Liza Minnelli wasn’t in the spotlight when she recently made a stop at the Polo mansion, but she sure got people’s attention. An onlooker reports that while browsing the main floor, the diva suddenly stopped in her tracks and began talking to herself: “She was just standing there saying, ‘Minnelli, get it together. Minnelli, get it together.’ ” Well, she obviously did get it together, spending $10,000 during her brief shopping spree. Expect to see more of Minnelli in the new year: We’re told she’s in talks to become a spokesmodel for M.A.C. (joining Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, Elton John, and RuPaul, among others). The cosmetics company’s president, John Dempsey, befriended her while working on the release of her new CD, Liza’s Back, and on her recent concerts at Town Hall.
Sometimes even world leaders have to get in line behind Enrique Iglesias. Iglesias’s label, Interscope, recently got wind of the fact that the Latin pop star fancied a $30,000 limited-edition platinum watch from Über-upscale Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin. To celebrate the double-platinum success of Iglesias’s album Escape, Interscope surprised him with one of the watches-which take up to eighteen months to make, and only 247 of which are being sold worldwide-for the holidays. But it took some string-pulling: The only watch that was available in time for Christmas had already been paid for by Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo Cabrera. “Interscope won out by promising to buy Vacheron Constantin timepieces for their other artists,” explains our source. We’re told the Central American leader “wasn’t too happy about it” but still wants a watch. He’ll probably get his sometime in February.
One thing clothing-care tags don’t warn you about is the possibility of your tailor’s being torched. At a recent luncheon at Le Cirque 2000 for Givenchy designer Julien Macdonald, socialite Audrey Gruss was overheard saying she lost some designer clothing-including a few Bill Blass and Chanel numbers-when the famed Michael’s Tailor Shop on the Upper East Side was firebombed in late November, allegedly by a disgruntled nephew (and former employee) of owner Mikhail Avulov. Gruss’s husband, Martin, insists they didn’t lose that much. “My corduroy pants were burned to a crisp,” he told us. During the lunch, Gruss asked other guests for tailor recommendations. Deborah Norville informed everyone that she didn’t have atailor because she actually does her own mending-sewing was her talent back when she was competing in beauty pageants.
Whether they want one or not, it looks like East Hamptonites are getting a Starbucks. In 2000, the ubiquitous coffee chain opened its first East End outlet in the former Bridgehampton National Bank building, outraging locals with an out-of-scale sign and red velvet banquettes. And now it seems the company has set its sights on East Hampton. We’re told Starbucks is taking over the Scoop du Jour ice-cream parlor on Main Street as well as part of the adjacent Wallace Gallery. Scoop du Jour owner Laurie Zagardo says rumors of Starbucks’ taking over her spot have been circulating for years, but she hasn’t heard anything from the owner of the building. Gallerist Terry Wallace welcomes the coffee chain: “We have a year and a half left on our lease, and I’ll say that I’d actually like them to buy me out, as I’m facing retirement.” A rep for Starbucks confirmed the chain is on the lookout for an East Hampton outpost but insisted no lease has been signed.
Only a month after it was announced that Paris Hilton and Ivanka Trump were both buying $1.5 million stakes in London hot spot the Collection, we hear that Hilton and boyfriend Jason Shaw are set to become L.A.’s newest club owners. At the recent Altman Building fête for the computer game the Sims, Hilton told one of our sources that she and Shaw are opening a new lounge called the Concord.
Heard any good gossip lately? E-mail us at Intelligencer@NewYorkMag.com
With Aric Chen