Paparazzi's Paradise: Clothes Take Backseat To Celebrity Photo Ops

The debate over whether front-row celebrities are good or bad for designers continues, as well as whether there are enough A-listers to keep the buzz.

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How important is the front-row celebrity in fashion? Very, according to those who created the current celeb-anom — the editors of the tabloids.

Janice Min, editor in chief of Us Weekly, said, "More and more people are consuming fashion through the lens of celebrity. You can ask any woman who's 16 or 26 or 40 what the trends are right now and they'll probably define those trends through what celebrities are wearing. By seeing who's going to these shows you can tell what designers are hot, and who they might be dressing in awards season."

About 20 percent of Us Weekly's pages are devoted to fashion, but even Min conceded that covering runway looks straight up would "probably be a little too inside fashion. Our readers love fashion but, we're a weekly. We have to satisfy their immediate needs. They want to know what to buy now. They're not yet quite planning their spring wardrobe."

That, of course, doesn't bother celebrities, who can get their hands on most looks as soon as the last model stepped off the runway. Longoria, for instance, was overheard at Oscar de la Renta saying she hadn't yet picked her outfit for the Emmys, which will take place on Sunday.

Bonnie Fuller, editorial director of American Media, said, "It is twofold because we cover fashion…our fashion editorials are there to see the clothes. We're very interested in both [runway fashion and celebrity fashion]…I don't agree [that the center of gravity has shifted from runway to front row]. I think what you've done is created two centers of gravity."

In Hollywood stylist circles, accompanying their clients to runway shows is important, but the job can be done in other ways, too.

Stylist Jessica Paster, who racks up the A-listers and nominees come awards time like no one else, had been slated to accompany client Jessica Simpson to Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Narciso Rodriguez and BCBG. But with Simpson in the recording studio and Paster's roster filled with Ashlee Simpson and Mariah Carey, plus a half dozen Emmy-goers, including Marcia Cross and Ellen Pompeo, she stayed put in Los Angeles. "I think fashion week is amazing and if you have the time and energy to go, great. It's really more a weeklong, huge party." So much for the clothes.
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