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Julia Fox, Post Kanye West Breakup, Opens NYFW Show

NEW YORK (AP) — Julia Fox, fresh from her breakup with the artist formerly known as Kanye West, opened LaQuan Smith’s New York Fashion Week show in black as the designer honored his beloved late mentor, André Leon Talley, with a moment of silence Monday night inside a century-old private club.

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His guests scattered around rooms at the Down Town Association, among the city’s oldest private clubs, Smith put out a refined yet still signature sexy collection full of sparkle in gold, blue and red, and tiny minis with carved out cutouts in all the right places.

Fox walks the runway during LaQuan Smith NYFW rehearsal at 60 Pine Street on Feb. 14 in NYC.
Fernanda Calfat via Getty Images

After the show, Fox told The Associated Press of her split with Ye: “I love Kanye. We’re still very good friends and I wish him nothing but the best.”

The breakup with Fox after six weeks of dating came as Ye has ranted on social media about his estranged wife, Kim Kardashian, and new beau Pete Davidson.

On Sunday night, Valentine’s Day, he posted a truckload of red roses he had delivered to the Hidden Hills, California, mansion where Kim lives with their four children. It’s a home they once shared.

To open Smith’s show, Fox wore a high-neck, long-sleeve black evening dress with cutouts at the midriff, chest and back that hugged her body at the 163-year-old club in the Financial District.

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Like other clubs of the times, the Down Town Association — filled with marble and deep-stained wood — was once male only but began admitting women in 1985. Its walls remain adorned with painted portraits of white men.

A model walks the runway during LaQuan Smith NYFW show.
A model walks the runway during LaQuan Smith NYFW show.
Fernanda Calfat via Getty Images

Smith, a rare Black designer to establish himself at New York Fashion Week, remains a go-to for the young and party happy. He told the AP in a backstage interview that he chose the club because he was looking for a change in mood after taking over the observation deck of the Empire State Building last September for his fashion week show.

“I’m excited about this space,” he said. “I wanted to do something that felt sort of romantic in a way. This show and this season is really about the revival of New York City, celebrating New York designers, celebrating American designers.”

The women who buy his clothes, Smith said, are “all about being the center of attention.” They won’t be disappointed with his bold use of color and sequins, or his sparkly leotards worn with low-slung pants, back thong out. But this season, it wasn’t just about baring skin.

Designer LaQuan Smith prepares a model backstage for his show.
Designer LaQuan Smith prepares a model backstage for his show.
Astrid Stawiarz via Getty Images

Smith put out some classics in camel coats and day dresses trimmed in fur worthy of the ladies who lunch rather than the party ’til dawn set.

One coat came in luscious moss green leather with a soft cozy lapel and lining. He put the Smith twist on the ensemble by showing it over a tiny leo, his model in dark shades with a statement necklace as a finish.

His latest collection remained mostly about the va-va-voom upon which Smith has built his reputation.

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