NEW YORK -- In a sleek underground bar at the Bryant Park Hotel, women with blown-out hair and high heels are gathered on low leather chairs waiting for the fashion show to begin. But these models are barely four feet tall.
Cicciabella, debuting a new line of kids cowboy boots/slippers, held the 2012 Cowgirl Riders Debutante fashion show on Thursday, hosted by Real Housewife of New York Kelly Bensimon and 6-year-old star Eden Wood, of "Toddlers and Tiaras," a TLC show that takes viewers into the world of toddler beauty pageants.
The stage, set with swathes of Navajo-inspired flannels, thick ropes and a dingy wagon wheel, is surrounded by men and women who bend in close with cameras to get a snap of these seven "high fashion toddlers" as the release calls them.
Bensimon, tan and regal in a floor-length white dress, comes on to praise the shoes -- "the cutest Uggs on the planet!" -- and the models -- "seven gorgeous little ones."
"Are you girls ready?" she yells backstage.
"Yeaahhhh," comes a chorus of high, small voices.
"Just give me one yee-hah!" she says.
"Yeeee-hhahhh," they scream back.
Glitter catches the light behind the curtain before the bass starts thumping. Out strides little Miss Eden Wood, clad in a ruffled sparkly top that stops six inches above her matching sparkly shorts, with a tiny denim jacket to finish the ensemble. The song: "S.I.M.P," or "Squirrels In My Pants," a rap from the children's show "Phineas and Ferb."
As the music amps up, she flings off the jacket and starts to dance, shaking her finger across her mouth with a "no-no" swish, and twisting low to the ground, revealing two stuffed animals in her back pockets.
"I need some of those dance steps," Bensimon says as Wood steps off. Now, the show begins. The rest of the girls are dressed more demurely, in knee length flouncy skirts and pastel leggings, sporting colorful cowboy hats.
"You look like a Ralph Lauren model... if you don't get the campaign when you're fifteen, I don't know who will," Bensimon tells one.
The music ranges all the way from Taylor Swift to Justin Bieber, and while some of the girls have their dance routines down, others seem less than willing to sashay. One girl stares intently at the lasso she's twirling as she walks the runway. Another pair bounce up and down, to no particular rhythm. And one little model stands in place doing a yoga prayer motion repeatedly, getting Bensimon on stage to ask, "Can I see you move?" She doesn't.
"All these girls are so gorgeous," Bensimon notes. "I'm feeling really old."
Wood has a second turn on the stage, this time in a black tutu and lace tights -- sort of a retro Madonna look, sized down to a six-year-old frame. The music fits the mood. Wood moves in a perfectly choreographed routine to MC Hammer, Michael Jackson and Vanilla Ice, moonwalking confidently in her fleecy cowboy shoes.
"Is it weird that I want that tutu?" Bensimon asks. "These girls are soooo pretty"
Finally, a few more girls take the stage, before Wood comes on for her final number, a performance of her original single, "Cutie Patootie," in which she thanks Shirley Temple for "paving the way."
All seven toddlers get on stage and bounce around while the cameras flash manically in their smiling faces. It's high fashion for the naptime set.
Watch part of Eden's routine at the show below:
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