New York Fashion Week: What’s In It For The Celebs?

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This was my first year ever actually attending New York Fashion Week, and though I only attended a couple of shows (little obstacles like Whitney Houston and the Grammys), it was exhausting! I mean, looking at the fashion is great fun, but there’s a lot of shuffling around to and from the venues, wondering where you’re supposed to be, shoving yourself between people’s outlandish fur coats and giant bags, and worrying that someone who matters will think you’re wearing something hideous. That may just be my own neurosis. Anyway, for the fashion editors, photographers, models, designers and millions of employees who make their shows happen (the ironing, the lint-rolling, the getting models water while they’re getting their makeup done, the escorting of clueless bloggers through the backstage area), Fashion Week is a lot of work. But all so many people (us) seem to care about is which actors and reality TV stars are sitting in the front row. Oh well. Anyway, when I went to the Alice + Olivia presentation on Monday night, I asked a few celebrities what they got out of going to the shows.

Ahna O’Reilly, who’s been on all sorts of red carpets this year after co-starring in The Help, was enjoying her first ever Fashion Week. “If I could wear any of the clothes that I’ve seen today I would be a lucky girl,” she said, wide-eyed. “Before today, my experience with fashion was Project Runway, so I kind of feel like I am living my fantasy.”

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Kristin Chenoweth
and Jennifer Aspen, who star in the upcoming comedy GCB together, have been photographed at practically every single show this week. And they had a very good reason: “You have to understand something: We are in love,” Aspen said. “We are it’s a little weird,” Chenoweth agreed.

“Our show has so much to do with great fashion and we couldn’t wait for the opportunity to come and see great designers to see how they could fit into our show … and our lives,” Aspen continued. “But we’re really enjoying the work that goes into the clothes, the tailoring and the artistry of it. And each other.”

Serious admiration of artistry aside, the friends seemed to be in a mischievous mood, too. “I told [Kristin], ‘You know what I’m going to do at the show tonight? I’m just going to stand with the models and [pose]. She said she’d pay me $500 if I do it,” Aspen said.

“Best money I ever spent,” Chenoweth said.

I didn’t see Aspen get onstage, but I did stick around to watch the models stand painfully still on their platform, as all the guests milled around sipping cocktails and eating ice cream bars. Oh, yeah, free ice cream and vodka! That is enough to get me to attend any event, too.

Kelly Rutherford, who plays the uber-stylish Lily Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, says the shows are her chance to get out of the house for a minute. “This is my time out, and then I go home and I’m a mom,” she told me, and since she doesn’t have her own stylist, she does actually pay attention to what she sees. “I go to maybe four or five shows, sometimes less. … I go to the [designers] that I really like them as people too.”

But she’s not all about dressing herself. “I’m obsessed with shopping for my kids. Every time they go with their dad, I shop for them. I don’t need a therapist to tell me what’s going on there!”

[Photos: Getty Images, Sabrina Rojas Weiss]

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