Strike got ya down? Try a shopping trip in NYC!


Wanna cure the WGA strike blues?

Go shopping!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for Fall 2008 collections will kick off Friday in New York with Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price, the stars of NBC's new series "Lipstick Jungle."

The trio -- and the show's creator, Candace ("Sex and the City") Bushnell --  will be all fashionista-ed up for a Friday morning photo op outside the Bryant Park tents to kick off the collections.

The shows run Feb. 1-8, and scads of stars who've been sitting home, twiddling their thumbs or doing needlepoint, are expected to show up for top designers including Badgley Mischka, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenberg, Max Azria, Michael Kors, Nicole Miller and Zac Posen.

Fashion industry insiders predict a bigger-than-ever storm of famous front-row faces, mostly because of the writers strike. But it's not all about being bored and going shopping.

Seems actresses also pick a paycheck to attend fashion shows. Just like Paris Hilton gets paid to go to parties! And if it's not outright moolah, the compensation can be free clothes, a free hotel room, probably even a free first-class plane ticket. Or maybe a lucrative spokesmodel contract?

According to WWD: "One of the ways for celebs to make money right now is to forge relationships with fashion houses while this is going on," said Kelly Cutrone, owner of public relations firm People's Revolution, noting that celebrities can make money through direct endorsements or in "a more subtle way -- being procured to sit in the front row."

Click HERE to read WWD's inside-the-racks report.

But don't expect Oscar-nominated A-listers -- Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Keira Knightley or even newcomer Ellen Page -- to be at the New York collections.

Who will come? Keep reading!

Photo: Hee hee! What a deal. We get paid to go to fashion shows! We love our lives!
Maggie Gyllenhaal,  Hilary Swank and Demi Moore at the Miss Sixty show last fall in New York.