You can never have enough of it. Brandusa Niro, cofounder, Fashion Wire Daily It’s 7 P.M. and seats are beginning to fill up in the main tent for the BCBG Max Azria spring 2002 womenswear show at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. An eminent squad of editors, including Cindi Leive from Glamour, Hal Rubenstein from In Style, and Emil Wilbekin from Vibe wait patiently with notepads in tow and goody bags at their well-heeled feet. Writers, photographers, publicists, friends, and a smattering of buyers kiss-kiss their seating-chart neighbors, chat about tonight’s after-party at Lotus, last night’s party at Serena, tomorrow night’s party at The Park, and the Ungaro bash last week at the 26th Street Armory (did anyone see the entire Hilton clan Mom, Dad, and the infamous sisters all decked out in Ungaro garb? Quelle coincidence, non?).
On the main floor of the tent, which is flanked by bleachers like a high school auditorium, the ticking of shutters and sparkle of flashbulbs has attracted more than a few curious eyeballs. Two TV stars are Nonstop Fashion Coverage! mugging for a few dozen photographers. Audience members whisper, “Who is that?” The actresses one from Saturday Night Live and another from one of the Law & Order spin-offs are the kind of stars who are recognizable by sight, if not by name, certainly not in the same league as the Gwyneth Paltrows and Nicole Kidmans most paparazzi trample each other over. Regardless, tonight they’re royalty. Despite the blinding flash of cameras, the actresses gladly maintain their most photogenic poses slightly turned to one side (their best side, of course) with photo-ready smiles (it’s all in the eyes!) for a good thirty minutes and answer the questions du jour: “Who are you wearing tonight?”
“What do you like about BCBG?” Famed photographer Patrick McMullan, who has shot nearly every celebrity fashionista that has ever graced the New York party scene, arrives stylishly late and receives an ebullient hug from at least one member of each clique he approaches on the floor. Meanwhile, Michelle Behennah is making her rounds wielding a microphone, and trailed by a cameraman, to find the celebrities and recognizable editors. Behennah, a model who’s best known for her photos in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue as well as her print work in fashion glossies, is filming interviews for the Style Network, the new off-shoot of E!, which has planned twenty-four-hour coverage of Fashion Week. Elsa Klensch she is not. The British beauty may not be a trained journalist or “fashion expert,” but she’s comfortable in the fashion world and, more important, she looks great on camera.
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