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Margherita Missoni to Abandon New York

Margherita
At last night's Snowflake Ball to benefit UNICEF, we asked everyone awkward questions about the future to prepare them for their holidays with nosy Aunt Susan. DavidLaurenBush, are you getting engaged? ("I don't know!" laughed the Lauren half of the socialite organism). Maggie Betts, will your dad, Roland, have a job for his BFF George Bush when he retires the presidency? ("I don't think he'll need one," said Maggie, who was arm in arm with Barbara Bush herself. "But I think my dad will give him anything he wants!"). When we got to Margherita Missoni, we couldn't think of anything tough to ask her, so we threw her a softball. What do you love about New York City? "I'm not in love with New York right now," she said. "I'm thinking of moving back to Europe." Oh, no! Is it because they shut down SocialiteRank.com? We'll try to write about you more, we promise! "I'm not sure if I'll go back to Italy. Maybe London or Paris. I long to be back in Europe," Missoni explained. "I've been in New York four years. I miss my family and everything. I wasn't born in America, and I loved it — it was great when I first came here. But after four years it's like…" Missoni didn't finish her sentence. She said she preferred how everything in Europe is close together, but we weren't listening anymore. All we could think of was, with Margherita gone, there will only be 49 other top-tier socialites for us to care about! —Amy Odell

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Fabiola on Fashion: Dispatches From the European Couture Shows

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With the European couture collections almost finished — Valentino will wind things up tomorrow with a show in Rome — fashion correspondent Fabiola Beracasa checked in with Daily Intel via BlackBerry last night. What follows are highlights from Beracasa's lengthy account of fabulousness — we're holding the rest back because we don't want to blind readers with too much of the lavish excess. So what did Fab learn this year? That even when you pack 28 dresses, you still forget the right one; that military outfits are hot; and that the power of Karl Lagerfeld's genius extends even to the weather. After the jump, her lessons from this season's runways.

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Ron Perelman Is Making Up for Lost Time

Ron Perelman wasn't the ladies' man he is now when he was in high school. Harold Ford Jr. wants to be governor of Tennessee. Lindsay Lohan turned 21 yesterday, looking healthy and acting rather adultlike. Jackie O. didn't like it when Caroline gained weight. Anna Wintour's stylist is working weekends at a salon in Bridgehampton. Zach Braff and Drew Barrymore made out at Beauty Bar. Mice, dead and alive, are wreaking havoc at the new New York Times building. Padma Lakshmi is finally divorcing Salman Rushdie, and a billionaire or an unidentified chef may be to blame. Europe is the new Hamptons for celebrity Fourth of July celebrations.

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When Irish Eyes Are Buying

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We're used to our Dublin friend's many sisters hitting Fifth Avenue for weekend shopping trips — "because everything's so affordable," they say. Now it seems the Irish regard for Manhattan as a colossal bargain bin extends to real estate. The combination of the economic miracle known as the Celtic Tiger and the weak dollar has made for an entirely new class of condo buyer: the recreational Irish investor. Unlike the Saudis or Japanese, who tend to cause nativist paranoia every time they buy a trophy skyscraper or storied hotel, the Irish are keeping a somewhat low profile, with individual buyers partial to smallish apartments in unfinished high-rises; owning a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, apparently, is becoming a kind of upper-middle-class Dublin cliché. The Irish eye for real estate is even starting to figure into developers' plans: Esplanade Capital, reports the Times, is planning to unload an entire 43-story condo onto a Dublin company that will then handle the unit-by-unit sales locally. Hey, they built this city, they may as well own it. An Irish Taste for Real Estate in Manhattan [NYT]

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Paul Auster Is Huge in France, on Crosby Street

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The two women hurried to finish their cigarettes on the steps of Housing Works bookstore last night, exchanging excited, quick trills in French: Paul Auster was about to arrive in person. This was not surprising: The first thing you hear as you approach an Auster reading, anywhere in the world, is French. Merely a best-selling author in these parts, Auster is a rock star in Paris. He is a subject of picture books — one, called Paul Auster’s New York, contains photos of locales from le maître’s novels — regarded as an official ambassador of authentic New Yorkiness, alongside Woody Allen. And a quick scan of the fans who turned out for a reading from his new novel, Travels in the Scriptorium, suggested a similar ardor can be found in many foreign countries.

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