2009 April 3

Franciscans! Italoians! Carriganians!

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Francisco Costa and Leighton Meester in Calvin Klein Francisco Costa and Leighton Meester in Calvin Klein
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(NEW YORK) "We cannot have too much fun, because we all have a corporate meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m.!" said Kevin Carrigan, brandishing a glass of champagne as Italo Zucchelli nodded sheepishly in agreement. The ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein creative director and Calvin Klein Collection men's creative director, respectively, were on hand at the brand's Madison Avenue flagship at a pre-party for the 2009 Parsons Fashion Benefit. The store was flooded with students, chicsters and industry heavyweights, all out to congratulate Francisco Costa and Tom Murry, who will be honored at the benefit on April 29.

"Can you believe these clothes?" said Parson's dean of fashion Simon Collins, gesturing to the string of mannequins featuring student designs. "The level of material and sophistication is extremely impressive. That kind of creativity motivates our industry. And the best part is that these designs were judged by their peers as the very best!"

"I love how well they’ve been made--It’s stunning!" seconded Costa. "When I was a student, my garments were so badly made, I remember. Some things here are just so precise. I can see an evolution of the craft, which is very important. The freshness is what I love about these young collections. Talking to the students tonight, every single one of them--there’s such a genuine and inspiring light approach."

The students like Kristina Mkrtumova, Sun Kyung Lee, Robert Fitzsimmons, Jenny Chung, Nanae Takata, Lee Anderson, Sarah Lee, Virginia Burris, Dylan Kawahara, Jonathan Cohen, Yoo-Sook Shin, Kirsten Geiger were awestruck by the well-dressed guests--especially Leighton Meester. "I met Francisco when we did a photo shoot together for Teen Vogue," explained the Gossip girl. "He’s so humble and sweet. Sometimes, I think about going to fashion school, but I love other designers' work so much that it would be hard for me to compare. But I might be open to it--or maybe collaborating with someone!"

Leighton was not the only Calvin Klein Collection-clad beauty. "I just love these clothes--and not only because they were nice enough to dress me!" said Poppy Delevigne, who chatted with fellow mannequins Kasia Struss, Dree Hemingway, Alana Zimmer, and Behati Prinsloo. Patrick McMullan was not wearing the brand of the evening, but as Malcolm Carfrae pointed out, his neon blue shirt beautifully complimented his tan. "I just got back from Palm Beach," the photographer confessed. "And I'm feeling fantastic!"

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