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DOWNING HONORED: “For weeks I had a fashion emergency,” confessed Zac Posen, before introducing Neiman Marcus senior vice president and fashion director Ken Downing, who was honored at last week’s Help USA luncheon at Tavern on the Green. Posen explained how, at a Neiman’s fashion show in Los Angeles, just six models showed up. “It was impossible to work with that few. I was pulling shoes off and doing the zippers,” and all with the assistance of Downing. There was some back-and-forth decision-making on the extent of the show, Downing admitted, hence the model shortfall. “I counted eight models,” Downing said. Ultimately, it all worked out. “We are a crazy industry, but we have a heart and soul,” Downing told the crowd of 355, which raised more than $500,000 at the lunch for Help USA scholarships. Others honored were ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts and Dorothy Hamilton, founder of the French Culinary Institute. Fifteen scholarships were distributed by Help USA, which provides housing, job training and social services for the homeless and victims of domestic violence.