New York Socialite Dies in Front Row at Fashion Week

Zelda Kaplan collapses at Joanna Mastroianni show

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2012 8:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Zelda Kaplan, a style icon and fashion connoisseur who, it has been said, could "out-party even Paris Hilton," collapsed in the front row of the Joanna Mastroianni Fashion Week show yesterday and was later pronounced dead. The 95-year-old "slumped forward," witnesses say, and was carried out of the room. Paramedics administered CPR and Kaplan was taken to the hospital, but could not be revived. "Zelda passed away, right there, in the front row," one attendee tells the New York Post. "Security carried her out, but the show just carried on. Everybody is distraught."

The socialite and club mainstay remained a fixture in the world of parties and fashion right up until her death, and was photographed at an XL opening last month alongside Lance Bass and others. "Passing away in the front row was how it was meant to be," says her friend Richie Rich. "Zelda loves fashion, so she died for fashion. She would have wanted to go out in style." A statement released by her friends notes that Kaplan died of natural causes.

Zelda Kaplan, 95, right, sits with Fashion Calendar publisher Ruth Finley, as they wait for the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2012 fashion show to begin, during Fashion Week, Feb. 15, 2012,  in New York.
Zelda Kaplan, 95, right, sits with Fashion Calendar publisher Ruth Finley, as they wait for the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2012 fashion show to begin, during Fashion Week, Feb. 15, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Andrea Hanks)
Zelda Kaplan, 95, waits for the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2012 fashion show to begin, during Fashion Week, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012,  in New York.
Zelda Kaplan, 95, waits for the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2012 fashion show to begin, during Fashion Week, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Andrea Hanks)
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