What was Heatherette duo Richie Rich and Traver Raines doing being honored by the stuffy old National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South last week? To be honest, no one was quite sure. "I was so taken aback when they called me," Rich said, looking around him. "It's like going to Naomi Campbell's house. I was like, 'Wow. I'm actually doing something with myself.'" Club president O. Aldon James Jr. explained the rationale: The club wants to be hipper. "They do not need this award," James said. "Our award needs them." But were the risqué fashion designers — Heatherette recently brought buttless pants to the runway — the best pick for an institution so unfashionable as to have an old-style dress code? "Oleg Cassini would protest that," James indignantly replied. "He was a member for 40 years!"
What could be better than fashion and food? Yesterday we rushed to Vanderbilt Hall to catch Tim Gunn hosting the Wish-Bone Salad Show. Designers Richie Rich and Traver Rain compared the experience to summer camp, and the models looked bewildered. "There's some lettuce going on there. Or maybe some other vegetables," the Asian Salad said vaguely. Backstage, one model sported onion shorts while another counted the string beans on her dress. Gunn said he preferred to accessorize with food, but our favorite model embraced the whole aesthetic: "I am the carpaccio salad."
Wish-Bone Salad Fashion Show by Heatherette [NYM]
• A group led by Kohlberg Kravis is taking energy giant TXU private for $45 billion, besting the Blackstone record by $6 billion. But can Kravis beat Schwarzman's party? [NYT]
• Gary Crittenden named Citigroup CFO. Job description: Fix CEO Charles Prince's mistakes. [NYT]
• Goldman media banker Sebastian Grigg may defect to Credit Suisse. [DealBook/NYT]
We were such innocents a mere eight days ago. Times were much simpler then; we had hope in our hearts and an unfailing optimism that our job covering celebrities in Fashion Week's front rows would be like shooting fish in a barrel, minus the ricochet.
Even though not as many famous faces showed up as we'd have liked, we managed to come out the other end a very happy, sated pair. After all, we love clothes, Champagne, and sandwiches, and we got a lot of all three this week. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of our second stint covering the celebrity turnout at Bryant Park and, yes, of the 37 shows we saw, we didlike a lot of the clothes.
There was a sort of joy in the air at the Proenza Schouler after-party at Beatrice Inn. (And a lot of smoke — even the dubious Romanians who've been everywhere this Fashion Week had to take their cat and go home.) The designers had all shown and were drinking merrily. Upstairs, the dance party went on under disco lights till the wee hours of the morning.
From the outside, Heatherette may have been a total fiasco, but our Jada Yuan found that inside was nothing but love. Backstage, Richie Rich's aromatherapist was dressed like Dorothy but didn't seem to know why. A misty Lydia Hearst remembered the boys from back in the day ("I really consider them part of my family") while Omahyra favored Heatherette for the bloodlust: "This is the shit. Everybody's fighting to get in here."
Watch the video.
An army of writers, reporters, and bloggers is chronicling Fashion Week. Here are a few things we learned from them:
• Of course K-Y chose the Heatherette after-party to introduce its new lubricant, "Intrigue." [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]
• For the rest of this week, the Payless on Fifth and 39th has the Abaeté for Payless shoes that showed on Monday. [Fashionista]
• If Ashley Olsen is in New York this week, so far she's skipping Fashion Week. [PopSugar]
• Can't find Proenza Schouler on Target's Website? You can bet it's on eBay. [FlyPaper]
• Who are the Top Ten New Faces at Fashion Week? So far, we know three. [Of the Minute]
• Could Diane von Furstenberg have scuttled out of that CFDA panel on models' health any faster? [Off the Runway]
Is it just us, or do the parties this week totally blow? Thankfully, Amber Tamblyn, who is just one whirling dervish of former teen-talks-to-God-dramedy fun, doesn't appear to know this. We love everything about the 23-year-old Joan of Arcadia alum, from her flirty sense of style to her dry quips answering stupid press questions (Q: "How are you handling the madness of Fashion Week?" A: "Quaaludes. Lots of quaaludes").
Another Fashion Week. Another Heatherette show that was a complete, soul-sucking mess. And that was outside the venue. Like last season, we had seats. And like last season, that didn't matter because the setup was such an unmitigated disaster. Somehow every other show at Bryant Park manages to make it pretty easy to get all ticketed parties in distinct lines and in their seats without screaming pandemonium. Not Heatherette. Never Heatherette. And certainly not at a Heatherette show that promised a Wizard of Oz theme complete with socialite Lydia Hearst as Dorothy.
Rush and Molloy let you write your own Lindsay Lohan item. Larry King used to gamble, owes a lot of people in Miami money, according to a new book. Art-mag publisher Louise MacBain has not yet made her annual $50,000 donation to the Watermill Foundation. Richie Rich's new boyfriend is causing trouble for Heatherette staffers. Paris Hilton dropped her best friend Kim Kardashian because Kim was getting too popular. Lydia Hearst threw an award statue into the crowd at the Paper magazine Nightlife Awards, because Moby told her to. Jennifer Connelly gained some perspective shooting Blood Diamond in Africa. Before arriving at the Casino Royale premiere attended by Queen Elizabeth, VIPs had to memorize a pamphlet on royal protocol. The cover of Vanity Fair's "Hollywood" issue feature Brits Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren but not Cate Blanchett. Newly single Kid Rock may be back with his ex-girlfriend. Drew Barrymore still wears Uggs. Cindy Adams loves Will Smith's new movie, does not love Mel Gibson's. A mausoleum for Fidel Castro is being built on a mountaintop in Cuba. Former Facts of Life star Kim Fields is preggers. Joan Collins loves to sign autographs for fans, despite a recent "Page Six" item to the contrary. A kosher steakhouse opened in L.A.; Mel Gibson and Michael Richards have yet to dine there.
Ming Tsai, known to viewers around the country for his Simply Ming and Ming's Quest TV series, is probably one of the foremost East-West fusion chefs in America. Although his base restaurant, Blue Ginger, is near Boston, the chef was in town recently promoting his new line of packaged Asian foods (which are being distributed through Target). We asked him what his favorite Asian restaurants in the city are, and in particular, who he thinks does the best fusion.
Tuesday was Primary Day, and New Yorkers went to the polls to pick their favorite Democrats. At Bryant Park, capital of the Republic of Fashion, we asked some citizens if they'd chosen a candidate that day.