April 28, 1997 12:00 PM

TRADITIONALLY AT NEW YORK CITY’S BIANNUAL FASH-ion Week, the beau monde follows a few unwritten rules: Be late, wear black and always act blasé. But with a surplus of celebs at the just-wrapped fall collections—a showcase for Seventh Avenue’s biggest designers—ennui gave way to enthusiasm. Courtney Love watched the runway with Will Smith at Versus; Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins applauded Todd Oldham; and Daisy Fuentes and Jennifer Tilly sat front and center at Jill Stuart. “This is so fun!” said Moesha’s Brandy at the BCBG show. “I love how all the cameras come around and the attention.” Michael Chiklis, star of The Commish, was equally in awe at Nicole Miller. “My eyes are falling out of my head,” he said. “What can be bad about this? Beautiful women in beautiful clothes and great music.”

To be sure, designers dabbled in the requisite theatrics—models at Betsey Johnson were outfitted in Viking helmets, while Oldham opted for Arabian prints. But store buyers and the fashion press noted the real trends for fall: a hike in hemlines, the color gray and anything ’80s (yep, shoulder pads are back). Still, the hubbub wasn’t for everyone. “I’m fashioned out,” joked Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha at Marc Jacobs. “And this is my first show of the week.”

JANICE MIN

ANTHONY DUIGNAN-CABRERA in New York City

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