Though the two loud thuds alarmed many at the Ann Taylor Fall 2011 preview party, Lisa Axelson, the company's senior vice president of design, shrugged. "It's a mannequin tragedy," she said, noting the wayward arms with broken-off fingers on the floor. "It's a sign of good luck. We have a mannequin tragedy at every event."
She continued, "It's true. At one event, at the end after everybody left, we had all the mannequins lined up and they fell in a domino effect. It was the most spectacular, horrifying yet brilliant thing I'd ever seen." She added, "They all went down and I said, OK, it's going to be a good season," which ended up being the case.
On the other side of the party, held at Beauty & Essex on New York's Lower East Side, was a "Coyote Ugly" reunion of sorts between actresses Maria Bello and Bridget Moynahan.
"It's the first time we've seen each other in about a year," Moynahan told StyleList. "You do a movie and then everyone's off doing another and then another. She's shooting a pilot here (a remake of the British series 'Prime Suspects') and I have a TV show on the air called 'Blue Bloods,' on Friday nights, that films here."
Even though Bello grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, an area of hard-core Ann Taylor fans, she's a recent convert to the brand. "I have never worn Ann Taylor," she told StyleList. "Someone sent me a look book, and I couldn't believe it. I was stunned. I called and said, I like your clothes."
Moynahan is a fan of everything but the peep-toe shoes: "I have a really funky second toe -- I almost never wear open-toed shoes because I broke it playing soccer and now it's crooked." She added, "You know the peekaboo shoes? I avoid those because it slithers out. It's brutal."
But is it coyote ugly?