NEW YORK — It should have been called Cirque du Heatherette.
Designers Richie Rich and Traver Rains upstaged themselves once again, putting on a more fabulous show than ever before, when they debuted their spring 2007 collection Tuesday night during Fashion Week at the Bryant Park tents.
In a tropical-theme setting with seashells and sand in the background, Paris Hilton kicked off the show one hour late in a floor-length leopard gown, with her single "Stars Are Blind" pumping in the background. (See smokin' Fashion Week pics of Paris, Mya, 50 Cent and others right here.) The crowd went berserk, but that was only the beginning.
A crew of polo shirt- and mini shorts-wearing models (all in blond bob wigs) boogied to the Beach Boys while a breakdancer shocked the crowd with moves that would give contestants on "So You Think You Can Dance"
a run for their money. Paris and sister Nicky then came out holding hands in Heatherette's new collection for Macy's, a more affordable and wearable line of colorful striped sweaters and casual shorts (see "Mya Helps Choose Heatherette 'It' Girl From Fashion-Forward NYC Crowd").
R&B singer Mya was next, strutting onstage in a red vest, high-waist blue shorts and a big red flower in her hair, carrying a huge surfboard. Then actress Mena Suvari walked the stage in shiny gold tights, a sweater vest and floral shorts. Model/heiress Lydia Hearst followed, wearing a dress made of paper pineapple cutouts.
The showstopper was Kelis, who modeled a wild red dress draped in glitter and Christmas-tree ornaments. Brandy, who was sitting in the front row, jumped from her seat and started screaming and cheering for the singer, along with front-rowers like JC Chasez, Robert Iler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Nick Cannon and Aubrey from Danity Kane.
Other outfits included funky splatter-paint jumpers, dainty capri pants, tutus, corset dresses and froufrou designs dripping with sequins, pearls, studs and rhinestones. All were worn with Irregular Choice shoes. Some might call it arts and crafts, but we like to think of it as couture glam.
The grand finale was the "marriage" of the Hilton sisters. Paris was the bride, wearing a sequined blue gown with butterflies on it, while Nikki played the groom in a black silk tuxedo-patterned strapless dress. Showgirl/transvestite Amanda Lepore played the preacher. Needless to say, the show ended with a bang.
Backstage at Heatherette was also insanity, with Paris and Travis Barker nearly causing a riot. A posse of more than 20 photographers and several camera crews stood outside Paris' dressing room, begging her assistants for a quick shot, a smile, a quote, a wink — any sign of the rumored couple.
"The show was late because [Travis] was late," designer Rich told MTV News. "Paris was like, 'I'm not going out until Travis is in the door,' and so I'm running through the side like, 'Travis Barker, are you here?' Finally they got him in, and Paris was like, 'OK, where's my lip gloss?' "
Hilton had walked in nearly all of Heatherette's shows before she starred in "The Simple Life" or graced the cover of a tabloid.
"She's still as saucy as ever and wears clothes as great as ever — she loves fashion, and I love her," Rich said. "It's all family, it's fun. I tried to get Paris on Rollerblades, but it didn't happen. She's great in stilettos, though."
Chasez — whose new single, "Until Yesterday," is a collaboration with former 'NSYNC bandmate Justin Timberlake (see "JC Chasez Works With Justin On Adultery Track, OK Go On Dance Moves") — had a blast too.
"I love these guys, man," he said. "They always make sure everyone in the crowd has fun. They always pull out all the shots. I loved the way Kelis walked the runway. They had a bunch of celebrities out there, but she really brought the house down, man."
MTV News also ran into Swizz Beatz, who announced that he is working on a fashion line of his own, a collaboration with Japanese animation company Kid Robot.
"It's a real fun line, and it's not about everything else out there right now," he said. "Next year, I want everyone fighting over the front row [at my show]."
Also on Tuesday, new grandmother/ fashion designer Betsey Johnson proved that while she might be getting older, her clothes certainly aren't. It was hard to resist the bubble skirts, baby-doll dresses and bloomer suits of her Babycakes-themed show.
While "We Will Rock You," "Purple Haze" and "Hey Mickey" played in the background, the funky designer showed lots of ruffles, polka dots and Chantilly lace on her dresses. All the models wore electric-blue eye shadow and strutted the runway in high platform shoes.
While the playsuit (a jumper with short shorts) might be difficult for the average girl to pull off, her mosaic-print shirtdress and polka-dot charmeuse dress are guaranteed to be seen in malls everywhere come spring. And we loved the geometric V-shaped jumper dress. The show ended with a "My Super Sweet 16"-esque blush satin couture gown that was a little over-the-top, but definitely a look-at-me party dress that every girlie girl will adore. At the end of the show, the designer walked onstage with her granddaughter, Layla (to the Eric Clapton song of the same title), and did cartwheels.
Heatherette managed to get celebrities to walk the runway, but Marc Jacobs won the prize for having the best A-list celebrity front row when he showed his collection on Monday night at the New York State Armory.
Zooey Deschanel, Winona Ryder, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Kanye West (with fiancee Alexis), Maria Sharapova, Mischa Barton, 50 Cent, Tyson Ritter, Dan Renzi of "The Real World" and Rufus Wainwright were there, adding a lot of color to a black, white and silver palette of deconstructed dresses.
John Varvatos went for the deconstructed look too — the men's designer showed his collection on Monday at Bryant Park. A collection of shaggy-haired models walked the runway to the Raconteurs' "Steady, as She Goes," sporting cotton seersucker suits, skinny pants with zippers down the leg, snuggly V-neck sweaters and incredibly detailed motorcycle jackets that will never go out of style.
So to the rockers who go on tour and wear the same pants, metal belt, Converse sneakers or vest every day, if you want a chic look without any wear and tear, Varvatos' gear is the perfect answer.