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It's Fashion Week in New York, when armies of skeletal, bored-looking (but secretly loving every minute!) models clomp down runways in every available large, indoor space in Manhattan not already occupied by a class of middle-school math students. With so many companies showing so many lines, it would seem almost impossible to have your young fashion house's designs land on the backs of Hollywood's red carpet elite. That is, unless your company is called Marchesa and you're screwing Harvey Weinstein:

Marchesa's breathtaking success has the fashion world talking and rolling its eyes too. Just how much of that success, observers wonder, is due to the Harvey Factor? Harvey is Harvey Weinstein, the 53-year-old Hollywood mogul and boyfriend of [Marchesa Designer Georgina] Chapman. And the boss of many of those actresses that Chapman and Craig have dressed.

The romantic coupling is just over a year old but continues to fascinate Hollywood watchers. Weinstein, recently divorced, is known for being tough, foul-mouthed and controlling. Chapman is a high-energy, slightly freckled wraith with gravity-defying cheekbones and flowing dark hair and light eyes. [...]

Competitors complain that Marchesa dresses are worn on the red carpet because the stars and their agents, managers and lawyers need to please the powerful Weinstein, who, along with his brother, has just started his own film company. Say the word "Marchesa" and publicists groan. The New York Post's Page Six gossip column even sniped that a lunch between Chapman, Weinstein and Vogue's Anna Wintour helped smooth the way for a full-page feature in the magazine.

For Weinstein's pals like Ren e Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, and, most recently, Felicity Huffman at the Golden Globes, agreeing to wear a Marchesa gown probably seems like an easy favor to a guy who has probably thrown dozens of much larger favors their way. But Chapman should be prepared to see her good fortune suddenly reversed should the love affair fall apart, and she is no longer called on to satisfy Weinstein's kinky, "Let's pretend I'm the assistant who dropped a call on the phone sheet, and you're the tantrum-throwing studio boss who hurls a Hollywood Creative Directory at my head" role-playing fantasies.