Stars Shine Dimly in Tents

If last week's celebrity scenery at New York Fashion Week was less than starry, blame it on TV.

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Katie Holmes at Vera Wang.

Photo By WWD Staff

NEW YORK — If last week’s celebrity scenery at New York Fashion Week was less than starry, blame it on TV.

It seemed everywhere one turned there was someone who is, was or is trying to be on television. The celebrity roster at 7th on Sixth read more like TV Guide than Vanity Fair. Sure, Renée Zellweger, Claire Danes, Kyra Sedgwick and Katie Holmes made cameo appearances at various shows, but this time around the tents provided temporary housing mainly to the likes of Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Carmen Electra, Paris Hilton (naturally), Tory Spelling, Vivica A. Fox, Lorraine Bracco and Cynthia Nixon.

Even Liza Minnelli, the guest of honor at Marc Bouwer’s show, now appears on “Arrested Development,” while Tommy Hilfiger, who appeared at Jennifer Lopez’s bash of a show Friday night, is working on his own reality TV series, as is Lopez. In fact, her entire show was a reality TV moment being filmed for an MTV program about the making of her fall collection. The swirling camera crew on the runway had the photographers in the pit apoplectic since it kept getting in the way of their shots of the clothes. Remember the clothes?

The draw of the shows just doesn’t seem to be what it used to be. Spelling said she was in town by chance, promoting her latest movie — a Hallmark made-for-TV vehicle. Otherwise, she would have missed Anne Bowen and Baby Phat. Electra had a similar reason, explaining she was in New York shooting “Carmen Electra Under the Tents: A Full Frontal Fashion Special” with Philip Bloch, which aired Thursday on the WE network.

“Who is that?” seemed to be the battle cry for attendees trying to wedge their way past celebrity logjams. “Who cares?” was usually the response from the fashion press.

While security guards swept loiterers from the runway before Carmen Marc Valvo, one man turned to Fern Mallis for some help in getting by the men with the earpieces.

“I need to get to the W [VIP suite] and make some calls before the show. I need you to tell these guys that it’s all right,” the man said, stretching his palm across his chest for emphasis. Mallis attempted to explain politely that the come-and-go policy just didn’t fly at Bryant Park, but the man in the striped shirt insisted she help him out. Not that he’d ever introduced himself.
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