Monday, August 11, 2008

The Party Line

Looking east from 40th and 10th Avenue. 5:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, August 11th. After another warm and sunny weekend in New York with blue skies and tall clouds, the rains came in late afternoon, bringing cooler temperatures. This has been one of the most comfortable summers in New York, weather-wise, in years.

The Party Line. The girls today in society go shopping. From High Society to High Promo. And the lucky ones, or the clever ones, pick up a hefty fee or a piece of the business (handbags, jewelry, smocks, fragrances) while they’re at it.

Lydia Hearst as hostess on 6th Annual National Underwear Day.
Shopping or the promotion thereof dominated last week’s social events in New York and out at its eastern social sister in the Hamptons. This has been a successful marketing technique for years -- fashion businesses entertaining their customers (and selling their wares) at cocktails, etc., and usually with a charity attached to legitimize and enhance the list.

Now in the world of High Promo, charities are no longer imperative. A few boldfaced names along with their personal email lists can do just as much. A real celebrity can always dress up the ambience and enhance the brand.

Also, sometimes the ambience is best served by dressing down. Or just plain taking it off. Like the Lydia Hearst hosted party at Espace commemorating the 6th Annual National Underwear Day. You knew about National Underwear Day, didn’t you? La plus ca change and all that?

Contrary to some misstatements, Lydia Hearst is a legitimate heiress, as opposed to those girls who call themselves “heiresses” but really are just high income self-promoters. Lydia’s mama is really loaded, thanks to Ms. Hearst’s great-grandpapa.

Nevertheless Lydia is a working girl, a “supermodel,” a columnist for the NY Post, and well on her way to being a high-income self-promoter, just like some other girls we know. Who aren’t real heiresses. If you’re wondering if there’s still a thing called Society, this should clear things up.
Kristian Laliberte commemorating the 6th Annual National Underwear Day in a big way
Ben Dichiara, Lydia Hearst, and Tyson Beckford Kate and Mark Butlein
Robbie York and Patrick McMullan scantily surrounded
And if underwear isn’t your thing – socially speaking – but maybe shoes are, then you might have missed a really good time at the Jimmy Choo party in the new Rose Club at the Plaza. The Plaza may have been around for a hundred years but no way is it old-fashioned these days. Everybody loves the Rose Club according to the New York Times.
Aiden Turner Victoria Silvstedt Annie Yip, Joanne Lopez, and Judy Wong
Ana Maria Pimentel and Kate Hudson Brian Henke, Kimberly Guilfoyle Villency, Caroline Berthet, and Eric Villency Lara Meiland Shaw and Lesley Schulhof
Last weekend Jackie Rogers was showing them and dressing them in her creations in the Hamptons. You’ll recognize the model, and she’ll recognize a good fashion idea when she sees one.
Ariadne Calvo-Platero and Alessandra Dirobilant Burk VanSkike and Ulla Searing John Barman and Amy Chanos
Debbie Bancroft selecting, testing, and modeling
Also in New York last week Piaget, the watch company whose timepieces can run you $5000 to $250,000 (and you don’t have to stop there if you’re an oligarch or a hedge-funder who’s been shorting Fannie Mae), threw a cocktail party for a new collection of watches called Limelight Paris – New York. Piaget which is bigtime international had a real movie star on hand to show you what a little wrist bling can do. If you’re in the market. If not, eatcher heart out.
Zoe Kravitz Kristian Laliberte and friend Leighton Meester Adam Lippes and Meredith Melling Burke
Philippe Leopold-Metzger and Larry Boland Mena Suvari and Emmy Rossum Allison Aston and Andrew Fry
Philippe Leopold-Metzger, Allison Aston, Melissa Gellman Weiss, and Adam Lippes Geoffrey Bradfield and Roric Tobin
Also in New York – although it’s happened in East Hampton too, Elie Tahari had a little party to show the world his new Spring accessories collection. Mr. Tahari was part of the Theory team with Andrew Rosen just a few years ago. It was so successful, he sold his share for something like fifty million bucks and went into business on his own. He’s here, he’s there, he’s in Vegas, and god knows where else and now he’s even a host with the most. And who’s on his guestlist? Well, I’m sure there’s a shopper or two. That’s a given in the world of High Promo.
Linda Fargo, Reina Meucci, and Roopal Patel Meredith Melling Burke and Elie Tahari Susan Kellogg and Carson Kressley

Photographs by ©PatrickMcMullan.com.
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