The only thing better than a star-packed front row is one with a random mix, as it’s one of the few times you get to see celebrities—ones you’d never ever expect to see in the same place—forced to socialize. It turns out that all of the things that make sitting next to a stranger a pain for normal people—from awkward introductions to forced chit-chat—apply to the rich and famous, too. Think Kim Kardashian and Rachel Roy making small talk at Vera Wang, or Leigh Lezark shifting uncomfortably next to Lindsay Lohan at Cynthia Rowley, as was the case last September.
BCBG Max Azria, the first official show of Fashion Week, keeps the tradition alive this season. The front row had no shortage of big names, but you got the feeling that most were meeting for the first time. Giada DeLaurentis, known better for what she whips up in the kitchen than in the closet, was wedged between TV personality Jeannie Mai and Extra co-host Maria Menounos. To their right was Jane By Design’s Erica Dasher (all front rows need an up-and-coming ingénue), while to their left was Erin Wasson, who gamely smiled when her legs became Cory Kennedy’s armrest. Model Jessica White, seated on the other side of Wasson, seemed to hide behind her wide-brimmed hat whenever photographers zoomed in on the trio.
Arbitrary? Yes. But there may have been something behind it: the clothing. The fall ’12 collection was all about uniting pieces that don’t seem to go together, and yet somehow work. “An artful proposition: harmoniously synthesize shape and color in new elongated proportions, fusing form and function,” explained the press notes. If ever there was a front row equivalent to pairing floaty chiffon dresses paired with heavy patchwork furs, this was it.