The stars were out


Fashion week in New York is a chance for designers, model divas and dowager queens to take their bows, but the paparazzi and press are just as eager to spot stars in the front row audience.

Star-watching is not as easy as it used to be. Stars now dress down and lay back. Take that back -- there are exceptions. Barbra Streisand, girlfriend, shopping buddy and confidante of designer Donna Karan, was expected at DK's show, which was the week's grand finale. The packed tent crackled with excitement and security walkie-talkies. La Streisand was swept in, seated, and the show began.

The problem was that lesser fashion divas and press, caught napping at the Fernando Sanchez loungewear show, which ran too long, were shut out. Hissy fits. Andre Leon Talley, Vogue magazine's creative director, let it be known from his near-7-foot height that he was not pleased. Ms. Karan apologized to the standees and promised to make it up. There was a smashed champagne glass. DK does things right -- none of those plastic stick-stem-to-bowl flutes for her bubbly.

The singers know how to star. Ru Paul couldn't be missed at Todd Oldham's show, and he's such a trend-setter. His signature big blond hair, stiletto heels and micro-miniskirt are what many designers showed for spring, and Ru was camcording the scene and trying to steal it.

The young stars there were restless. Actors Jaye Davidson and Christian Slater and model Kate Moss and friends were in each other's laps and mugging and squirming like untrained puppies. Cute.

At Richard Tyler's show, k. d. lang paid close attention. The country singer, who made butch hairstyles fashionable, has let her hair grow into soft wisps, much longer than many of the models in the show.

Spotted around and about were Tracy Ullman, Tony Curtis (father of Jamie Lee to you young readers), Fran Lebowitz, Billy Baldwin, Sandra Bernhardt, Teri Garr and Martha Stewart, who took some time off from housework.

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