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Forget the runway - all eyes were on Beyoncé

She sings about being a survivor, an independent woman, a naughty girl and a beautiful liar, but for an early evening appearance at Ultra Supper Club recently, Beyoncé Knowles took the spotlight as a fashion designer.

Which might seem no different than any other famous person trading on their celebrity status in the apparel business. (Her boyfriend Jay-Z would know: His Rocawear line of jerseys and jeans can be found at malls across North America.)

Beyoncé, however, is so beautylicious that she actually became a liability to the runway presentation of Deréon, her urban chic collaboration with sister Solange. Had the models been sporting their birthday suits, few of the invite-only guests would have noticed. (For the record, fur-trimmed bomber jackets and navel-grazing hoodies definitely brought sexy back.)

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All eyes - and camera phones - were locked on her glowing presence. Orbiting around her was an entourage including mom Tina and dad Mathew. They held court in the raised banquette area surrounded by candles, clusters of flowers and bottles of bubbly.

The crowd happily embraced the VIP vibe, though only VIPs such as Jeanne Beker actually got to rub elbows with Ms. Irreplaceable. Remixes of Beyoncé's greatest hits made it impossible not to bust a move. Instead of classic cosmopolitans, guests nursed Hennessy-and-cranberry cocktails served in wide-barrelled cognac snifters.

In the rest of the room, the attitude was survival of the flashiest: a Gucci here, a Vuitton there, a bunch of Chanels and bling galore. And a table near the runway featured bite-size crab cakes with a lavish selection of garnishes and sauces - because even the hors d'oeuvres deserved to be well dressed.

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