It’s our big launch party for SCENE and Desmond’s, the chic spot on the Upper East Side that feels part Brit private club, part downtown lounge, is packed with PYTs like Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Dani Stahl, June Ambrose, David Lipke, Charlotte Ronson, Ali Wise, Euan and Lucy Sykes Rellie, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Anh Duong, Page Six’s Emily Smith and Erika Bearman(aka the prolific and much-followed Tweeter, “OscarPRGirl”) to name just a few.
Hot on the heels of the Oscars, the bon mots are all about the best-dressed, and really, this crew is a little better equipped to judge the sartorial prowess of Hollywood stars than say, Giuliana Rancic. Stacy Keibler‘s gold Marchesa? “A little too Oscar,” observes Bearman, and she wasn’t referring to her own boss, Mr. Oscar de la Renta.
Rellie, who may possibly tweet just as much as Bearman, focuses on Angelina Jolie‘s now notorious appendage: “She overdid the split pose. Whoever told her to show some leg made a mistake.” Saffir, the founder of the Cinema Society, may just know more about movies than anyone on the planet and admits he didn’t get the Jolie memo on Twitter. “I don’t do that,” he claims, referring to social media. “No Facebook, no Twitter,” which, while understandable given all the insider gossip he’s privy to, is a big #shame for the insatiable social media masses.
Speaking of hashtags, there were quite a few at the GANT Rugger Fall 2012 presentation at the Fat Radish (one of the most popular restaurants, as farm-to-table, organic food doesn’t have calories, right?). Most of the hashtags and instagram uploads refer to the quality of male models that create the mise en scène all around the LES hotspot. After glancing at a couple of #smokeshows—and the craftsmanship of GANT Rugger designer Christopher Bastin‘s newest collection—it is time for some celery root potpie and a catch-up with shutterbug Douglas Friedman. He was also a fan of the man-candy on display: “All of the models’ backsides look fantastic. And the front sides were even better.” And the clothes? “We’ll chalk it up to 12 years at an all boys Catholic school…preppy is in my blood.” On Friedman’s iPhone is his latest shoot, an ad campaign for the high-end Canadian department store Simons. The twist? Friedman himself plays photographer and model. So does he consider himself a veritable Zoolander now? “It was a rather traumatic experience; to answer your question, no, I don’t.”
There are zero models (with the exception of Tori Praver) at the opening of Josephine Meckseper‘s Manhattan Oil Project at the Last Lot Project space, but the Art Production Fund-presented public installation is definitely photo shoot-worthy. The two massive kinetic sculptures, inspired by, yes, oil pumps, attract a who’s who of the young art elite—think Yvonne Force Villareal, Casey Fremont Crowe, Rachel Feinstein, John Currin and Bill Powers with his lovely lady Cynthia Rowley. Because nothing gets the cerebral juices flowing like a sugar high, publicist Bettina Prentice hires a truck from The Sweetery NYC and has it parked outside the exhibition. Clever girl. “We are all mobbing the truck for their Belgian hot chocolate and hot apple cider, then mobbing the bar at the nearby pub for whiskey, vodka, hot toddies—anything STRONG to shake off the cold,” she explains. It’s surprising how quickly those toddies sneak up on you, but with Prentice on the project: “Everyone was saying this was the most successful piece of public art they’ve ever seen.” Pour me a double with that sculpture.
Two days later, it’s champagne time, though people are flocking not to see art but the latest H&M collaboration, this time with Marni. Which, in retrospect, should be some sort of museum installation documenting the lengths to which shopaholics will go to score a $99 sweater. Interior decorator Natalie Obradovich arrives at the private shopping event just 10 minutes past the start time to racks and racks of…nothing. The scene is straight out of a Black Friday sale at Best Buy: Vogue’s Meredith Melling Burke departs empty-handed, standing dazed by the empty shoe shelves, while Leandra Medine (“the Man Repeller” blogger) battles the frenzied crowd clutching coveted beaded necklaces. “Clearly, they’re doing something right,” Obradovich shouts over the blasting Rihanna and shrieks of bloggers looking for a size seven sandal. The Marni madness causes no casualties.
Next up: the screening of Bully hosted by the Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel, while no less emotional than the Marni pre-sale, is definitely a bit more weighty. From director Lee Hirsch and producer Harvey Weinstein, the film is a moving, character-driven documentary that explores the epidemic of bullying through the harrowing perspectives of five kids and families. Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa host the premiere and speak on the importance of showing this movie at schools. “Everyone should see Bully,” Cooper urges. The audience includes Russell Simmons, Rachel Roy, Prabal Gurung and André Leon Talley—there is nary a dry eye in the house.