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The Wait Is Over

Fêting Isabel Marant's New Store

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When Paris-based designer Isabel Marant's obsessed-over New York boutique finally opened at 2 p.m. last Friday, a line of eager shoppers stretched down the block. Not long after, the scene inside was so intense, "it was as if someone had stood on the corner and shouted, 'Everything's free inside!' " one eyewitness remarked. As for the guests at last night's Kenmare dinner party celebrating the opening? If they hadn't participated in the shopping madness over the weekend, it was only because their closets are already stuffed with Marant's clothes.

Stylist Samira Nasr claims to have at least 20 of the designer's T-shirts and almost as many of her pants. Actress Amanda Peet said, "Tina [Chai] comes back from Paris with dresses for me and my mom. I tell her, 'Get whatever you want and I'll write you a check.' " Chai, a popular stylist, joked, "They see me at the store, and they say, 'Oh, here comes the lady who spends a lot of money.' " Model Kasia Struss, who already owns about five or six things, told us, "I wanted to buy the whole Fall show. You know it's a good show when you want everything." And when we asked Teen Vogue's Gloria Baume about her Marant collection, she said, "I'd say about a dozen, but it's not how many I have now; it's how many I'm going to have now that the store is open."

Marant herself is thrilled about the opening in general and one element in particular. "This afternoon we saw this really gorgeous tall guy in my trousers," she noted. "Quite a lot of guys wear my clothes in Paris, but I was surprised to see it here." After dinner she was presented with a giant cake covered in candles, and everyone sang Happy Birthday. "Thank you so much," she said. "I'm going to say something stupid now. I love you, America."

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