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A model walks the runway at the Christian Siriano show.
A model walks the runway at the Christian Siriano show.

NYC Fashion Week: Day 2

NEW YORK -- How do you keep a tent full of people blissfully unaware of the winner of an uber-popular television show?

If you're "Project Runway," it means showing 10 collections to show attendees, including guest judge Faith Hill. Only time will tell who the three finalists are, who will win the coveted "Project Runway" title.

But that wasn't the only must-see show of the day: Naomi Campbell's Fashion For Relief, which benefits CARE, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty, sold out almost immediately. Starting March 15 (and for only two weeks), fashions from the show will be available for purchase online.

The shows: Yigal Azrouel, Christian Siriano, Gilded Age, Alexander Berardi, Charlotte Ronson, Venexiana by Kati Stern.

The scene: The tents were buzzing with anticipation of the Fashion For Relief show, which was shown for all to see via live video feed in the main tent. But a plethora of fashionistas also lined the pavement to view Charlotte Ronson, which turned out to be one of the most anticipated shows of the day. But one has to wonder if it was Ronson's creations -- or her famous sister -- who really drew the capacity crowd.

The celebrities: Malin Akerman of "Couples Retreat" fame sat front-row at Yigal Azrouel, while on-again/off-again Kanye West squeeze Amber Rose, a jet black-tressed Mena Suvari, Veronica Webb and Whitefish Bay native Kristen Johnston all cheered on "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano. Deejay (and former Lindsey Lohan lover) Samantha Ronson spun 70s cult classics at her sister Charlotte's show. Charlotte even walked the runway as a model much to the delight of "The Hills" star Whitney Port. Running into the tents a few minutes late for the show, I brushed past actor Matt Dillon who, despite his noticeably aged appearance, was arm-in-arm with a petite Asian beauty.

The trends: The day's shows offered a mirage of fashion-forward images, from the architecturally inspired Yigal Azrouel to the '70s globe-trekker chic of Charlotte Ronson. In a sea of gray and black tailored separates, it was his true red pieces that were bold stars on the runway, including an asymmetrical zip cocoon coat that was the epitome of fall 2010 style ... Christian Siriano's show was ladylike and well-constructed, but was a bore in comparison to the avant garde looks from his "Project Runway" days. Luckily, he still has a few tricks up his sleeve, including a stunning fucshia organza and tulle finale gown that drew praise from the crowd. The shoes were show-stoppers themselves, and served as the inspiration for his new line at Payless ... Gilded Age presented men's looks that were Butch Cassidy meets Charles Dickens, with a jaunty array of newsboy caps, wools, vintage boots, scarves and plaid prints. At Alexander Berardi, a mix of conservative and sexy made for an off-balanced show ...  Charlotte Ronson continued to wow her 20-something market with a mix of '70s gypsy and global vagabond. It was a nomadic journey, complete with head scarves, that included wool camel-colored coats, long skirts with tassels, floral flutter dresses and cropped wool pants ... As expected, Kati Stern's Venexiana line was an indulgent mix of bold fur coats, jewel-toned velvet gowns, gold and silver lame, silk organza evening gowns and luscious brocade. A perfect line for her customer: The Real Wives of the Upper East side.


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