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A sweet and sour party at Fashion Week

Model Cindy Crawford attends the JCPenney launch party

Model Cindy Crawford attends the JCPenney launch party for Cindy Crawford Style at Soho House on September 9, 2009 in New York City. Credit: Getty/Theo Wargo

Not chocolate bars. Not Hershey Kisses. The top-selling sweet of the recession, according to candy store owner Dylan Lauren?

Sour watermelon rinds.

"They're nostalgic, they're colorful - and they're gummy," said Lauren, who has a job you'd love. She runs Dylan's Candy Bar, a favorite stop on the Upper East Side.

Lauren, whose dad is designer Ralph Lauren, was sweet-talking guests at Saks' midtown flagship, where designers and the celebrities who love them arrived for a dinner to launch the lush new designer digs on the third floor.

The 61,000-square-foot space was remodeled during a yearlong renovation.

Host Charlize Theron welcomed Francisco Costa, Oscar de la Renta and Zac Posen, plus Anna Wintour, who fielded a few questions about the fall fashion documentary "The September Issue," and absolutely none about the cost-cutting firm supposedly roaming the halls at Condé Nast the last few weeks.

"We're just working as hard as we can and we're happy that people like the film," the Vogue editor said, arriving at the store.

While it was Fashion Week for most - designer presentations begin in the tents Thursday, with Max Azria one of the early crowd-pleasers - it was more like Mother's Day for Cindy Crawford, who celebrated the launch of her new JC Penney home line, Cindy Crawford Style, with a soiree at SoHo House.

The model kept her mother, Jenny Crawford-Moluf, close by her side, and talked mostly about her kids: "I'm here for Fashion Night Out, but then I'm going home. I missed my kids' first day of school today," Crawford said.

The model, in a leopard-print dress by Bluemarine, said she drew inspiration for the line of home accents from pal Michael Smith, who this year became White House decorator. Obama is POTUS, and "I call Michael DOTUS" - "decorator of the United States."

Back downtown, at 54 Crosby, a three-floor town house, designer Anna Sui launched her "Gossip Girl"-inspired collection for Target.

Admiring the Serena van der Woodsen-like garb were a quartet with firsthand experience in the matter, "Gossip Girl" actors Blake Lively, Penn Badgely, Jessica Szohr and Michelle Trachtenberg.

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