Everyone knows that actors don't get to keep the clothes they wear on the set. But when it comes to super-fancy high-fashion shows like Gossip Girl, even thinking about taking racks home is impossible. Unless you're Blair Waldorf, of course.
Christian Siriano has been rubbing elbows with celebrities on the West Coast, but he's finally back in New York. Last night, at the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec Auto Show kickoff party, we caught the Project Runway winner when he wasn't chatting up fashion-world insiders like Fern Mallis and the Heatherette boys.
In front of the Barneys windows on Madison Avenue last night waiting for Donatella Versace to appear behind the glass, we caught this text message conversation over the shoulder of a teenage girl with a pink iPhone.
The other night at the opening of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s photo exhibition, “Merce My Way,” at 401 Projects on West Street, we were ruminating on the rapidly changing schneigborhood with gallery owner Mark Seliger. “You just blink and there’s a new building up," said Seliger, adding that he is often asked to sell his building, just south of the Richard Meier condos. He wasn't entirely sold on Julian Schnabel’s nearby Palazzo Chupi, he admitted, at least not until he went inside. “It’s amazing," he declared. “It’s growing on me, definitely growing on me." Another local, Michael Angelo, proprietor of supermodel-central salon Wonderland on West 13th Street, chimed in. “I think that everybody had a little heart attack at first," he said of the pink palazzo.
Seliger recently photographed the entire Schnabel family for a L’Uomo Vogue spread. Papa Schnab, he said, had insisted on wearing his own clothing. “You can count on him wearing pajamas, that’s for sure,” he said.
And then, as if he were a rotund, benevolent Beetlejuice, at the sound of his name, Schnabel appeared.
Broadway’s newest rock musical, Passing Strange, is about leaving home and finding yourself. So after a recent performance, we asked audience member Martha Plimpton about a time when she tried to find herself. It turns out that in high school, she explained, she tried to do it through Jesus. “Instead of becoming a punk-rocker, I became a church lady,” she said. “I was baptized and everything, which in its own way was rebellious. But I was Episcopal, so it was only so rebellious. It’s not like I swore off sex and booze and all that. I just added church.” Lately, her spiritual quest took her to a two-hour stint in a Mexican sweat lodge. “I don’t think I discovered anything about myself, but I did learn quite a few things,” she said. “You’ll literally believe anything when you’re in a 500-degree stone igloo.” —Jada Yuan
At the American Ireland Fund's St. Patrick Day party last night, Conan O'Brien picked up an Irish Spirit award for his work with the charity Labels Are for Jars. But as it turns out, the funnyman sadly isn't stereotypically Irish. He didn't even like fairies as a kid! "My only connection to Irish lore was through the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms," said O'Brien. "And the Leprechaun horror movies. Leprechaun in the Hood!" But any self-respecting Irishman, leprechaun-loving or otherwise, should at least be able to put a few beers back every March 17, right? Not so for O'Brien. "I get very self-conscious around a lot of Italian men and African-American men pretending to be Irish," said O'Brien. "Of course, on Saint Patrick's Day someone like me just becomes an Irish piñata. 'It's Conan O'Brien — ARRRRRRR!!!'" The late-night host has had to deal with his fair share of drunken Irish fans — though the madness has calmed down with upped security budgets — and now chooses the "less obvious" holiday route. "I want to have a Diet Coke, eat some melba toast, and go to bed early. Pretty sexy, huh?" —Jocelyn Guest
Last night the Supima cotton held a "white" party (à la Diddy) to celebrate today's opening of its Soho pop-up shop, which will feature clothes from AG Adriano Goldschmied, Three Dots, Zooey, and a bunch of other lovely designers. As we reported earlier, Supima will promote the store by setting up a "mock cotton field" on the corner of Broadway and Houston today and tomorrow, where they'll hand out real cotton branches to passersby. We had to know how, oh how, they came up with this idea.
Lorne Michaels took some heat for picking Venezuelan-Japanese cast member Fred Armisen to play Barack Obama when Saturday Night Live returned to the air at the end of February, but Armisen himself isn't having any trouble with it. "I just want to have fun," he said at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 10. "I like wearing outfits and doing things." So how does he turn himself into the country's potentially first black president? "It's really quick," Armisen said. "There's shading on my eyebrows and plastic behind my ears. And there's a little bit of something called Honey, a honey color, that is something I would wear when I play Prince." About the perception that "Weekend Update" favors Hillary Clinton, Armisen's response was similar to what SNL writer Jim Downey told today's Times: "I think they're not favoring anyone," he said. "The pieces are more making fun of the media than anything else. It's all about the jokes." —Bennett MarcusRelated: SNL Searches for A Fauxbama
At last night's Cinema Society after-party for Sleepwalking at the Soho Grand Penthouse, Rachel Zoe took a few seconds between smokes, air kisses, and her BlackBerry to chat with the Cut. She was one of the few revelers uninterested in Spitzer speculation.
At the annual Women's Campaign Fund dinner last night at the home of Community Board One's Julie Menin, City Comptroller William Thompson had a wry sense of humor about yesterday's scandalous revelations regarding Eliot Spitzer and a gaggle of high-end prostitutes. "I wonder what we'll be talking about this evening?" Thompson had already cracked twice before he made it all the way into the party. Thompson called Spitzer "a friend" and expressed "shock and disbelief" about the recent news. While he stopped short of calling for the governor's resignation, he expressed the obvious concern. "I think it is very difficult to govern in the current situation." He was not as reticent in his views about Spitzer's possible successor, Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson. "While Eliot's a friend, David's a very good friend." Thompson went on to express his belief that as minority leader Paterson helped to change the Democratic Senate, that they became much more aggressive and idea-focused under his guidance. "I think the world of him; he is such a talented person." —Catherine CorenoEarlier:Reacting to Eliot's Mess
At this week's premiere of new Broadway musical In the Heights, about a Latino community living in Washington Heights, Grey's Anatomy (and former Spamalot) star Sara Ramirez was rapturously plotting her return to Broadway. "This show makes me want to come back!" she told Intel. "It was beautiful! I know Manuel [Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and star] is going to be busy for a long time with the success of this show. But I gotta tell ya, I want him to write me something! That's who I'm calling." We're sure he'd take her call. Ramirez has come a long way from the ten-by-sixteen room she used to rent on the West Side, back when she was a recent Columbia grad and struggling actress. "It was the servants' quarters on the top floor of a brownstone," she said of her digs back then. "I think it was five rooms with a bathroom which we all shared." And by "we all" she didn't mean a bunch of cute, young twentysomethings. "There was a couple that was like 90 years old down the hallway, who had lived there for 40 years. There was a fridge out in the hallway. I had a loft bed and a sink, a tiny little closet, and a window that looked out onto a brick wall. I'm not exaggerating at all. It was $400 a month. What are you gonna do, hello? It builds your character when you live a lot less." We'll say! And anyway it's not like she stayed there that long. Success was just around the corner! Right? Actually, no. "I lived there for about eight years," Sara qualified. So hold on to your dreams, readers. It could happen to you, too. —Justin Ravitz
Last night at a party for this year's CFDA Awards nominees, the Cut (that's our fabulous new fashion blog, in case you don't know) caught up with executive director Stephen Kolb, who, as it turned out, had had an interesting encounter with Luv Guv Eliot Spitzer. No, not that kind of encounter. Kolb was in Washington this past February 14, the day after Spitzer allegedly hired a prostitute. He and Narciso Rodriguez were at a hearing about fashion designers' intellectual-property rights, when the lobbyist they were working with suddenly introduced them to Spitzer. "I shook his hand!" he told the Cut. "I shook his hand the next day! I'm thinking about how creepy that is now! No, I'm joking. So, I mean, it happened on the 13th?" Allegedly, yes. "Alright, well, he looked happy on the 14th!"
CFDA’s Stephen Kolb Touched Eliot Spitzer the Morning After [The Cut]
He is one of America's top-selling artists, but Justin Timberlake wasn't exactly an audience favorite when he introduced Madonna at last night's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. We have always loved JT, but our esteem for him plummeted during every minute of his speech, and that's saying a lot, since the speech was more than ten minutes long. "A strange thing happens when you're asked to induct Madonna into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," he began. "You become aware that every single word you can possibly imagine saying about Madonna suddenly sounds much hotter, much dirtier, and a whole hell of a lot more fun. Induct her. Induct her … Why yes, I'd love to. Enter the hall. [Deep voice] Every chance I get." Thanks, Beavis. He went on, despite the groans of the audience. "Madonna has changed the way our world sounded, she's changed the way our world looks, and somehow she still found time to publicly kiss at least someone who I may or may not have kissed myself," he paused. "Of course, you all know I'm talking about Sean Penn." Assorted peevish sounds rippled across the crowd. "They're jokes!" he said, because no one knew. "They're jokes!"
Fashion and politics go hand in hand. Literally. Last night at the cocktail party for CFDA Awards nominees we caught up with CFDA executive director Stephen Kolb, who reminisced about the time he met — and touched — Governor Eliot Spitzer in Washington, D.C.
Roberto Cavalli may have his own brand of vodka and chain of tacky nightclubs in the works, but he's not the only designer who knows how to shake his tail feathers. On Saturday night we spotted Donna Karan at the Box dancing up a small storm — and with a handful of good-looking young men, to boot.
On Friday we dropped by the Plumm for the memorial celebration for Baird Jones — the promoter, art collector, and gossip reporter who was a New York party-scene fixture for three decades before being found dead in his apartment last month. We expected a sea of eighties clubbers, fellow gossip writers, and open-bar-hoppers. We did not expect Lindsay Lohan.
Yet as the aging crowd nursed its final free drink, the starlet arrived and installed herself on a couch in the back. It was surreal yet, in a way, the perfect homage to a man who devoted himself to celebrity gossip and often put random kooks in the same room as A-listers at the parties he threw.