The Outsider: Not afraid to iron, or chat up Kelly Bensimon
There’s so much going on during New York Fashion Week that doesn’t actually involve runways, that if one isn’t extremely careful, one’s head could easily explode. That’s why any “happening” that isn’t major major major can get lost in the shuffle. But that’s what you have me for—to champion the little people.
Bensimon (right) with BFF Beth Stern.
Or the not so little, as in the case of the extremely tall Kelly Bensimon, who hosted a cocktail party at Bryant Park Hotel to celebrate the debut of her Kelly Collection of Native American-inspired blinginess. Dressed in a microscopic M Missoni frock, the bronzed glamazon said she isn’t the least bit surprised that her sparkly bijoux are already a hit at Intermix.
“When I was the Ambassador for Wool—not even when I was the editor of Elle Accessories, it was really when I was the Ambassador for Wool—I traveled the country and saw this huge void,” said Bensimon, casting a watchful eye over her daughters Sea and Teddy, who were clad, rather adorably, in their school uniforms. “I really wanted to do costume jewelry,” Bensimon elaborated. “That’s what America needs.”
Had the former Ambassador required a little mid-bash primping (and I’m not saying she did, because she totally didn’t), she could have joined me in my next stop, the Rowenta Fashion Boutique, aka Steamer Central. There, sprinkled in with mannequins outfitted in trends of the season (e.g.,“Day-Time Sparkle,” “One Shoulder,” and “Sleek and Sexy”) were high-tech gizmos for keeping your finery in tip-top shape. Although the Rowenta folks looked alarmed when I handed them my Mossimo (yes, from Target) smock top to iron—I thought that was the entire point of the installation, but evidently I was the only one all week who requested on-the-spot steaming—they were really good sports about it, and my shirt looked terrific.
And bien sur, I just couldn’t resist an invitation to get “insider” fashion tips from Robert Verdi (above), who lent his expertise to an event for T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s to let editors know the goodies to be had if they deigned to step a foot inside those stores. (It was pretty impressive, I must say, as it even included pieces by a certain retired Italian designer whose posse of pugs have their own seats on the private jet.) Still, for an insider, Verdi sure casts himself in a wholly different light. “I was in W once,” he told me. “But only in an advertorial. That’s as close as I’ve ever come.” Ouch. Such a bald declaration, from such a bald man.