The Zoolander 2 premiere in New York City was the most ridiculously good looking fashion fete ever!
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz and Will Ferrell were all in character as Derek Zoolander, Hansel, Valentina and Mugatu, respectively, to celebrate the U.S. debut of the highly-anticipated sequel on Tuesday at Lincoln Center, the former home of New York Fashion Week.
“Um, well that was Derek, that wasn’t me,” Stiller tells PEOPLE when asked if he channeled his on-screen alter ego. “When Derek is out there, it isn’t me and he channels something from higher, you know? It’s just like a pure inner beauty that he channels that I can’t take any responsibility for.”
Also in attendance was screenwriter Justin Theroux, who dressed as his character, the Evil DJ. He even took over for celebrity DJ Skrillex after he walked the red carpet-turned-faux runway! (Then he changed into his normal clothes and joined love Jennifer Aniston on the carpet.)
“We just dove right in and it was fantastic. We had such a great time with it,” Ferrell shares with PEOPLE.
While all eyes were on the all star cast, we spotted supermodels such as Gigi Hadid and Stella Maxwell strutting their stuff in spring looks by Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and Valentino as part of the show.
The hilarious and ingenious marketing stunts for Zoolander 2 first began almost a year ago when Derek and Hansel closed the spring 2016 Valentino show during Paris Fashion Week in March 2015.
Also featured in the Stiller-directed comedy are Kristen Wiig and Kyle Mooney as well as a slew of celebrity cameos from Justin Bieber, Anna Wintour, Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne.
Zoolander 2 hits theaters Feb. 12.
– Karen Mizoguchi with reporting by Jessica Fecteau