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RIP Zelda Kaplan

Zelda KaplanLast night, the 95-year-old socialite Zelda Kaplan died in the front row of Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2012 runway show in Lincoln Center.

Zelda had been a fixure of the New York nightlife scene and fashion world since the 60s. While most of her peers were settling in their children's homes or migrating to retirement communities, the socialite continued to go out (and stay out! sometimes until three, four, five in the morning) several nights a week. 

In 2006, the style icon told the Village Voice, "I think I inspire [people] because I am out. I hope I inspire people to not be afraid of being old—really old. And not to feel empty about life, because life is worth living. Don't you think?"

Zelda's unexpected death is a major loss for the NYC fashion community, and her fellow show guests were shocked and dismayed by her unexpected passing.

"I was sitting right next to her," said Ruth Finley, the woman behind Fashion Calendar. "She flopped over in my lap. The show was just starting. I thought she fainted."

Richie Rich said in a statement to the New York Post: “Passing away in the front row was how it was meant to be. Zelda loves fashion, so she died for fashion. She would have wanted to go out in style. Zelda always said, ‘Live, live, live and have fun’…I hope the angels are holding her right now.”

Image via Izzy/