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NEW YORK — At the Rodarte show on Tuesday afternoon, the sixth day of New York Fashion Week, among the usual collection of editors, stylists and the occasional celebrity (Kim Gordon, Lizzie Tisch, Terry Richardson) sat a man in the front row, dressed in a slim-cut dark suit, open-necked white shirt and white sneakers, and looking a little out of place.
It was David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, who said he was attending just his second-ever fashion show. "Is this a good one?" he asked another attendee.
Gordon, former singer for the iconic band Sonic Youth, seemed a bit more at home, dressed in a fringed leather Rodarte jacket and burgundy brimmed hat. But she, too, said she was not a fashion-show regular.
''I don't go to many, but usually this and Marc Jacobs," said Gordon, who also performed at the Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony presentation this season. "Otherwise I get fashioned out."
Earlier that morning, at the Lincoln Center setting for the Vera Wang show, a more predictable lineup of fashion-show veterans — Jada Pinkett Smith, John Legend, Christine Baranski and Renee Fleming — waited for the show to begin. Baranski said she and Fleming were "having a girls' day."
Editors, meanwhile, marveled over Smith, ankles crossed in a coral pink frock with pleated skirt. The petite 41-year-old looked so youthful she could have passed for decades younger.
''I actually met Vera when I was a fresh-faced ingenue," Smith said, jokingly. "But really, I asked to meet her when I was young, and it sparked a relationship."
The next morning, Smith was back at Lincoln Center, for the Michael Kors show, with her daughter, Willow (of "Whip My Hair" fame), and a stellar front-row lineup that included Oscar-winning actors Michael Douglas and Hilary Swank.
Much of the attention centered on the younger Smith, toting a white Michael Kors cross-body bag and wearing a dazzling gold top.
''I just want to experience new fashion," she said, braces glinting.
Her kind of style?
''Whatever I like, I guess," she said simply.
Later that day, another young star, Miley Cyrus, with punkish blond hair and multiple earrings, was at the Rachel Zoe show, accompanied by Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles. (Cyrus is on the latest cover and was to host a party with the magazine at night.) She was in a red jumpsuit.
''They're like chicer overalls," she said of her outfit.
But even former teen queens become stressed out by the crush of cameras.
''I've got so much going on right now, I can't even think," she said as she ducked her head and tried to make her way to her seat.
On Monday afternoon, as the lights dimmed at Theyskens' Theory show held near Penn Station, a grizzled Olivier Zahm slipped into his seat near Richardson, who was giving the photographers his trademark thumbs up. Also in attendance was Julia Restoin Roitfeld, although her mind wandered from fashion.
''It's like a new beginning," said Roitfeld, a new mother who is working on a "website for moms," although she wouldn't divulge the site's name.
A couple of hours later, the Donna Karan Collection held a show in West Chelsea. Bernadette Peters fielded questions from TV crews. A bench over, Uma Thurman and Gretchen Mol were submerged by the crush of photographers — you could only see their blond 'dos bobbing from a distance.
After the show, Mol, who was dressed in all black, had a couple of thoughts.
''It was so sensual," she said of the clingy shapes. "I liked the camels and grays and the dresses with capes, although I'm not saying I could pull off a cape."
In the evening, Lincoln Center felt like a nightclub. Music blared and guests clutched bottles of free liquor. Reem Acra was up at 6 p.m., and she showed a parade of Oscar-worthy gowns to familiar socialites like Jennifer Creel and Tinsley Mortimer. One blonde stood taller than the bunch — Katherine Heigl.
Wearing a lace dress with a peplum, Heigl brought along her stylist.
''She picked it out; I'm kind of hopeless," Heigl said, nodding to her companion. "But I love a peplum. You can eat a big lunch and no one can tell."
Shortly after, the fashion flock was back for Marc by Marc Jacobs, which had been rescheduled from its normal Tuesday time slot. After the show, Zahm seemed to know where the action was, yelling to Richardson across the runway: "Monsieur Richardson! Monsieur Richardson! Let's go backstage."
Forget the Postal Service (especially after it announced that it would eliminate Saturday service this year): When it comes to sleet and snow, nothing keeps the fashion crowd from its appointed rounds.
Even if most insist on ignoring the elements when it comes to their chosen attire for Fashion Week.
On Saturday morning at Lincoln Center, among the expected parkas and knee-high boots were a surprising number of stilettos in the front row at the Ruffian show.
''Who are these girls that are wearing open-toed shoes?" asked fashion personality Robert Verdi, layered all in black with gray Hunter rain boots. "It's frustrating just to see them," he added. "What, did they think those heels were ice picks?"
At the Rag & Bone show Friday night, amid a sea of stiletto pumps (and a crowd that included Drew Barrymore in a camel wide-brimmed hat), designer Kenneth Cole, who was off-duty, observed, referring to the snowstorm by name, "This weather is crazy, but it's going to take more than Nemo to separate a woman from her heels."
Barrymore's verdict on the runway designs?
''My favorite was the pops of orange: The color was done so well," she said after the last look. "And the real genius is that you can wear everything. It's not like those fashion shows where you wonder, 'How can I wear that in my real life without looking like Phyllis Diller?'"
As the weekend progressed, the shows went on largely as scheduled, and celebrities turned out in better-than-expected numbers.
At Lacoste on Saturday morning, few photographers recognized Brad Smith, a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, who had also attended the Tommy Hilfiger men's show, along with the Super Bowl most valuable player, Joe Flacco, the night before.
Smith was wearing Lacoste for the show, of course, but he said Vince was his favorite label. "They use good materials," he said.
For fashionistas, the highlight of Saturday afternoon was, predictably, the Alexander Wang show, with his recent appointment as the new designer for Balenciaga heightening interest in what he would show under his own label. There were the usual Wang regulars, like Richardson, Zoe Kravitz and Liberty Ross, who had walked in the show last season after the reports that her husband, Rupert Sanders, had been having an affair with Kristen Stewart.
''That was such a good moment for me," said Ross, who was sitting front row this time around. "In retrospect, I gave it a lot of thought. It was the timing, and also I hadn't walked in a show in New York before."
Ross, who recently filed for divorce from Sanders, was visibly energized.
''I'm the happiest I've ever been," she said.
Across the runway, Tyson Chandler and his wife, Kimberly, were also in a good mood. Chandler's team, the New York Knicks, has been winning.
''We just want to bring a championship to the city," said the center, dressed in a black Givenchy zip top, YSL shoes and 3x1 jeans.
Chandler was a definite presence this year: showing up at Altuzarra on Saturday night and Thakoon on Sunday afternoon, and somehow squeezing in a Knicks game between the two. Maybe he can bring Karp with him the next time Fashion Week rolls around.