If it's September, it must be Fashion Week. Sort of.

New York Confidential

RATHER confusingly, New York Fashion Week has been divided into two this Autumn. It was originally scheduled to take place in November after the collections in London, Milan and Paris. But in August, Helmut Lang announced that he couldn't possibly wait that long to show his Spring collection. "The energy is gone at that point, the energy is exhausted," he complained to Women's Wear Daily - so he would be showing in September. Not surprisingly, a number of other New York designers - Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, for example - decided to follow suit and the result is two Fashion Weeks.

One of the reasons Helmut Lang did this, according to a Vogue editor I spoke to, is to avoid being accused of plagiarism. Within the fashion press, apparently, the issue of who has copied whom each season comes down to which collection they see first. Of course, the idea that a designer could attend the showing of a rival's collection then rush back to his studio and rip it off in time for his show the following week is preposterous but, needless to say, fashion writers aren't the sharpest crayons in the pencil-case.

I'm not complaining, since two Fashion Weeks means twice as many parties. You can always tell when a celebrity has entered your airspace at one of these parties since the person you're talking to suddenly becomes all glassy-eyed and doesn't hear a word you're saying. Interestingly, though, they don't look over your shoulder. Among the Fashionista, it's considered so "trailer park" to gawk at celebrities that whenever one enters the room they look anywhere but straight at them. Consequently, if Leonardo DiCaprio is standing right next to you, the frisky young model you're talking to looks you directly in the eye for the first time that evening. Then she goes home with Leonardo DiCaprio.

By common consent, the best party of New York Fashion Week Part I - which took place last week - was the opening of a new Louis Vuitton shop in SoHo. Naomi Campbell announced in advance that it was the only Fashion Week party she'd be attending and sure enough, she appeared, basking in the glow of the flashbulbs. The only time it is acceptable to openly stare at celebrities is when they are being photographed since the flashbulbs leave them temporarily blinded so they can't see you gawking at them.

Almost as much excitement was caused by the appearance at the Vuitton party of Kylie Bax, the hot model of the moment. She's generating heat, strangely, partly because she's going out with Donald Trump. A fortnight ago he took her to the US Open, striding in with her on his arm in the middle of the Ladies final. Every head in the stadium turned towards him and someone shouted, "Hey Donald, who's the blonde?"

u

THE number one film at the US box office last week was a comedy thriller starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton called Rounders. For reasons I can't quite explain, I find it very irritating that a Hollywood studio has the confidence to release a film with that title without fearing that it might be mistaken for a film about... well, rounders. After all, it's inconceivable that a British company would release a film called Baseball if it wasn't, in fact, about baseball.

Apparently, the film's title refers to a slang term favoured by poker players to describe professional gamblers who make the rounds from game to game. At least, that is what it's supposed to refer to. The New York Post interviewed a number of veteran poker players who'd never heard of the term. In fact, nearly all the slang bandied about in the film turns out to be highly suspect. As a professional card-sharp told the Post, "In one scene, the Ed Norton character says something like, `After the finger, that leaves the white meat'. No one speaks like that. If anyone said something like that, we'd say, `Huh? What the hell are you talking about?'"

u

AT ONE of the Fashion Week parties I attended I was accosted by two gorgeous models making a documentary about Brits in New York. They turned out to be Tess Daly, a 27-year-old blonde from Cheshire, and Orla O'Rourke, a 25-year-old redhead from County Tyrone. If Austin Powers had been at the party, these girls would have been on his arm. A few minutes earlier they'd interviewed Geoffrey Ling, the British Consul General in New York. He quite properly asked them if they had work permits then, rather less properly, invited them both to a party at the British Consulate. There's hope for the old country yet.

u

ONE OF the wonderful things about living in America is that when the country is gripped by a big news story - such as the Clinton scandal - people actually stand around on street corners discussing it. I encountered one such town meeting on my way back from the post office recently.

"What's all this stuff about him s'posed to be setting an example?" I heard one black lady say to another, presumably about the President. "I never exampled myself on anyone but myself."

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam