So last night New York Magazine threw its annual Oscar party at the Spotted Pig, and even though everyone had promised themselves they would act professionally and not drink too much, by the time Best Picture was announced, Chris was in the corner stroking Alan Cumming's beard and Jessica was wondering if it would be okay to ask Dave Zinczenko if she could touch his abs. Or the abs of Dan Abrams and Bill Hemmer, who were (as always) hanging out with him. Really, any abs would do. Happily, our man Darrell Hartman was there asking the important questions. "So, have you ever drunk anyone's milkshake?" he asked stylist Kate Schelter. "I've shared a milkshake," she replied dubiously. Diane Neal from Law & Order drifted by, looking judicious. "Julian Schnabel has been going to events in pajamas," Darrell said, importantly. "What do you think about that?" Diane replied that she had been wearing pajamas until moments before arriving at the event. "I have the onesie footie pajamas, but they do not have the button on the anus," she said. "I gotta say, the only problem is when you have to go to the bathroom. It gets pretty cold, because you have to take everything off."
During our extensive research in preparation for the premiere of the new thriller Vantage Point, we observed that Matthew Fox, the not-bad-to-look-at star of Lost, grew up on a horse ranch in Wyoming. We kept this in mind as we prepared to interview Vantage's stars on the big night, thoughtfully studying our list of questions, prioritizing some and eliminating others (probably there would be technical difficulties involved in asking Mr. Fox to remove his shirt, for instance). By the time Matthew, who we will always remember as Charlie on Party of Five, reached us on the red carpet, he was overwhelmed by reporters with tape recorders. They all were assaulting him with questions about his role as a Secret Service agent. At a lull, we took a deep breath and jumped in with the number-one question on our finely honed list.
New York: Mr. Fox, you grew up on a horse farm?
Fox: On a ranch, yes. [Ed: Hey, we live in the city. We think every farmer has a "dell."]
New York: Then you must have eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters. [The reporters around us look perplexed. Why didn't we want to know what his summer plans were?]
Fox: [Grinning slightly] Yes, I have. They were very good.
Victory! Another celebrity admits to eating bovine testicles! —Bennett MarcusRelated:Traver Rains Loves Him Some Cow Balls
The fashion, art, and Web worlds seem to be enjoying a tantric threesome as of late, happily tangled in a mutual embrace. First there was the Met Costume Institute's blog.mode exhibit, and now Sartorialist Scott Schuman has his Danziger Projects exhibition.
It looks like That '70s Show's Danny Masterson isn't busy enough being a D.J., radio host, producer, and restaurateur — now he's looking to add boutique owner to his résumé. Teaming up with Ilaria Urbinati, former buyer for chic L.A. boutiques Milk and Satine, Masterson plans to open a shop called Confederacy, a high-end "mini–Fred Segal" in East Hollywood.
Because Daily Intel's pursuit of all things Schnabel is not bound by geography or actually, gravity, we asked Berlin-based reporter Lawrence Ferber to corner Madonna at the Berlin Film Festival this week, where she was promoting the film she directed, Filth and Wisdom, and ask her why she had rejected the Chupi of our dreams. Here is his report:
"What a strange question!" Madonna laughed when we asked her about the Palazzo Chupi. So we laughed too, like "Ha-ha-ha-ha, we're not psycho." "How did you know that?" she asked. Er, we have our ways. Madge confirmed she had looked at the Chupi and decided not to move in. But not, it turned out, for fear of seeing a Schnaked Schnabel slipping into the swimming pool. "I love the house," she explained. "But it's not child-friendly, which is why I didn't end up moving there." Also, she was able to iron out the issues she was having with her co-op board at Harperly Hall. I bought the apartment upstairs, so now everything's A-OK," she said. She and Schnabel will continue to be friends. "I love [Julian]," she gushed. "He's awesome." We think so too! Maybe we can all be friends! Madge? —Lawrence Ferber
Last night's (Auction)RED at Sotheby's was a complete success, succeeding in raising more than $42 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. It also saw a heavy celebrity turnout: Michael Stipe, Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington, Martha Stewart, Ed Burns, and Dennis Hopper all showed up to support hosts Damien Hirst and Bono. But oddly enough, the money and the star power didn't seem to be connected. Michael Stipe, for example, told us earlier in the week that he had his eye on an Ed Ruscha. But he told us last night he "didn't get a paddle." Even though it was Valentine's Day and he was there with his boyfriend! "We're not going to buy each other $5 million paintings, I'll tell you that!" Stipe said, limping away on his crutch, the result of a go-karting accident. Brian Williams also told us he "can't afford a single thing they're auctioning tonight." But he added, "if there's a collection bowl, I'm good for probably twenty bucks." Even Queen Noor of Jordan said she "couldn't even remotely dream about" buying one of the pricey Hirst pill cabinets on the block. So who's buying all this expensive art, if even movie stars and royalty can't afford it? (RED) campaign co-founder Bobby Shriver cleared that up. "Sotheby's and Gagosian are willing to stage this, with their lists, to their buyers," he explained. "Here, you have a commercial company promoting to their commercial buyers, which is a tremendous asset of theirs, selling products that they could have sold at their normal markup. That's a new platform for raising pro-social money." —Bennett MarcusSee and hear more from Bono, Queen Noor, Christy Turlington and others from last night's (RED) auction.
It's not just common folk tightening the belt in anticipation of the Great Recession of 2008. Socialites, those airy creatures who are thin and rich and go to parties for a living, are also starting to (gasp!) budget. At a party to benefit the East Side Settlement show last night at Mallet Antiques, Melissa Berkelhammer vowed to take the subway more often. "I'm also buying less frivolous things," she said. "I'm not paying $300 for a haircut." Berkelhammer's neighbor, Tana Dye, had a more extreme money-saving strategy: Don't leave the house. "I live in midtown, so I have to stay in my apartment. I walk out my door, and I'm in Bergdorf or Barneys."
With pieces donated by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and many more art heavyweights, the Sotheby's (AUCTION)Red at the auction house tonight is gearing up to be a collector's scrum. Christy Turlington, Dennis Hopper, and Mario Batali are all slated to attend, as is Michael Stipe, who already knows what he wants to buy. "I'll tell you, the Ed Ruscha is so beautiful" he gushed to New York's Fiona Byrne at Tuesday's Edun party at the Desmond Tutu Center in Chelsea "I think it's a 2007, but it's brought what he does full circle, which is part of the reason I am drawn to it. I am tempted to bid; I may well." Elsewhere at the party, Josh Hartnett told us he's watching the pennies after a recent large purchase. "I have to find out if I have any money left," he said, not ruling out the prospect of picking something up from the auction, which will go to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. "I just bought a new place and totally redid it and put in new furniture, but I have to get something for the walls!" Last night at a Gagosian Gallery preview, celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Anna Wintour, Donna Karan, Tory Burch, Russell Simmons, and Ivanka Trump were more hushed about what they wanted. But we think we can guess which painting caught Rupert Murdoch's fancy. He spent the entire night standing in front of Damien Hirst's Where There's a Will, There's a Way. It's expected to fetch between $5 and $7 million tonight. Which, for Rupert, is probably a small price to pay for a piece of contemporary art that embodies your life philosophy.
On Thursday, Fashion Week headed east to Hoxton, London's Billyburg equivalent, where London’s asymmetrically coiffed and skinny-jean-plastered demographic runs free. So we were hardly nonplussed to find their heroes, the MisShapes crew, making themselves at home at Henry Holland’s first solo show — which was held in a venue called, of all things, the Village Underground.
Now, just because we've been all excited about the return of Gossip Girl doesn't mean we've forgotten about another important television occurrence next month: the debut of The Real Housewives of New York City. When we ran into one of the stars of the show, Bethenny Frankel, at Gotham's Black & White Ball, she was all too eager to talk to us about it. Frankel, you'll recall, was on Martha Stewart's version of The Apprentice. "We were supposed to do six episodes, and they extended it to seven, maybe eight," the pretty health-food chef told us. Seven episodes! They're really betting the farm on this one, people. "Most of [the other stars] are just women who are letting their lives be a fishbowl," Frankel explains. "But I have a brand, and I wanted to be careful about that." So before she went on the show, Frankel talked to her agents. "All my agents said, 'Reality-TV shows are a train wreck, and they want you to come off a train wreck,'" she explained, adding that she didn't listen. Frankel is confident that she can come off in the ways that she wants to. "I'm the Sex and the City character. I have a career. I have a life, but I want to have kids," she says. "I'm the Carrie Bradshaw meets Martha Stewart. I cook and speak French, but I dress fashionably when I need to and run the circuit." Oh, yes, Bethenny, you'll come off exactly the way that you are trying to. We can't wait.
Related:The Ladies of ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: A Social Examination
Why, we wondered, do some models covet a spot in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? After all, it’s kind of laddish, not exactly a high-fashion affair or a lucrative cosmetics gig. But apparently the opportunity to appear in skin and Lycra for some 4.5 million readers is not the main appeal. “They tell you you better not go on a diet before the shoot," said Bar Refaeli at the 2008 issue launch at 7 World Trade Center on Tuesday.
Last night an all-star bowling tournament raged at London’s private members’ club Shoreditch House (a cousin of New York's Soho House). Mark Barât and Gary Powell from the Libertines showed off ferocious gutter balls, while drag royal Jodie Harsh, London’s answer to Amanda Lepore, looked on. Their opponent, Amy Winehouse, also seemed to know her way around a bowling alley, as she nabbed herself a couple of spares.
Last night, at a benefit for Women's Expressive Theater, the cool old shul on the Lower East Side that's the Angel Orensanz cultural center hosted short plays about love or its complications by women playwrights like Brooke Berman and Jenny Lyn Bader. The plays starred folks like Gretchen Mol, Martha Plimpton, Josh Hamilton, and Michael Cerveris. After the shows, we asked Cerveris (star of Broadway masterpieces like Sweeney Todd, The Who's Tommy, and Titanic) what he's been up to lately. Apparently, he's been flying between here and New Orleans a lot to shoot the film Cirque du Freak, based on the popular young-adult Vampire Blood book trilogy ("It's like Harry Potter with vampires"). He's co-starring across from Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, and John C. Reilly. Since we don't know much about sucking blood, but we do know a little about sucking chest wounds, we asked him about Valentine's Day. Has he ever put himself out on a limb for love? "My whole life I've been making grand gestures," he said wearily. "And they meet with intermittent success, but often abject failure." Oh, no! "In the long-term, I'm still going home to my dog, Gibson." And his plans for Thursday, the 14th? "I'm flying back from New Orleans. Unless there's a particularly lonely stewardess, I'm probably looking at me and Gibson that night," he said. "She appreciates my presence in a consistent way. So maybe I'll get her a red...bone or something." —Tim Murphy
Yesterday's punctual Marc Jacobs show was designed to feel like a night out clubbing, with banquettes in the front row, champagne on ice, and art-rock stalwarts Sonic Youth performing live onstage. Not everyone was feeling so glamorous, though.
Marc Jacobs kicked off last night's show punctually at 7:20 p.m. we told you on time was the new trend! leaving the likes of Nina Garcia to tiptoe in halfway through, and Rachel Zoe to throw a screaming tantrum when she was completely shut out. We just happened to be chatting with Jacobs at the after-party at 24 Lexington Avenue when Zoe showed up to tell him the whole sorry tale.
We were delighted to discover when we arrived at Wednesday's Gucci party that we weren't the only ones totally awestruck in the presence of Madonna. As we interviewed Women's Murder Club star Angie Harmon, she became visibly nervous when Madonna walked up the red carpet behind her. "I've been running around Fashion Week," she stuttered, trying to stay on topic. Then she interrupted herself and burst out to her date, hairdresser Stephen Knoll, "Did you just say ‘Hi’ to Madonna?!" she gushed. "I'm totally freaking out! You said ‘Hi’ to Madonna!" Harmon turned back to us and admitted, "I can't handle it! I've never met her. Probably won't get up the nerve to do it tonight. Look at Lourdes! Look at how big she is! I bet she has a British accent." We bet she does, too. Most of the rest of the celebrities, who included Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Salma Hayek, and Drew Barrymore, didn't stop to chat on the red carpet. But when we asked the hugely pregnant Lopez what she was wearing when she tottered by on four-inch heels, she replied, "Gucci Gucci Goo!"
Diane Von Furstenberg and Narciso Rodriguez were glowing and ready to party at last night's Gucci/Madonna-hosted benefit for UNICEF and Raising Malawi at the U.N. But then, their shows were already over. Donna Karan was less sanguine. Her show isn't until tomorrow, and, like a fretful mother, she worried about being away from her collection for too long. "I'm nervous," Karan said.