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Amore Italiano

Hollywood, by way of Milan, came to New York when Donatella Versace threw a star-studded affair for the reopening of her Fifth Avenue store.

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Ashley Olsen

Photo By Steve Eichner

NEW YORK — It takes a lot to make some of New York's finest socialites, accustomed to their front-row perches and cameos, feel invisible. But that was just the case at Donatella Versace's high-wattage party and dinner Tuesday night to celebrate the reopening of her Fifth Avenue store. The paparazzi — including some flown in especially from Italy — went rabid over the likes of Kate Hudson, Nicolas Cage with wife Alice Kim in tow, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, Claire Danes, the singer Maxwell and even teeny-bopper Hilary Duff with boyfriend Joel Madden. They were there to check out the renovated digs, pose with la Signorina Versace (who braved the fray to stand with each of her "friends") and answer the usual mindless queries.

"How do you stay in such good shape?" yelled one fan to a passing Heather Graham.

"Yoga and pilates," came Graham's pat reply, with a flick of her golden head.

And what's a star-studded party without a high-profile party crasher? Midway through the evening, the infamous faux Paris Hilton, complete with requisite bodyguard, attempted entry and was promptly kicked out.

Meanwhile, a stunning Halle Berry, accompanied by her equally stunning model boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry, made like a real star and snuck in through the basement before joining Lopez and Versace on the royal chaise upstairs. In town filming "Perfect Stranger," Berry was too pressed for time to attend the dinner afterward, but she couldn't pass up the opportunity to rave about Versace's designs, which she donned for the spring campaign.

"Her clothes are so sexy, so fresh and they're cut for real women, with real bodies and real curves," Berry said, though her sequined gown offered no such reality check. But while she enjoyed the experience shooting the campaign, it isn't something Berry plans to reprise soon. "It's my first and I venture to say probably my last," she said before sneaking out the way she came.
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