Parties? They’re a great accessory

Special to The Times

Tightly cinching the belt on a brushed wool coat with enormous bell sleeves, designer Zac Posen stood back to let the photographers do their thing.

Demi Moore was cold, and so Posen, the evening’s host, obliged by grabbing a coat seen minutes before on a white plastic runway, poolside at Bungalow One of the Chateau Marmont.

“This is it! This is the hit!” Moore crooned.

But for her part, she had already scored at the Monday night party with her complimentary Posen dress -- as did Dita Von Teese, Monet Mazur, Gina Gershon, Anjelica Huston, Kate Walsh and Rachel Bilson, all of whom dutifully posed throughout the evening in the designer’s ladylike looks. But Moore had bragging rights.


“This dress didn’t even make it to the runway,” Moore whispered before sitting down to dinner inside with Jamie Tisch, Natalie Cole, Eric Dane and 80 other invited guests.

Fashion week. It isn’t just about the runways. It’s also about the parties. Every. Single. Night. Who can blame the designers for wanting to blow off a little steam?

After weeks of preparation, anxiety and pressure, anything short of a few bottles of Champers with famous friends and favorite magazine editors would be anticlimactic.

And everywhere you turned this last week, designers were hobnobbing with pols, toasting with musicians, dancing with the Hollywood set. It was all a question of time, once the scheduling conflicts got worked out. Well, sort of.

Just the night before, Arianna Huffington turned up at the Nichols Canyon home of Rozae Nichols. On Tuesday, Sting’s daughters, Kate and Mickey Sumner, were among the well wishers at Joey Tierney’s tequila-filled post-show soiree at a secret Beverly Hills manse, and across town, newly ubiquitous party princess Michelle Trachtenberg wasn’t about to forgo the annual dinner hosted by Smashbox siblings Dean and Davis Factor and Fred Segal Beauty’s Michael Baruch and Paul D’Armas. That dinner was held at Il Sole and attracted such designers as Jeremy Scott, Henry Duarte and Jenni Kayne, who didn’t even bother presenting on any catwalk this week.

Tonight is no exception. L.A. designer Kayne, who took her luxe sportswear collection to Manhattan last month, brings the celebration home with a chic dinner at Maison 140, and New Yorker Kimora Lee Simmons crashes town at Social Hollywood in the name of her signature line, which debuted in Gotham to a bling-studded crowd.

Yet for all the dueling functions -- where to go? what to do? -- Monday remains a standout if only because of Posen’s affair at the Chateau -- and a cross-town bash held by Tara Subkoff of Imitation of Christ at Teddy’s. The conflict brewed into a minor scandal because of Posen and Subkoff’s friendship, inviting wags to speculate whether there would be some untoward falling-out. It also put their celebrity and editor pals in the awkward position of having to decide where to spend their evening (not to mention whose dress to wear).

Publicists (who else?) were blamed for the scheduling snafu. Subkoff had just relocated from New York, and her show at Smashbox that night was followed by the mandatory after-party, held at Teddy’s, while Posen’s camp went by the book and had to lock in the fete for the designer the night before his trunk show at Saks Fifth Avenue took place.


In a gesture of conciliation, Subkoff pared her dinner at Dakota to snacks and cocktails, lest their mutual friends be forced to eat twice. And Posen, for his part, made one guest en route to Dakota promise to ask Subkoff if his flowers of apology had been received. They had.

“I just wanted to thank everyone who’s been so supportive of me,” said Subkoff, who recently closed escrow in Silver Lake. Marisa Tomei and Kirsten Dunst were among those who were there; China Chow and, of course, Trachtenberg double dipped.

Ultimately, it was Posen’s party co-host Jacqui Getty who smoothed out any possible future tensions by driving Posen to Teddy’s for a midnight cap.

Not that it gets any easier after tonight. The party marathon continues. Hometown girl Daniella Clarke of Frankie B. will be holding court at a small private dinner Monday night. And the just-in-from-Paris Ungaro designer Peter Dundas is being feted with not one but two dinners this weekend before his Tuesday night Neiman Marcus fashion show and post-party at the Bar Marmont, hosted by San Francisco socialites Katie and Todd Traina.


Better get on that diet Wednesday.