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Fashion Fete For Fugitive's Family

Denise and Ilona Rich at fashion show
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“I’m just here to support my daughter. I'm so proud of Ilona," Denise Rich explained while surrounded by reporters this week at her daughter's fashion/art presentation.

Many celebrities attended, including the Hilton heiresses, sisters Nikki and Paris, who also took part in the runway show.

But the media was there to get comments from Denise, wife of fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose pardon by President Clinton has set off a firestorm in Washington.

But Mrs. Rich, whose campaign contributions now are under scrutiny, wasn't biting. She wanted to talk about Ilona and fashion.


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Paris (left) and Nikki Hilton, are friends of the Rich family.

Thirty-three-year-old Ilona Rich hosted her first fashion presentation, entitled, “Size 6”, Wednesday night at the Gracie Mansion Gallery in New York. Her artwork, displayed throughout the gallery, complemented the runway show.

Using a combination of friends and professional models, the designer displayed a line of garments that included blue jeans, ball gowns, hoop skirts, ruffled shirts, T-shirts and ski jackets, all decorated with Ilona Rich’s trademark wacky characters.

“I came up with these different characters a long time ago. Now I have worked them into my designs,” Rich said.

Nikki and Paris Hilton showed no signs of shyness as they self-confidently paraded down the runway in their stiletto heels.

Other models sporting oversized plastic wigs in neon colors showed off baby-doll dresses for a look that could best be described as “Judy Jetson meets Little Bo Peep.” Though the wigs made the collection look more like fantasy fashion, the clothes themselves are eminently wearable.


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A model strikes a pose wearing an "Ilona wig" next to one of Rich's childlike characters.

Ilona described her “Size 6” collection as, “colorful, fun, and full of life… something that can be worn by everyone.”

It’s so amazing and creative… so magic fairy,” Drew Barrymore’s mother, Jade, told Ilona backstage after the show.

The show will be at the Gracie Mansion Gallery until April 28. Ilona's designs will soon be available in upscale departmnt stores, such as Barneys and Henri Bendel.

Written By ZOY AVGERINOS