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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Super Bowl isn't the only American event conflicting with New York Fashion Week, as viewers at the Charles Nolan show reminded the fashion set with buttons supporting Barack Obama. Nolan's partner, Democratic party big shot Andrew Tobias, brought in a bevy of his fellow faithful, including Peggy Kerry, sister of John. "We're wearing the buttons because it's two days before the primary, and it's an important statement: There are Obama supporters in New York," Kerry said. She and Lisa Gans, an international lawyer back in New York for a few months before returning to Afghanistan in March, both walked in Nolan's show last year, and Gans gave her approval to the first lady-friendly collection. "Back in Afganistan, everything has to be long," she said. "I was very excited to see outfits that I could take back with me and wear without being stoned."
PULVERIZED: Rock & Republic's runway show on Saturday night was billed as a two-act performance according to the program notes, but it was more like a three-ring circus. After being herded through the throngs in the Bryant Park tent's lobby, bypassing a fist fight between two rival photographers, and almost tripping over an Associated Press reporter while trying to find his seat, photographer Mick Rock exclaimed, "This is worse than the Stones concert in '72!" The chaos didn't prevent the likes of Tyson Beckford, Russell Simmons and Jack Mackenroth from this season's "Project Runway" from attending. Simmons said he also planned to make Tommy Hilfiger's, his friend Sean Combs' and, of course, Marc Jacobs. As for a recession, he was having none of it and pointed to the apparent high production value of Rock & Republic's show as reason not to. "Recession, no one cares in the fashion business, do we?" said Simmons. "We shouldn't. We should be inspired and keep producing what we're doing till we go under."
PICTURE THIS: Her mother, Jayne Mansfield, might have been an iconic pin-up, but Mariska Hargitay is camera-shy. While sitting front row at the Lela Rose show on Sunday morning, the actress brushed off a crowd of eager shutterbugs. "I find this part a bit unnerving," Hargitay confessed. Eventually, though, the star took a cue from Jennifer Creel (who was seated next to her and was happy to oblige the snappers). "Well, if Jennifer does it, then I guess it's OK," the actress said before standing for a few photo-ops.