād said she’s off in two weeks to begin shooting the pilot Hieroglyph, an ancient Egypt–set show on which she will play the pharaoh’s half-sister, Nefertari. Then she nearly disappeared for real, dashing off to flag down a member of the media mob she recognized because they went to high school together. They hugged excitedly and then asked someone to take their picture together. So now Lepore can add “high school” to the list of reunions she’s spontaneously staged at her show. We’ll volunteer as the class clowns.