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New York Fashion Week: The Kardashians -- Kim, Khloe and Kourtney -- unveil their Bebe line

February 16, 2010 |  9:02 pm

The latest leveraging of the Kardashian sister synergy hit the runway in Manhattan on Tuesday, as the Bebe-Kardashian line debuted at the Style 360 subset of New York Fashion Week. Since this was five long blocks across town from the Bryant Park tents -- the center of the New York Fashion Week universe --the highest wattage celebrity attendee seemed to be the increasingly Amazonian-looking Jenni "J-Woww" Farley of "Jersey Shore" fame, who breezed into the room on glittery legs, wearing a turquoise Ed Hardy T-shirt dress and batting eyelashes the size of small butterflies, causing a Pamplona-like running of the paparazzi.

That was until reigning reality TV queen Kim Kardashian herself stepped in front of a phalanx of runway photographers, clad in a hooded, heather gray stretch jersey dress and black leatherette corset that cinched her figure into nearly Jessica Rabbit-like relief.

The actual show didn't start for another 10 minutes, but Kardashian had arrived in what the crowd would shortly find out was look number two No. 2 from the new collection -- which was designed by the Bebe brand's in-house team with input from sisters and reality show costars Kim, Khloe and Kourtney -- and the message was unmistakable: "Yeah, we'd wear this stuff."

Kim kardashian Judging by the constellation of flashbulbs that ensued when Kim Kardashian was en route to her front row seat, Kim Kardashian's the photo-op was most welcome, but it turned out to be wholly unnecessary to get the point across. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Kardashian troika -- from their E! series "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," courtside appearances at Lakers games (Khloe recently wed Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom) or the pages of such celebrity-centric glossies like as "People" or "US Weekly" — could have seen their personal style reflected in the 25 looks that came down the catwalk.

There was plenty of form-fitting stretch jersey, a bumper crop of one-shouldered dresses and lots of leg, laid bare in rompers and short dresses or sheathed in skinny jeans. Sexy? Yes, but certainly not in a "You're not leaving the house like that, young lady!" sort of way. Sorry, Kardashian bashers, these clothes were kind of cute.

"Yes, the one-shouldered dress, that's very me," Kim Kardashian said backstage after the show. "The baggier blazers and rompers are very Kourtney, because she's more bohemian, and this," she said pointing to the dress she was wearing, "is one Khloe helped design. She really wanted a hoodie and she wanted something that was wearable and stretchy."

Kardashian said there was no specific inspiration for the inaugural collection beyond the sisters themselves.

"No, there's no particular theme," she said. "We wanted our first season to just represent us, and what we like to wear. Me and Kourtney and Khloe all have different styles, but there are lots of one-piece dresses -- it's easiest when you're putting an outfit together --and we wanted fabrics that were stretchy because we all have different body types and wanted something that would fit all of us."

At the launch of most celebrity-affiliated clothing lines, the star spends the duration of the runway show backstage, giving the impression of being hard at work, tending to every last detail up until the final bow, so it was also worth noting that Kardashian chose to take it all in from a front row seat instead of watching from the wings.

When asked why she chose to sit in the front of the house, her first response was that she had wanted to see how the models were walking and how the clothes moved on them. When pressed further, she admitted there was more meaning to be gleaned from it.

"You didn't want to pretend you were backstage doing all of this yourself?" she was asked.

"Exactly," she replied with a smile, in what may turn out to be the most refreshingly real and candid moment in the latest surreal chapter of the reality TV star's life.

-- Adam Tschorn in New York


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The Kardashians’ love of stretch jersey, one-shouldered dresses and lots of leg is reflected in the collection, shown on top. At left, Kim sports one of the outfits. Top left photo credit: Jason de Crow / Associated Press. Top right photo credit: Henry S. Dziekan III / Getty Images. Bottom photo credit: Jason de Crow / Associated Press