Thursday, February 7, 2013

Us and them

Cigarette break on Broadway. 4:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, February 7, 2013. Coldish with big snowstorms predicted. I’ll believe the New England blizzard part but not the New York part. I think it’s Mother Nature conspiring with Mayor Bloomberg to keep the snow off the streets of the city. Blizzards are lousy politics; every pol knows that. Nevertheless I miss those snowy winters we used to have.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Michael’s. Interesting Table One right next door in the bay. I noticed first because there were a couple of models at the table of six or eight. I knew they were models because ... duh... they don’t look like real people: they look like photographs. Or something like that. And they’re very tall and very thin. But not like they were underfed;  more like they were stretched extra by God. And they were fully made up. By which I mean, no other woman in the room looked like they had just come from a makeup artist. I don’t mean any of this sarcastically. I mean they looked different, something extra, glamorous, sensational.

Naomi Campbell.
What I didn’t know because I don’t know these things, until Diane Clehane, who was lunching with them, told me: they were famous too. Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha. But also at the table, and whom I didn’t see until she strode by on her way out after lunch was -- Naomi Campbell. I’d never seen her in person before. No photograph tells you: she’s sensational looking; long, tall, gorgeous, splendidly dressed in black that almost sparkled. More than all that, it’s the energy. She walks by and you go, Who Is That?! She looks like a movie star – the kind they used to call legends, not the kind like you see today who look like they just got off the bus from anywhere (after a long overnight ride). She was beautiful unlike any other. And pow!

Also at table, Nigel Barker, the famous fashion photographer and television celebrity. Why were they at Michael’s? A stop on their media tour for their new show on Oxygen, The Face, a supermodel competition.

At the table next to them (and next to mine) was Richard Belzer. On the other side of me, Cornelia Guest lunching with Jason Binn, the publisher of  DuJour. There was another great beauty in the room yesterday too, whom I almost forgot in my aria about table one: Melania Trump. Also, like Campbell, one of those disarming beauties whom the camera can never capture perfectly.

Moving around the room: Anne Eisenhower Flottl with Anne Hearst McInerney and Bettina Zilkha; Stan Shuman; Bonnie Timmerman with Rob Weisbach; Andrew Stein;  Da Boyz, Imber, Kramer, della Femina and Bergman; Alice Mayhew; Freddie Friedman, Peter Price, Chris Meigher of Quest; Ron Insana; Geraldine Laybourne, founding CEO of Oxygen which is producing the aforementioned  Face series; Wednesday Martin, Patrick Murphy with Lisa Linden; public relations impresario Tom Goodman; Dennis Basso who is celebrating his 30th in the fashion business at the showing of his Fall Collection at the Tent at Lincoln Center next week; Manuela Hoelterhoff of Bloomberg Muse; Newell Turner of House Beautiful with Michael Boodro (Elle Décor) and Dara Caponigro (Veranda) – and what were they talking about? Either deep dish or conspiracy, or Broadway musical.
Karolina Kurkova. Coco Rocha.
Onward: Jessica Reif Cohen with Tom Rossman; Catherine Saxton, PR to the celebrities; Anthony Shriver (founder of Best Buddies); Lewis Korman; Aryeh Bourkoff; Nan Talese with Eden Collingsworth; the irrepressible Jolie Hunt; Charles Grodin; David Poltrack; Henry Heller; Sara Beth Shrager: Paul Singer; Kevin Brockman; Jonathan Estreich; WSJ’s David Sanford with Lewis Stein.  And this onlooker who was lunching with Judy Price. It was Mrs. Price, when she was running the magazine she founded, Avenue, and I was working as her E-I-C, who first brought me to Michael’s many moons ago.
Last night over at Bloomingdale’s (on 5), its Chairman and CEO Michael Gould hosted a cocktail in honor of the premiere of Scalamandre by Lenox and kicking off the upcoming 2013 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, which is historically one of the most important design showhouses in the  interior design industry which also raises millions for  the Kips Bay Boys  & Girls Club (“The Positive Place for Kids”).

The chic new design might look familiar. It’s derived from the wall design of the old Gino restaurant -- just up the avenue from Bloomies --  which shut its doors forever in 2010 after a run of 65 years. If you wondering where the real Mad Men went for drinks and dinner after a long hard day in the towers of Madison Avenue. So everything old is new again. And welcome.
Joe Laneve, Senior VP of Bloomingdale's. Steven Stolman and Kathy Doyle.
Among the designers attending were Jamie Drake, Kathryn Ireland, Richard Mishaan (who is reopening HOMER at a new Irving Place location and is launching this coming Monday night); Charlotte Moss, Bunny Williams, and Mario. Swifty’s catered, two terrific young jazz musicians from Juilliard played, and everyone was glad to be there.
Louis Renzo (CEO Scalamandre) and Charles Raich. Bunny Williams and Guy Regal.
Marilynn Levine and Mario Buatta.
Daniel Quintero (former president of Kips Bay). Jamie Drame and Calib Anderson.
Everything old is new again, and total chic -- the Gino-inspired Scalamandre design translated by Lenox china, and Scalamandre.
Catching Up. On Wednesay, the 23rd of last month, the beautiful and talented piano virtuoso Lola Astanova brought her signature style to both her performance and appearnce at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Ms Astanova performed Tchaikowsky: Piano Concerto #1 and Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2.

Following the performance was a party at Doubles in New York City.
Lola Astanova performing at Alice Tully Hall.
Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Arianna of Russia, Nelson Lucero, and Lola Astanova.
Lola Astanova and Naza Astanova. Nadira Astanova and Sevar Astanoff.
Lola Astanova and conductor Jahja Ling.

Photographs by Gregory Partanio (Astanova).

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