Celebs Take Manhattan


If you thought Pink was too drunk at the VMAs, you should have seen Puffy. Wobbling on the red carpet pre-show, the dapper media mogul made no pretenses about having started the party early. Fly Life was crunched in at the press gates, checking out the star styles—which ran from original and hot (MTV2 VJ Abby Gennet in a gown made of old metal-concert tees and rhinestones) to the generic (Melissa Joan Hart lamely pulling off a YSL shirt). Let’s compare notes.

Dopest Look (Men’s): Drey of OutKast’s lavender Philip Treacy fedora, red Asics wrestling boots, and red-and-blue plaid knickerbockers. Dopest Look (Women’s): Kirsten Dunst in Princess Leia buns and a Marc Jacobs jacket. Most Opulent Coat: MTV2 VJ Quddus, in a floor-length Nehru duster with embroidered details. Most Understated: Big N.E.R.D. Pharrell Williams, in an Independent Wheels skate tee and trucker cap. (On his influence in merging hip-hop and skate fashions: “I can’t take credit for it. I’m just doing what I came up in.”) Bravest Choice: Actor David Alan Grier in a lime-green suit. Best Use of Leather: Nappy Roots’ Big V in YSL shields and a butter-brown sleeveless mechanic suit. Best Outfit for Quickie Potty Breaks: Jennifer Love Hewitt’s crotch-grazingly short off-the-shoulder number. Best T-Shirt: Johnny Knoxville’s vintage Farrah Fawcett iron-on. (“Lots of naked men, lots of holes!” he divulged of the upcoming Jackass movie.) Best Cher Impersonation: Britney Spears in black-leather biker drag. Most Creative (or Maybe Not) Use of Electrical Tape: X’s marked the spot on David LaChapelle muse Amanda Lepore‘s basketball-scale ta-tas. Cutest Old People: Well-preserved fashion freak Candy Pratts Price rocking a fur vest with pal Calvin Klein. Rear-End Queen: J.Lo‘s chocolate leather McQueen suit with grommets running down the ass crack came close, but rapper Charli Baltimore takes the prize for rocking a Dior nameplate belt across her tail. The Judy Garland Achievement Award for Maintaining: Brittany Murphy, who freaked out journalists with her disturbingly pale skin and shock of yellow hair. “Oh! Why izz my tongue bloo?” she sputtered. “Izz Listereen! The sheets of mintz!” Oh, never mind . . .

Happy birthday ISA! The boutique just celebrated one year hawking high-end fashion at 88 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, where it has built a reputation by reflecting Williamsburg’s lo-fi style. There’s probably no other designer retailer in America that has a rack devoted to hoodies—from Anna Sui on down.

The sleek, toothpaste-white space—decorated with natty thriftshop furniture—screams Billyburg. Still, the store’s presence in a ‘hood where most people’s idea of fashion comes from the Salvation Army does beg the question of whether anyone actually buys the $100-plus pieces here. Owner Isa Saalabi, 25, maintains that nothing—save for a Margiela coat ($395)—crosses the $200 line.

“Everything here is something that I could see myself wearing,” says Saalabi, the former manager of Marc Jacobs‘s West Village men’s store. He also points out the large array of lower-end items—$25 Defend Brooklyn tees, $55 customized army pants, and $35 Chuck Taylors—that sit alongside the $168 Marc shirts and $130 G-Star jeans.

The shop has set up everything from exhibits by conceptual designers Kime Buzzelli, Seth Shapiro, and ORFI to a dancehall party and a Soviet concert. Next week, ISA will hang works by Fort Greene artists Rostarr and Ease. Even with the first-year milestone behind him, Saalabi admits he’s still learning as he goes along. “I’m about to take some retailing classes at FIT,” he says. “I just know that at the end of the month, it works out that we’re able to pay the rent and our suppliers.”

SPOTTED: A cosmorama of celebs ambushing APT’s weekly iPod open-turntable party after the VMA pre-show at Chelsea Piers on August 27. Wonder twins Andrew Andrew host the night, where you can try your hand at mixing. Big faces included MTV princess Kelly Osbourne, actresses Jennifer Esposito and Natalie Portman, superstar DJs Moby and John Digweed, one-hit wonders Dirty Vegas, and artist Damian Loeb, who spurred teeth-sucking during his turn when he whipped out his own iPod. Thank God his set turned out to be really bangin’! . . . All of the above, plus actress Shauna Sossamon, hipster goddess Karen O, OutKast’s Drey, all of the Hives, singer Lisa Shaw, comedian David Cross (never seen without a Foster’s), a heavily intoxicated Pink, and N’Dea Davenport pogoing to the Strokes‘ performance (in which Julian Casablancas puffed a joint passed to him from the audience) at the monster post-VMA Lowlife ball at Chelsea’s Milk Studios . . . Aimless Kids alum Leo Fitzpatrick almost sideswiped by a van while riding his bike during a downpour in the East Village.

MY BAD! Last week, this Fly Life reporter commented on the recent drama over teenybopper r&b trio 3LW. I wrote that recently ousted member Naturi Naughton was Latina. As some readers pointed out, the African American Naughton was rumored to have been dropped in part for her dark skin tone. By the time you’re reading this, the remaining members will have responded to the allegations on Monday night’s 106th & Park on BET. “They can say whatever they want,” Naturi told Fly Life at the VMAs. “The truth will prevail.”

Tricia Romano is vacationing and will return next week.