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Noms de Plum

A guide to who�s who in the name-dropping semi-fictional world of the latest Sykes novel.


At least super-skinny, jet-setting socialite Plum Sykes writes about what she knows: Her second novel, The Debutante Divorcée, like her first novel, Bergdorf Blondes, is a send-up of the world of super-skinny, jet-setting socialites. And the story follows the fabulous lives of a host of composite characters based on other scenesters, who are often given cleverish recombinant names (Sylvie Mortimer, anyone? Tinsley Bellangere? Lauren Blount? Marci Klugerson? Alixe Carter? Sanford Berman?*). There’s also a veritable Gawker Stalker list of real-life celebrity sightings and references, indexed below (Gawker Stalker, page 113).

Page 2:Mick Jagger has just invited her to dinner, which tends to happen the second a new wife’s plane has landed.”

Page 5: “Actually there wasn’t a soul up there, except Beyoncé or Lindsay Lohan, or some other girl of the minute . . . Well, actually, I love Lindsay Lohan again. I want to be Lindsay Lohan most of the time, don’t you?”

Page 6: “Everyone thinks Rupert Murdoch’s huge, but Sanford’s so huge he owns Rupert Murdoch.”

Page 21: “I blame James Spader. I’ve always thought social acceptance of male self-torture can be traced directly back to sex, lies, and videotape.”

Page 23: “I hope you’ve got something else to focus on besides being the Eternity wife. Look what happened to Jessica Simpson.”

Page 24: “Can you believe John Currin and Rachel Feinstein have come . . . as themselves!” said Lauren the night of her birthday party . . . the theme was Legendary Lovers.

Page 29: “Then you read somewhere or other that she’s been at Mr. Revlon’s or whoever’s place in Barbuda . . . ”

Page 36: “That’s probably, like, Jay-Z or someone calling to ask if they can come to the party.”

Page 94:Liv Tyler, Olatz Schnabel, SJP—you can barely get a lunchtime table anymore at Saint Ambroeus on Perry Street for all the glamorous mommies.”

Page 106: “Look at me . . . I’ve turned into Kimora Lee Simmons. I’m getting much younger guys with this look.”

Page 120: “She looked ghoulishly beautiful, like Nicole Kidman in The Others.”

Page 135: “Russian billionaires are always accompanied by exceptionally beautiful women who chat about as much as Holly Hunter did in The Piano.”

Page 144: “He’s engaged . . . She’s probably the next Natalia Vodianova, or something like that.”

Page 163: “I usually find Barbara Walters to be compelling viewing . . . the way Barbara’s hair stays the same each year is endlessly comforting.”

Page 175:Melania Trump wouldn’t get on at all well, clothes-wise, in Megève. There are only two nights of the year when one is allowed to dress up.”

Page 176: “Old, rich guys are boring. The only one I could do is Barry Diller.

Page 185: “How else do you manage three kids and a lifestyle business? God, maybe Kate Spade’s on medication too, I thought.”

Page 195: “I love it. I feel très C.Z. Guest.

Page 197: “ ‘Mischa! Barton!’ . . . shouted Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell . . . who looked exactly like one of the chandeliers downstairs.”

Page 200: “There was more brain candy at Sanford’s funeral (Charlie Rose/Bloomberg/Oprah) than at one of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun Valley summits.”

Page 204: “ . . . she walked into Swifty’s. ‘If nothing else we are guaranteed an Ivana sighting. Is that Bill Clinton? . . . Look, there’s Margarita Missoni.’ ”

Page 229: “Marci had hired Ivana’s aforementioned divorce lawyer . . . Even Dominick Dunne had gone on the trail for his Vanity Fair column, to no avail.”

*From the book’s acknowledgments: “I thank all those fabulous, real-life Debutante Divorcées who whispered me their secrets . . . To all of you—and you know who you are—your anonymity remains intact. Samantha Gregory, Tinsley Mercer-Mortimer, Miranda Brooks, Muffy Potter Aston, Vicky Ward, Samantha Cameron . . . Anna Wintour.”


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