Maybe we should add a few question marks to the headline but for now, just draw your own conclusions. Meanwhile, we’re letting you know about some fun gossip and a few of our own thoughts on the week that was at The Tents. Oh and let’s not forget about the goody bags and give-aways. We’re giving you our views on the best of the best.

Queer Eye For The Straight Fashion Editor:

Seen (and certainly heard) at Luca Luca … Stylemeister Robert Verdi and an overly blonde Carson Kressley (Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) seated cheek to jowl in the front row. While these two TV boys seem to be more than just the best of friends in public, we wonder how much jealousy (is that the right word) really goes on behind the scenes.

And speaking of the Queer Eye, there was Philip Bloch flying around (front row/backstage) at the shows. When we missed seeing him at Bill Blass, a spy told us he’d jetted back to the West Coast for the Emmys.

Last (but certainly not least), there was a definite void within the glam flamboyant pack with the no show of Steven Cujocaro. Usually a front row fixture and rockin’ partyer one could always count on Cujo and his multi-colorful ensembles and quirky personality to give a boost to the ambience in and around the tents. This time, though he probably decided there was more excitement on the big time network TV show he’s working on as compared to what he’d see/report on in NYC.

Supes Redux:

Heavy duty blasts from the past on the runway & in the front row … Cindy Crawford walking for Esteban Cortezar; Pat Cleveland, Diane Dewitt, Karen Bjornson doing turns at Blass and drawing lots of applause in the bargain.

Aside from the usual celebs and social types who seem to think going to the shows will elevate them to higher levels of name recognition, it was refreshing to see Helena Christensen and Mischa Barton (the newest TV “it”girl; Barton’s got a lead role in the hit show, “The OC”) enjoying what came down the catwalk at Matthew Williamson. It was especially neat for this editor to see Mischa again (lots of hugs/kisses before the show); I worked with her many years ago when she was an up and coming young model/actress. Now she’s a rising star but unlike many others, she’s still the down to earth, genuine girl she was when she was just starting out.

Jelly’s Last Jam:

Some call it the “Jelly Kelly”; others refer to it as the “Workin’ Birkin” but no matter what you call it, it’s definitely the must-have bag of the moment. Fashion afficienados want it in any color of the rainbow (the new black and combo tones are to die for) but where to get it—other than in Italy—has been a big mystery. Well, we took some time off from the shows and prowled around the city to see what we could uncover. Here’s what we turned up. The real, quality “Jelly” (not the poor copies that are sold on the internet) can be yours in a variety of sizes and colors at Cashmere New York, 1100 Madison Avenue, 212-744-3500 (their sister shop in Southampton actually had the white, pink, blue and orange bags during the summer but when we checked here, they’d sold out). To date, the Madison Avenue Jelly’s are on show in the window and there are still some available inside the store. If you jet on over, you may still be able to pick up one (or more) to take you through the winter months.

We Never Met A Goody Bag We Didn’t Love:

Well, that’s not altogether true since this time around, some of the best give-aways weren’t goody bags at all; merely free stuff that was handed out right in front of the tents. If you were lucky enough to be coming in/going out right at the time the GAP kids were handing out those bags, sweaters and scarves, then you know what I mean. More stuffers we had to have … tons of Avon products, gin (we loved the trio of beribboned French Poodles who posed with their handler as the bottles were handed out). Copies of every single magazine you could think of and some you’d never think of (and that was in addition to The Daily and US) that were handed out everywhere you turned.

With all of that being said, there were a few ultra generous generous designers who didn’t let us down. Lacoste’s colorful pillows—pink, turquoise, yellow and requisite black– made out of shirting fabric with the signature alligator placed discreetly at one corner, disappeared like hotcakes. We saw one well-known, Manolo-loving editrixe gingerly stuffing more than just a few into her bags. Lacoste (or love) for sale, we can’t say for sure.

At Lulu Guinness’s early morning breakfast presentation at her charming showroom to intro the new branded line of sunglasses/handbags, everyone just adored the gifts of lush, mod, carpety bags and glasses. Even better, everyone got to pick their fave bag and then schlep it away in a colorful, purple tote. Too bad, though, that most editors had to wait until January 2004 for the glasses and their cute, little Lulu cases; the collection at the event were simply prototypes. Oh well, we’ll all be winter glamour girls.

Lily Pulitzer also scored points with the fashion pack with an overstuffed green, pink, white tote that contained among other things a fab silk scarf, dedicated to breast Cancer Awareness. Both Lilly’s whimsical “Tiki” fashion event at the Bryant Park Café and the scarf benefited the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Glamour magazine made us happy and pretty at the same time at their breakfast event at The Bryant Park Hotel. In addition to the complimentary beauty services weary editors got to take advantage of, everyone left with a cute LeSportsak tote crammed with enough make-up to last through the week and beyond and a recent copy of the mag.

But the best of the bunch by far AND the recipient of this site’s Fashion Week’s award for the most memorable bag goes to Kate Spade. Imagine being surprised by a nifty green/white bag containing a totally creative press kit along with a gift-box containing a free airline ticket—round-trip coach to anywhere Song Airlines flies in the U.S. Pretty groovy for a petite (or longer) sojourn away from the city anytime of the year, yes??? But really, a nice smart tie-in between Spade and Song since the designer’s just readied her premiere collection of uniforms and accessories for the fashion airline’s flight attendants.

–Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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