But even with someone as sunny as Michael Kors, a success story with his recent IPO and celebrity as a "Project Runway" judge, or a creature of California cool like Johnstone Hartig of Libertine, a label that retools vintage designer pieces, frantic backstage moments are not uncommon. Kors' crew on Wednesday morning managed a long line of interviews and well-wishers. There was no way he could peek out at the crowd before his show without causing a frenzy. And Hartig spent the moments before his first model stepped out switching shoes and giving last-minute instructions, adjusting a catwalker's hat and mussing up another's hair; he seemed to have nervous energy to burn.
De la Renta, in contrast, did nothing more than a little pacing before settling into his stool for the show. He seemed to have no second thoughts. He was just excited to get it over with while simultaneously savoring it. He still loves to see it all come together when the models line up, put their smiles on and step out into the spotlights.
"Tomorrow I start the new collection. Really, it started yesterday when I had to decide the colors of next season," de la Renta said. "And then this is a memory. I won't remember this collection. You can ask me in a few days about the blue dress and I'll ask you, 'What blue dress?'"
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