Lil’ Kim Falls For Pet-Carrying Luggage, Fonzworth Has Bees In His Stomach As Fashion Week Kicks Off

All-American Rejects' Tyson Ritter, Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo also help start New York festivities.

NEW YORK — Fashion Week officially kicked off Friday night with Tyson Ritter of the All-American Rejects walking the runway at the John Bartlett show at the Bryant Park tents. But the real fabulosity began later that night at the Baby Phat show, also at the tents, when Kimora Lee Simmons debuted her spring 2007 collection.

With a sensuous vibe created by crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceiling and a Garden of Eden theme with trees and plush red couches, models with monstrous Mohawks and grills strutted the catwalk to “SexyBack” and “Promiscuous” and showcased over 30 looks.

Denim jumpers, sexy silver V-shaped tops, silk geometric disco dresses, one-piece bathing suits with cutouts, leopard ankle boots, trench coats and (shocker!) pinstripe suits were the bulk of Simmons’ show. Other highlights included bags, waist purses and oversize pet-carrying luggage in pinks, greens, yellows and browns — guaranteed to be must-have items next spring. Oh, and expect to see Lil’ Kim toting some of the latter.

“I loved the show,” the rapper said. “I am a huge fan of green crocodile and I want that bag. I also loved the bathing suits.”

Also in the front row was rapper Trina, who told MTV News that she’s working on a new album, and a very dapper Fonzworth Bentley, who was relieved after getting rave reviews from his surprise performance with Kanye at Fashion Rocks Thursday night.

“I was so nervous,” he told MTV News. “Backstage, I asked Kanye, ‘Are these butterflies in my stomach?’ And Kanye told me, ‘No. Those aren’t butterflies, those are bees.’ I don’t know if I can perform again. It’s a lot of stress.” Still, Diddy’s former aide isn’t giving up that easy: He’s prepping a new album for Kanye’s GOOD Music label, so stay tuned (see “Kanye Hopes To Make ESPN Highlights With Fonzworth’s New LP” ).

All in all, the line was very functional and funky, with that sexy edge Simmons is known for.

The night continued with more hip-hop flavor when Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo opened up the Chris Aire show, singing “Crazy” to onlookers Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim. Aire, touted as the “King of Bling,” showcased his diamond couture bikinis, belts, shoes, sunglasses, head wraps and necklaces. Lydia Hearst wore a skimpy gold miniskirt; Tyson Beckford made the ladies swoon with his solid six-pack, draped with pyramid-shaped diamond necklaces; and supermodel Alek Wek followed in a $50 million diamond couture dress. After that, Mos Def got on the microphone and sang “Katrina Clap” — the song he got arrested for performing at the MTV Video Music Awards (see “Mos Def Arrested After Impromptu Performance Outside VMAs” ) — to a bunch of dismayed fashion editors, who didn’t seem to be in the mood for a political statement after a long day of bright lights, celebrity madness and waiting in line.

On Saturday night, L.A. designer Rock & Republic held its first fashion show at Cipriani 42nd Street, with Sophia Bush, Kristin Cavallari and JoJo sitting in the front row.

The rock-and-roll-inspired design label has definitely branched out from the days of just selling jeans. The entire show was highlighted on the walls, which had a Lite-Brite theme and featured Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin tunes blasted in the background. Everything in the collection was fierce — as well as completely wearable.

Studs, crystals, chains, belts and suspenders were in full effect, worn with stark white skinny pants, mini trench jackets, pencil skirts, short shorts, leather jackets and polo shirts. There were many dresses too, worn by famous models like May Anderson, Petra Nemcova and Karolina Kurkova. One in particular stood out: a studded denim tube dress that would look fabulous on Christina Aguilera. Let’s cross our fingers.

Male models also strutted down the runway in leather jackets, dark blue jeans and studded belts. The party afterward was held at Tenjune, where Wolfmother jammed to a packed crowd.

“I would love to dress [lead singer] Andrew Stockdale,” Rock & Republic CEO, founder and head designer Michael Ball said.

Across town, at Capitale, Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz showcased his quirky hooded sweaters, gold leggings and short shorts as part of the Clandestine Industries collection (see ” ‘Fall Out Boy Takes On Fashion Week’: Pete Wentz Debuts Clothing Line” ). At the same location, Jamison Ernest’s Yellow Fever line was unveiled, with Tyson Ritter and Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag from “The Hills” sitting in the front row.

Another designer who featured some rocker-oriented duds for men was Jill Stuart on Monday morning (September 11), at the New York Public Library. A charcoal leather jacket and some laid-back linens will definitely end up on the backs of hot bands like the Killers or Fall Out Boy. The dainty designer then showcased a bunch of sheer hippie-esque, baby-doll lace dresses for the ladies, with the models wearing nothing underneath. That begged the question: What will the consumer wear?

Kate Bosworth was sitting in the front row but not answering any questions. “I can’t really talk,” she told MTV News. “I’m just here to watch.”

MTV News did speak with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who is a huge fan of Fashion Week. “Fashion Week brings so many different types of people together,” she said. “You can be at one show and have people from the hip-hop community, or from TV, or from film, or from high fashion [show up],” she said. “You really get to admire and appreciate other people’s hard work. It’s sort of funny because months and months of work go into like eight minutes and then it’s done. But it’s always fun and it brings everyone into town. The VMAs kicked it off … the past couple of weeks have been really fun in New York.”

Last year’s “Project Runway” runner-up, Daniel Vosovic, also sitting in the front row, had a prediction for this year’s contest.

“If Uli [Herzner] can do tailored garments the way she designs dresses, then she might have a chance,” he said. “But Michael [Knight] runs the gamut already.”

Vosovic said he’s currently working on a uniform collection for NYLO hotels, and he’s excited to see inaugural “Runway” winner Jay McCarroll’s fashion show on Friday night. “I think he’s grown a lot in the past year and I can only imagine what he’s going to show,” Vosovic said.

Earlier Monday morning, Cynthia Steffe’s show at the Bryant Park tents was like a playground, filled with flirty dresses in fun colors like blueberry, celadon, marigold and watermelon.

The skinny pant might be hot now, but come springtime, it’s going to get a cut and just come up to the calf. White knit dresses with crocheted ringlets are perfect for a cocktail party, and a new take on the romper was shown in a more graphic and sexy way than the drape-y looks coming out this season.

A big trend so far: dresses with pockets — Fergie rocked one at the VMAs (see “Red-Carpet Report: From Beyonce’s Gown To Ludacris’ Bling, Stars Kept Styles Tight” ) — which were on display at Yigal Azrouel’s show on Friday. (Kristen Bell sat in the front row.) Also, Diane von Furstenberg’s Sunday afternoon show was a melee of graphic print and psychedelic leopard dresses (with pockets). Yes, the new wrap dress has been reinvented: with pockets.

Tune in for more updates on McCarroll, Heatherette, Betsey Johnson and Michon Schur throughout the week.