Sarah Jessica Parker makes a cameo at The Bay

Sarah Jessica Parker makes a cameo at The Bay

A dress from the Halston Heritage line

In the competition for celeb endorsements, The Bay scored a serious victory against Holts last night when Sarah Jessica Parker—gracious, gorgeous and, yes, incredibly tiny—glided into the Yonge and Queen store in her four-inch Ferragamo heels.

She was there as the newly minted chief creative officer of Halston, the American design house that made its name in the gaudy glam ’70s. The usual mass of Toronto fashion media and socialites (and a surprising appearance by Laureen Harper) huddled around her as she smiled warmly. With all the hubbub, it’s hard to say how long she stayed, but by our estimate, it was about 20 minutes, just long enough to pose for pictures in her minuscule purple tube dress (Halston, of course) and leave an overall impression of effortless effervescence.

The occasion: The Bay’s new Halston Heritage line. It’s the first collection designed for Halston by under the rule of SJP, and it’s inspired by the company’s disco origins, which means shiny polyester jumpsuits (Jessi Cruikshank successfully pulled off the royal blue version), floor-length wrap dresses with deep-plunging V necklines (because, hey, if you’ve got a bony sternum, flaunt it), and sequins galore. We’re all for updating lively vintage looks, so long as they are, in fact, updated. This collection, however, looks like it emerged from a Halston time capsule buried back when Donna Summer was topping the charts and John Travolta was cool.

Yet we’re guessing the clothing’s post-oughties appeal (or lack thereof) scarcely matters. It’s the megawatt influence of the woman behind the frightful disco fashions that counts, especially on a week when Holt Renfrew’s celeb-of-honour is Miss J. of America’s Next Top Model fame. Bonnie Brooks and her band of Bay execs must’ve been raising their Veuve last night and toasting with a good old-fashioned “Suck it, Holts!”