Brian M. Raftery
February 23, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

If the Manhattan fashion show for Sean ”Puffy” Combs‘ Sean John clothing line was any indication, the rapper may be styling a racy defense in his gun-possession and bribery trial. Combs’ Feb. 10 show — dedicated to maybe-squeeze Jennifer Lopez, whose photo was projected on a giant screen while she hosted Saturday Night Live across town — was a paean to civil rights (and fur, which has peeved PETA).

Lawyer Johnnie Cochran sat near the runway, a verse from poet Maya Angelou was shown (”You may trod me in the very dust, but still like dust I’ll rise”), and a white model had Black Power scrawled on his bare chest. The event ended with Elton John‘s ”I’m Still Standing.” (Puffy’s new theme song?) Busta Rhymes was overheard backstage telling Combs that the DA’s case against P. Diddy was ”bulls—.” The defense plans to mount its case in late February. It remains unclear when, or if, J. Lo will take the stand.

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