Books for ALL ages; and a premiere in the mix.
Jim Lebenthal's Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman
Deborah Schoeneman's 4% Famous
Plum Sykes' The Debutante Divorcée

Partying on .... Da books da books! Write dem books, read dem books! Book parties are one of the staples of New York social life. They bring together a diverse group – reporters, columnists, television reporters, editors, publishers, agents, public relations people, photographers, movie stars, tycoons, bankers, socialites, models, ex-cons, hookers, painters, plasterers, decorators, politicians and anything else you can think of. It depends on the book party of course. But no matter what anyone tells you about the book business, they’re still publishing, and lots of ‘em. And in the past week or so, New York’s had more than you can shake a stick at.

For example, last Friday night, that bright and beautiful couple (and nice too!) Boykin Curry and Celerie Kemble held a party at their Central Park South penthouse overlooking – what else, the Park! for New York Magazine, New York Post, New Observer reporter Deborah Schoeneman and her first novel 4% Famous. I haven’t read it yet but Deborah writes about New York personalities when she’s covering the beat for the above-mentioned. And she has a very droll sense of humor and a sharp eye. So ... I think everybody she runs into practically wants to be famous .... So, help yourself to the dish of Noo Yawk that Ms. Schoeneman serves up.

Christina Murphy and Ted Geary
Deborah Schoeneman, Jonathan Cramer, and Louis Dubin
Kim Cutler and Alicia Goldstein
Noreena Hertz
Darron Murphy
Boykin Curry and Celerie Kemble
Nick Denton
Simon Hammerstein
Alistair Clarke, Poppy Clarke, and Blair Voltz Clarke
Celerie Kemble, Deborah Schoeneman, and Anne Maffei
Christina Murphy and Moby
Dan Harris and Fernanda Niven
Deborah Schoeneman and Jill Kargman
Deborah Schoeneman and Sandy Schoeneman
Ted Roosevelt and Serena Torrey
Vivienne and Don Resnicoff

Then there’s Plum Sykes’ new The Debutante Divorcee (Miramax) following her smash hit Bergdorf Blondes. Ms. Sykes, if you didn’t know (and if you didn’t know, you’ve been living under a rock – or you don’t care), is one of two aristocratic British sisters who came to New York to make their (fame and) fortune. And marry. The other sister is Lucy Sykes who is married to businessman Euan Rellie and has a very popular line of baby clothes (Baby Sykes). The English girls know how to tap the American market, for hype anyway. It’s their sharp eye (or sharp accents), but they pick up on the gist of things in New York faster than a lot of New Yorkers do.

Plum Sykes has pretty much made it, as they say, for she not only wrote one best selling novel but snagged a rich husband (and a British one to boot) afterwards. At this point, she might title her memoir (if she were to write one) Happily Ever After. Although, you know, it’s never enough with these kids. In the meantime, she’s busy plugging The Debutante Divorcee.

There have been book parties and book parties for her. The beautiful Allison Sarofim had one for her in her West Village townhouse, and a large contingent of the rich, the chic and the shameless showed up for cocktails, air kisses, exquisite neck- and networking. Some major members of the cast wore Ferragamo. I don’t know how that happened, but you know this is New York. Plum had a Ferragamo scarf, bag and shoes. Her sister as well as Olivia Chantecaille, Tinsley Mortimer, and Adelina Wong Ettelson were head-to-toe Ferragamo. Let’s hope they didn’t have to return everything at the end of the party. Rachel Roy, Blair Clarke, and Katie Lydon were carrying handbags from Ferragamo’s Spring 2006 collection and they were wearing their customized AVILA shoes given to them by James Ferragamo at a luncheon he co-hosted with Plum last November. (In New York, it pays to go to lunch.)

And there were lots of other girls and quite a few of the boys who could have been wearing Ferragamo, although I don’t know: Tory Burch, Christopher and Amanda Brooks, Damon Dash, Lauren Davis, Ann Dexter Jones, Tiffany Dubin, Amy Fine Collins, Milly de Cabrol, the Ferragamos – Massimo and Chicara; Nina Garcia, Michael Gross, Zani Gugelmann, Luke and Julie Janklow, Lindsay Lohan (evidently without Brandon Davis ), Toby Rowland (Plum’s honey), Reza and Marjorie Raein, Russell Simmons, Fisher Stevens, James Truman (coming out from under a rock), Antony Todd, Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman, and Bettina Zilkha to name just a very few.

The book, Debutante Divorcee is “an insider’s glimpse of high society humor, style and glamour.” The authoress is most definitely an insider and with her dual knack for public relations and publishing, she shares her largesse and “takes readers into the dramatic and often hilarious world of the sophisticated Debutante Divorcees, New York’s young, social, newly un-wed girls.”

Well, we know there’s a ton of ‘em out there, and a ton more in the making and Ms. Sykes who knows everybody who’s worth knowing (the rest of you can go home now), certainly knows that crew. And you know those British girls who can pick up a pen always carry the handy stiletto -- or scythe, depending.

The party we’ve got here in pictures today, however, is not from New York. It’s from Bal Harbour where the temperature’s been a little warmer than New York. It was staged at the Oscar de la Renta boutique. The host committee was Eliza Bolen (Oscar’s stepdaughter), Christina Getty Maerks, Kristen Munroe, Dana Shear, and Shari Liu Paleogos. Among the guests: Nancy Batchelor, Elizabeth Taylor (no, not that one!) Norma Quintero, Lydia Prio-Touzet, Yolanda Berkowitz, Diane de Olazarra, Karla Dascal, Beth Tasca, Marlen Pernetti, Alison Zhuk and Coco Palenque. And no, No Ferragamo there folks.

Clockwise from top left: Christina Getty-Maercks; Lydia Prio-Touzet; Leonardo Davalos, Plum Sykes, and Miles Redd; Nicole Snoep, Christina Getty-Maercks, Carol Bell, and Kristen Munroe.
Corina Biton and Karla Dascal
Karla Dascal and Carol Bell
Lisa Sayfie, Christina Getty Maercks, and Eliza Bolen
Plum Sykes, Shari Liu Paleologos, and Eliza Bolen
Dana Shear
Marysol Patton
Mark and Alison Zhuk
Norma and Alessandra Quintero
Paul Wilmot and Alex Bolen

And on a slightly more serious note, if you’re thinking about money, namely your money, Alexandra Lebenthal hosted a book launch party for her famous father Jim Lebenthal who is celebrating the publication of his book Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman. This party was at the Rainbow Room.

The Lebenthals are very possibly the best known municipal bond family in New York. I don’t know, are there any others? They’ve been advertising on television for decades – first Alexandra’s grandmother (yes), and then her father. Jim Lebenthal is credited for helping save the day for small bondholders in the New York City Fiscal Crisis.

At the party, former New York City Controller Harrison J. Goldin took the stage to toast Jim and said: “When nobody wanted to believe in New York City, and there didn’t seem to be a brighter day ahead, along came this persuasive, charming man who truly believed in the city, and that was Jim Lebenthal.” Other friends who toasted the new author were former Federal Reserve head Paul Volcker and Brendan Byrne.

And in the crowd: Jimmy Cayne, Ed Koch, Andrew Cuomo, Michael Roth, Paul A. Volcker, Harrison J. Goldin, Mark Green, Cindy Adams, Louis Auchincloss, Andrew Blum, Claire Guadiani,Stephen Lash, Micah Green, Cathy Callender, Gigi Mortimer, Liz Claman, Charles Gasparino, Felicia Taylor, David Clapp, Gary Strumeyer, Jerry Della Femina, Judy Licht, Betty Wright Landreth, Allison and Peter Rockefeller, Andrew Tisch, James Tisch, Frances A. Walton, John L. Kraft, Buzz Bissinger, Chester Johnson, and Barbara Fife.

Alexandra Lebenthal and Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Tisch and Judy Licht
Ben Diamond
Jerry Della Femina, Jim Lebenthal, and Judy Licht
Peter Rockefeller, Allison Rockefeller, and Jim Lebenthal
Ruth Byrne, Jim Lebenthal, and Brendan Byrne
Jim Tisch, Jimmy Cayne, and Alexandra Lebenthal
Gigi Mortimer
Charlotte Diamond
Paul Volcker, Brendan Byrne, and Jim Lebenthal
Ed Koch
Francis Walton and Cathy Callender
Roy Goodman

Meanwhile, there are other parties in New York that aren’t pushing some publishing mania. For example, there’s The Screening Party. These are actually not as frequent as book parties, but they’re just as alluring to the set that’s smart, or would like to think so anyway. There was The Cinema Society’s star-studded mix for the premiere of First Look Pictures’ The Proposition.

Danny Huston and Guy Pearce

The film, which received rave reviews, stars Guy Pearce, Danny Huston, Emily Watson, Ray Winstone, and John Hurt in a tale of loyalty, revenge and the quest for justice, set in the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the 1880’s Australian outback.

The film’s stars Guy Pearce and Danny Huston, as well as writer Nick Cave and director John Hillcoat, joined Cinema Society Founder Andrew Saffir for the premiere at the IFC Center. The screening was followed by a hot ticket dinner and party which followed at the swank Penthouse of the Soho Grand Hotel.

Among those in attendance were co-hosts Tina Brown and Harry Evans, Damon Dash and Rachel Roy, Gabriel Byrne, Brendan Fraser, Trudie Styler, Alexis Bledel, Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), Helena Christensen, Petra Nemcova, Fred Schneider (B-52’s), Piper Perabo, Jessica Stam, Dito Montiel (director, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints), Meredith Ostrom (Factory Girl), NBC’s Dan Abrams, Rufus Albemarle, Tinsley Mortimer, Annelise Peterson, Daniel Benedict, Richard Johnson and Sessa von Richthofen, Bettina Zilkha, Dennis Basso, Douglas Hannant and Frederick Anderson, Dayssi Olarte de Kanovos, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, the film’s producers Chris Brown, Chiara Menage, Jackie O’Sullivan and Cat Villiers, and First Look Pictures’ Henry Winterstern and Ruth Vitale. Ferragamo, Oscar, Baby Phat, Ralph, Vera, Hermes and Coach, they were all there on this night.

Alexis Bledel
NFred Schneider
Brendan Fraser
Henry Winterstern, Dito Montiel, and Ruth Vitale
Nick Cave, Danny Huston, Guy Pearce, Jackie O'Sullivan, Chris Brown, director John Hilllcoat, and Chiara Menage
Dan Abrams
Dennis Basso
Daniel Benedict and Bettina Zilkha
Damon Dash and Rufus Albemarle
Project Runway's Daniel Vosovic
Jackie Astier and Ann Caruso
Harry Evans and Tina Brown
Petra Nemcova and Andrew Saffir
Sessa von Richthofen and Richard Johnson
Annelise Peterson
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos
Tinsley Mortimer
Piper Perabo
Rachel Roy
Rob Thomas
Trudie Styler and Mickey Sumner
L. to r.: Helena Christensen; Gabriel Byrne and Trudie Styler; Meredith Ostrom.
Vikram Chatwal and Priya Sachdev
Valesca Guerrand-Hermes and Douglas Hannant
Jessica Stam and Cameron Richardson

Photographs by Manny Hernandez/MHPIXS (Plum); Christian Grattan/©Patrick McMullan (4% Famous); Billy Farrell/©Patrick McMullan (Cinema).


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/