It's not just common folk tightening the belt in anticipation of the Great Recession of 2008. Socialites, those airy creatures who are thin and rich and go to parties for a living, are also starting to (gasp!) budget. At a party to benefit the East Side Settlement show last night at Mallet Antiques, Melissa Berkelhammer vowed to take the subway more often. "I'm also buying less frivolous things," she said. "I'm not paying $300 for a haircut." Berkelhammer's neighbor, Tana Dye, had a more extreme money-saving strategy: Don't leave the house. "I live in midtown, so I have to stay in my apartment. I walk out my door, and I'm in Bergdorf or Barneys."
Former AOL executive Tatiana Platt and her husband, the architect Campion Platt, are heading off to Aspen today, but, last night, they chose to hoof it home from a charity event, rather than dialing for car service. "We were like, You know what? Let's save the $20," said Mrs. Platt, who reportedly owns around $75 million in Time Warner stock. "It took about a half-hour, and the snow had turned to rain. My husband was fine, but I had this big Russian fur hat on." The Platts are also trying to kick their bottled-water habit. "We can go through a case of water in a matter of days. It's so ridiculous, between the cost of it and the plastic." What's next, ladies who brown-bag lunch? Maybe not. Not everyone was so concerned with penny-pinching. "I'm pinching bottoms," quipped Emma Snowden-Jones. "I use euros," Fe Fendi, of the famed fashion house, said in her buttery Italian accent as she pulled on a fur-trimmed coat. "We are from Europe, so at least we are lucky, you know?"—Maridel Reyes