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Star Jones is the draw during the Dress for Success Worldwide Gala and a gaggle of reporters gather to accost her with questions about her marriage. She makes us wait until 45 minutes after the event begins.

In the meantime, Tommy Hilfiger slides through with his date, fiancée Dee Ocleppo, who is carrying a purse that looks exactly like a cherry fruit roll-up. “I thought I needed a pop of red because I’m all blue-and-white, so I had to have the red, white and blue,” she tells me.

Former Apprentice judge Carolyn Kepcher tells me how she dresses for success in the workplace.

“Everything really has to be appropriate,” the mother of two tells me. “When you wake up, you put your clothes on and you look at yourself in the mirror, and you say, ‘I don’t know if that’s quite right,’ chances are it probably is not right.”

What are her office fashion don’ts? “Too tight clothes, too much cleavage, bright wildflower colors, stilettos — maybe not.”

Semi-Homemade Cooking star Sandra Lee is an event fixture. What does she look forward to enjoying at these galas that she can’t get anywhere else? “Open bar. Am I allowed to say that?” she laughs.

The xylophone dings as Diddy’s mom Janice Combs, stylist Philip Bloch and philanthropist Denise Rich take their last sips of Stirrings simple pomegranate martinis and head into the gala.

We’re getting antsy for Star. Word arrives that she’s not doing interviews, but she is a huge deal so we stick around for a shout-out.

Here comes drama. It’s Star Jones! At long last she breezes through as another reporter directs her “right this way” before asking her the marriage question. “No, no, no, get away from me,” she says. Talk about intensity! Ah, “who designed your dress?” I ask as she is running away. Star smiles and says, “Alice and Olivia.”

 

At least Star puts herself out there for a worthy cause. Dress for Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

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