"Well, you come to Zac Posen, you are not going to wear sweatpants, are you?" stated New York fashion fixture Michelle Violy Harper. The beauty entrepreneur and muse showed up at said designer's show in a spectacular sea foam chiffon bustier dress. Miraculously, her alabaster complexion hadn't turned blue in the chilly, 20° night -- puzzling, as Harper came to the show sans coat.
"Do you think Isabella Blow or Anna Piaggi would have done coat? Fashion is not about comfort!"
On Monday night, it was in front of a small, devoted crowd of friends and admirers at his Tribeca studio that Posen wanted to show his collection this season. In attendance: beautiful faces from the new agency The Lions (Madisyn Ritland, Jessica Hart), Pat Cleveland and Crystal Renn -- two of Zac's dearest darlings, the latter usually working his runway.
"But I love so much the idea of watching the show front row this season!" she said.
John Demsey, group president of Estee Lauder and Posen's sponsor, sang the designer's praises."I've known him since he was in school. He has become such an international influence. He always had the talent and the personality, but now he has the gravitas and the body of work to prove it."
Next to Demsey, his new rumored sweetheart, Kelly Bensimon, former model and Real Housewife concurred.
"Zac is not only charming but also well-read: he always tells you such authentic stories about men who loves to create beautiful clothes for women, which is incredibly poetic."
Former CNN fashion reporter Alina Cho -- who announced Tuesday that she'll join Ballantine Bantam Dell as editor-at-large -- wouldn't disagree. "Zac is this kind, sweet friend, who cooks me peach pies and whom I love to visit at his studio. He had his ups and downs, but look at this crowd who comes to support him."
A few seats down, Liz Goldwyn, wearing one of Posen's tomato-red numbers, gushed about the Project Runway judge.
"Zac makes a woman feel like a sex goddess. He's a real go-to for the red carpet, for me, and for Hollywood, too, because he really cuts like the proper 1930s screen sirens style." To accessorize her outfit, the heiress, filmmaker, artist and writer had gone subtle: "Only the matte Dangerous lipstick by M.A.C." What about the cute, crocheted multicolored beret tilted atop her head: vintage? "Yes. It belonged to Bob Marley."
The show itself featured Posen's usual fabulous round of stern day dresses that fit bodies like gloves, followed by dramatic, lyrical red-carpet numbers in a bouquet of silk satins. Coco Rocha, Anne V and Josephine Skriver served as the human hangers.
Andre Leon Talley, the historic fashion figure who has been championing Posen since he was 21, also wanted to talk about his friend.
"It is wonderful at his age that he inspires such a level of elegance. Will it be Glen Close, Cate Blanchett, Sophia Vergara or any woman in the world? He wants all of them to be feminine and beautiful. Even the little simple black cocktail dress is remarkably executed, without one dysfunctional seam. I've always been enthusiastic -- he's tireless, energetic, and he loves what he's doing."