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In Choo and Payless, models launch fashion events

By Samantha Critchell
Associated Press
Thursday, September 9, 2010; 11:07 AM

NEW YORK -- A fashion show built around the landmark fountain of Lincoln Center brought celebrities, fashion designers and some ordinary New Yorkers to their feet Tuesday night.

The event, with a total of 1,500 guests, served as the kickoff to both New York Fashion Week, the preview of spring styles that starts Thursday, and Friday's Fashion's Night Out, a national retail-stimulus program spearheaded by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.

Blake Lively, Julianne Moore and Serena Williams were among the VIPs, along with designers Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schoulder, Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa, and Carolina Herrera.

Pharrell serenaded some of the models, and the recorded music mash-up of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind (Part II)" was a crowd-pleaser.

It was the biggest public fashion show in New York, organizers said.

Top catwalkers Gisele Bundchen, the first on the complicated in-the-round runway, and Naomi Campbell, who closed the show, were among the big draws. But some of the audience, many of whom paid to attend, never saw the supermodels up close. They took off on a bus as part of the finale with Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha, Adriana Lima and others without making the full loop.

Even Diane von Furstenberg had to stand from her front-row seat to get a close-up view of them.

Still, there were plenty of models to go around. The show was divided into trends deemed by Vogue editors to be the must-haves for the fall. Missy Raider wore a '50s-inspired look -- complete with beehive hair -- while Alek Wek endured a fur hat on the warm, humid evening to show off "Go Global" style.

"You get to see the best pieces from each current collection on one big stage, and having Lincoln Center as a backdrop was something everyone will remember," said Hilary Rhoda, who represented the weekend look in a See by Chloe jacket, Rag & Bone shirt, Tucker skirt, Vince leggings and Gap boots.

Other groups of models wore gowns reminiscent of the Jazz Age, and still others had on Sgt. Pepper-style jackets to capture rock chic.

Few outfits were by a single designer, however, so shoppers would be encouraged to adopt the looks regardless of their budget. Payless, for example, took their place sandwiched between Jimmy Choo and Gucci shoes.

The runway show will be included in the CBS Fashion's Night Out special on Sept. 14.

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