“There was a Valentino party at 54. I guess Stevie was trying to make it a really bad party, because he had the waiters dressed up like Pilgrims and he was serving turkey. . . . I lost Halston but I found him a little later eating a turkey leg, and he made me have some. The last place you want to eat meat from is a discotheque, but later I saw Stevie eating the turkey, too, so I guess it was okay.”
The Andy Warhol Diaries, Sunday, November 19, 1978
July 18, 64 a.d.-Nero fiddled while Rome burned; September 3, 2008 a.d.-Two days before the start of a sweltering New York Fashion Week, while Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers were tanking, Valentino Garavani and Samsung feted a documentary called Valentino: The Last Emperor.
The title deserves a T for turkey, but j’adore V, who dresses as neat as a pin. The white pants seemed painted on. The shoes were shiny patent leather, and the long, thin black tie shimmered with sparkle dust. V’s no T.
He threw a similar party in Venice during the film festival at the Peggy Guggenheim palazzo, Venier dei Leoni. Carlos Souza, with V, said that the name dei Leoni harks back to a story that the family kept a lion in the garden. So fierce . . .
V arrived on the arm of Lord of the Rings lioness Liv Tyler, who wore a Valentino red dress . . . by Oscar de la Renta (ouch). Because of noise ordinances, the Venice party, with Uma Thurman, shut down early. So V, Carlos, Claire Danes, and Natalia Vodianova grabbed gondolas to the Gritti Palace for Bellinis until, like, 4:00 a.m. (very non-T).
At the NYC V fete, Alex and Simon of The Real Housewives of New York City told me that Gawker spotted them on a nude beach in Saint Bart’s, reporting that Simon has a big D. I get a swinger vibe from these T’s. I also spotted the duo at Rosa Chá, the T&A-packed Brazilian swimwear show starring Anne V (no relation).
On September 4, Interview threw a blowout for the magazine’s new format at the unfinished Standard Hotel in New York’s choice Meatpacking District. The Department of Buildings and the Fire Chief finally okayed the hard-hat site for partying at 5 p.m., four hours before the velvet ropes were scheduled to part. Pass the X for Xanax.
André Balazs has built a soaring monolith on top of the High Line, a defunct rail viaduct on the West Side. Entering the party under those tracks was like walking into a Vito Bruno outlaw party, and some of the entertainers reinforced that primal downtown vibe.
Construction elevators offered a thrill ride to 18, a raw floor with triple-height windows that were still taped. Jim Moffat, Steven Meisel’s agent, was pushing a Poseidon Adventure—disaster scenario, advising all to bail. Only Moffat did.
The hip throngs vibed on the danger element. Indie A-listers included DJs Kid America and Matt Creed (both on duty); Mary-Kate Olsen; supermodels; art stars; Fab 5 Freddy; Julia Restoin-Roitfeld; and Prince Extravaganza. No Ts. Among many other notables: Donna Karan, Diane von Furstenberg, Dean and Dan Caten, Veruschka, Lauren Hutton, Michel Gondry, Craig McDean, Steven Klein, Michael Ovitz, Tory Burch, Angela Lindvall, Chris Kruse, Julia Stegner, Jessica Stam, Elizabeth Peyton, Gavin Brown, Ryan McGinley, Donald Baechler, Tom Sachs, Terence Koh, Lyor Cohen, and Aby Rosen.
At the fete, artist David McDermott, who hadn’t been to the U.S. for seven years, told us that he sailed here aboard the Queen Mary 2. On day three, the power went out and the mall-size ship began drifting with no engines. Then a storm hit. “And it costs a fortune!” said Peter McGough, who endured Madame McDermott turning green and taking to bed.
September 6, Interview‘s Glenn O’Brien and I endured hurricane rains to catch the Band of Outsiders presentation. Apparently, Glenn’s previous incarnation as host of TV Party inspired the show. This writer felt like slapping down a credit card for the skinny bow ties.
At threeASFOUR, Sean Lennon, in the front row, was dressed like Sgt. Pepper at a funeral while his gorgeous squeeze Charlotte Kemp Muhl wore a coyote hat out of Grizzly Adams, which they’d picked up from real traders in Wyoming for a sack of beans or something. The last dress in the show was covered with the translucent shells used in wind chimes, so it comes with a fab sound track.
Same morning, Sam Ronson dragged Lindsay Lohan to her sis Charlotte’s show. Sam’s hair was supershort, like Mrs. Beckham’s new do. Ann Dexter-Jones, Sam’s mom, gave Lindsay a lace-gloved hug backstage before LL faced paparazzi. I’m hearing they all had seder together.
Condé Nast taped Fashion Rocks at Radio City Music Hall on Friday, and at a VIP afterfete off the Rainbow Room, Justin Timberlake sweaty-danced with four girls while Kid Rock was propped up in a corner. Nick Cannon danced and held Mariah Carey’s hand, though she was still sitting on her tuchus (big T move), and Mary J. Blige and Fergie swung their arms in the air. After midnight, Justin’s gang conga-lined to Rose Club at the Plaza, joining Leonardo DiCaprio.
To paraphrase Halston in Bob Colacello’s book, Holy Terror, Andy would have had an “organza.”
“Saw the Christian Dior show and the Valentino show. With the male models, all the really straight-looking models are gay, and all the really gay-looking models are straight.”
The Andy Warhol Diaries,
Monday, April 6, 1981-Paris
As fashion week dragged on, heat began to evaporate the souls of the stilletto-heeled mob. At Trovata, they had to crawl through a school bus to get into the venue, and there was no AC inside.
The models looked 12 years old and the guys had their hair combed forward (very T) like that real-estate agent on Million Dollar Listing who “has a girlfriend.”
Au contraire, at Perry Ellis, the “men” looked like butch Ken dolls with beards. John Leguizamo later told me he thinks that male models stuff.
Before DVF on September 7, the crisply air-conditioned W Lounge was stuffed with celebs. Jennifer Lopez, not quite back to sample size, had on a sweat jacket. Uma, with her Arki [Busson], wore a black pantsuit. But it was as if only half the room had gotten the memo to play dress up. J.Lo kidded Rosario Dawson, wearing a lemony ball gown, “I feel like I’m your assistant.”
Another high on the High Line was the Calvin Klein 40-year anniversary fete on Sunday. The giant white-box temporary structure that housed this modernist potlatch is said to have cost $6 million. CK also had a half-mile boardwalk lined with lanterns, white roses, and tall grass over the tracks, transporting the throngs in thongs to ancient Egypt.
Tabloid deities Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubrey champagne-klatsched with Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou. Brooke Shields and the windswept Lipstick Jungle gals held court in an impromptu Montauk Point at the end of the long path. A visibly preggers Naomi Watts wore her Calvin proudly tight on her bump. Irish twins?
Understandably, not everyone woke in time for Thakoon on Monday. A soundtrack clock ticked while editors waited a full hour for Kanye West to ease into the front row. That night, Marc Jacobs’s show, once notoriously two hours late, started alarmingly on time. Unable to make it to my seat, I watched from the Lexington Avenue Armory’s burning-hot balcony surrounded by soldiers. AW would have had another organza.
Jacobs had a hall of mirrors built onstage. To Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” doors in the mirrored backdrop opened and swung shut randomly, reflecting models in floor-length skirts. Backstage, I ran into Benny Medina and Jennifer Lopez. “The mirrors were totally modern,” opined Lopez. “They drove me insane,” said Kelly Osbourne, “I’m waving to people I thought were across from me, and they were right next to me. I felt like an idiot.”
Later, Jacobs threw a dinner at Ago, in the courtyard of the Greenwich Hotel. Jessica Simpson, Winona Ryder, and Sofia Coppola sat at long, unruly tables. Anne Hathaway made me promise I wouldn’t tell as she pointed to the light from her room.
Did everyone but me know that Harvey Weinstein owns the Halston label? At MoMA Tuesday afternoon, he and his designer Tamara Mellon re-created the low seating and gray carpets of Halston’s living room with wispy models wearing flowy fluorescents. When I asked Tamara who now owns Halston’s townhouse she answered: “Gunter Sachs.”
“You mean, Gunter Sachs-married-to-Brigitte-Bardot Gunter Sachs?” asked Harvey. Tamara nodded. “All that was missing,” Glenn O’Brien mentioned at Max Azria, the next show, “were the young boys.”
Wednesday evening, Anna Wintour and Chanel screened The Duchess. Star Keira Knightley showed up in Chanel with raccoon eyeliner. With a nod to the Duchess, whose high hair catches fire in the film, Daphne Guinness wore hers up in a beehive.
Thursday, Francisco Costa, for Calvin Klein, showed crisp white linen origami dresses, like thin wearable Japanese kites. One imagined an army of skilled laborers with tiny irons backstage. Amazing.
Friday, the last F-ing morning of F week, Ralph Lauren paved his runway with very real stone and opened it with a Moorish arch. For the same cost, they could have given one lucky editor a house in Greenwich, Connecticut. The clothes were dream versions of Indiana Jones getups. Later in the day, Donna Karan had a similar palette, but the clothes were draped so that they billowed, sandy desert silvers and olives, with parachute flourishes.
I felt euphoric during the Baby Phat “Decade” show, my last. Kimora has been doing an elegant hoochie-mama look for 10 years now and face it, hookers are the most daring dressers in America. Kimora takes that slutty street thing up a notch. She has an American vision. And she knows how to wet-kiss editors. Backstage she handed a doorknocker of a ring to an admiring writer from Fairchild. Thanks in advance for my bejeweled Escalade, KLS!