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Space Snake Vies for Attention Against Simpson's Bra at ‘W’ Party

Gabe Saporta
Jessica Simpson spent some time showing off her bra during W magazine’s New York Affair Party at the Chelsea Arts Tower last night, so it's no wonder stars of a lesser wattage had to amp up the antics to get attention. Gabe Saporta, of the band Cobra Starship (remember the jumpy theme song from Snakes on a Plane?) eagerly told us about the etymology of his band name. "We're from different time periods and from the future," he told Daily Intel. "See what happened was there was a cobra that came back from the future and taught me how to make beats, taught me how to dance, and told me to build a starship in honor of the spacecraft that brought him back from the future to find me." The cobra, apparently, has an important lesson: "The message is for hipsters to stop taking themselves so seriously and stop being pussies. " Smart snake. We asked him what his most embarrassing party moment was, but he wouldn't say because his mother reads New York. So what did she say when she heard he was receiving messages from an intergalactic snake from the future? "That's nice, dear." —Maggie Gray

Samuel L. Jackson: Always in Fashion

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We didn’t manage to ask Samuel L. Jackson for style tips, but the actor — and, as it turns out, musician — did tip us off to his method for sneaking backstage at concerts.

The Sex-Obsessed Party With Todd Thomas and Debbie Harry

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Designer Todd Thomas decorated his modest, twenty-piece show on the crowded rooftop of 60 Thompson last night with huge prints of Gestalt tests reshaped into kimonos, Rorschach ink blots made into belts, and big No. 2 pencil dresses.

Tony Soprano Evenhanded on Iraq

James Gandolfini
Walking around the city lately, it's been hard not to notice those stark photos of wounded soldiers with missing limbs in the ads for Alive Day Memories. You've probably even drawn your own conclusions on what the documentary, helmed by Sopranos star James Gandolfini, is about. But the film — which airs Sunday on HBO, and had its New York premiere last night at the Morgan Library — is surprisingly neutral; while never explicitly pro-war, its recounting of the stories of the war's injured is decidedly pro-American. In it, Gandolfini interviewed the veterans about the day they were attacked (and survived; hence, "alive day"). "I just thought that as a group of people over there serving our country hard, they need to be heard…nothing political, not on either side." More surprising was nary a harsh word from the wounded themselves.

Dude, the Trovata Party Was Totally Chill

Designer John Whitledge, showing his second solo outing since he and his three CFDA-winning Trovata co-founders split ways, celebrated at Tunnel's former location not with bitchy put-downs, but a groovy party straight out of sixties-era Brazil. Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction fame played a three-song set while Capoeira dancers busted athletic moves in crisp white Trovata pants (not a split pair among them). Meanwhile, white-clad lady models wearing head scarves mingled in the crowd.

Who, Pray Tell, Borrowed Their Bling at the Van Cleef & Arpels Party?

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Van Cleef & Arpels jewelers transformed the Hammerstein Ballroom into a “Parisian nightclub” at their Fashion Week kickoff party, “Une Journee A Paris,” last night. A pair of French poodles — one dyed fuchsia, the other attempting to drag its butt across the glossy black stage — nearly stole the show, but fascinated as we are by shiny objects, it was the attendees' bling that drew our attention in the end. So who borrowed and who brought their own?

John Turturro's ‘Romance & Cigarettes’ Comes Home

John Turturro is hoping his movie Romance & Cigarettes is really going to make it this time. The indie musical about working-class neighbors in Queens who sing classic pop songs as an escape was a festival darling in 2005, but it's only now getting an American release. "I feel like Odysseus," Turturro told the audience at last night's premiere of the flick. "Our little boat lost its way, and it's finally found its way home." Sweet and surprising, the movie has perhaps the funniest sex scene of the decade, with Kate Winslet spewing the most astonishing obscenities as a tarty underwear salesgirl having an affair with a married construction worker, played by James Gandolfini. "She just started making things up," said Turturro. However the film fares here, Italians, at least, love it. Flying back from a trip to Naples, Turturro said, his e-ticket got lost in the system. Then ticket guy recognized him. "You made Romance & Cigarettes, no? Buonissimo! I get you your ticket." Then his fellow ticket guy jumped in. "Yeah, but I hear you're having a lot of trouble in America." —Jada Yuan Bonus Party Lines: John Turturro on dancing, Bobby Cannavale on singing, Susan Sarandon and Bebe Neuwirth on their worst jobs, and Aida Turturro on her underwear, plus lots more, at our Romance & Cigarettes Interactive Party Lines.

Richard Branson Forgives Colbert, Considers Janet Jackson as Ballast

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Richard Branson was late to his own party at the Box for Virgin America Airlines' inaugural flight from LAX to JFK. He blamed, no joke, flight delays. Daily Intel caught up with him and asked about the now-famous incident when he angrily splashed Stephen Colbert with a glass of water during a taping of the Colbert Report. Turns out all is forgiven. He and Virgin America CEO Fred Reid also have plans for hotels in space and fond memories of the time Branson threatened to throw Janet Jackson off a hot-air balloon. It's all after the jump.

Amy Sacco Wears Boy Shorts

Amy Sacco and Lily Cho
The brains behind MMK Brands Intimate Apparel clearly knew what the phrase "Bungalow 8 Underwear Party" would conjure up. George Clooney clad only in boxers? Paris Hilton in panties (for a change)? But at last night's fête for the company, undie-shaped cookies were as racy as it got. "This is my first underwear party," admitted designer Rebecca Minkoff. “I’ve been to a pajama party, but it was all women so you could only have so much fun.” Guests quickly emptied the vases brimming with “Passport Panties” — individually wrapped candy-colored bikinis and thongs that ickily included a cleansing wipe as a Cracker Jack prize. Co-host and club queen Amy Sacco, having just returned from partying with Diddy and attending the MAGIC tradeshow in Las Vegas, told us: “These packets are going in my Walk of Shame Prevention kits,” she said. And what kind of underpinnings does Sacco prefer? “I wear a lot of black thongs or boy shorts, but every once in a while, I love a naughty red pair.” There’s no shame in that. —Nick Burns

Serena Williams Likes Nadal, Russians Not as Much

Serena Williams
On Friday night, the Garden of Ono was overrun by tennis balls and Heineken kegs to celebrate the U.S. Open kickoff. Like fillies just learning to walk, young lady tennis stars tottered around hesitantly, their knotty calves unaccustomed to stiletto heels. Men sporting blazers and bronzer gleefully spectated. "I really like [Rafael] Nadal," said Serena Williams, who was avoiding alcohol and snacks for the night. We tried to get her to dish on what happens in the stadium locker room, but she upheld an Open oath of omerta. "What happens there stays there," she said. "It’s kind of like Vegas." Her sister Venus, who sneaked in the back, kept incognito under a tennis cap (except to say hi to Kevin Connelly and Andy Roddick). We asked Serena what new girls we should look out for on the court. "You know everyone now is so young and so good," she said, shrugging. "And so … Russian."—Amy Odell

Martha Plimpton Loves a Midsummer Opening Night

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After the opening-night performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare in the Park last night, featuring creepy Victorian zombie-kids as Titania's fairy crew, a jazz-handsy Puck, and a Martha Plimpton as slapsticky as in her Goonies days, the audience retired up to Belvedere Castle to celebrate. "It's beautiful the way they've lit it up like this," Plimpton gushed, all pixielike. "It's a magical fairyland." The misty, late-summer fête was the perfect setting to drunkenly talk about fairies, Central Park memories, romantic obsessions, performing en plein air, and iambic pentameter. Despite a few notables snacking on wraps and brownies — Plimpton, Rashida "Don't Call Me Ubiquitous" Jones, a thuddingly dull Jeff Goldblum — the affair felt like a high-school cast party, but with a better sound system and free-flowing booze. We mean this in the best possible way: Hooray for no red carpets and lots of impromptu dance circles. A magical fairyland, indeed. —Justin Ravitz Bonus Party Lines: Read about celebs trying to speak in iambic pentameter in our coverage of the Midsummer opening night. Earlier: 21 Questions for Martha Plimpton

At ‘Men's Vogue’ Dinner, Roger Federer Makes Anna Wintour Giggle

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While Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal were preparing dinner at the W last night, Roger Federer was busy eating at the Gramercy Park Hotel, where Men's Vogue put on a dinner in his honor at Wakiya. Federer was there with his girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec, but he was Anna Wintour's man for the night; she took him on her arm and flirtatiously accompanied him around the room, introducing him to friends like Diane Von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, and Oscar de la Renta. We asked Miss Anna about her favorite tennis couture this season. "Anything that Roger wears," she replied with a girlish giggle. If we were Shelby Bryan, we might be getting nervous. —Brett Amelkin Earlier: Andy Roddick Cooks Dinner (With Help From Marcus Samuelsson) Bonus Party Lines: Read more about Anna Wintour's tennis habits in our coverage of the Men's Vogue dinner.

Andy Roddick Cooks Dinner (With Help From Marcus Samuelsson)

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The Dacor Taste of Tennis is an annual charity event that pairs tennis stars in town for the U.S. Open with famous chefs while they prepare dinner — nowhere else can you see, for example, 2001 Open champion Lleyton Hewitt, aproned, serving braised beef short ribs — and, conveniently, presents a chance to see players like Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal up close without having to schlep to Queens. Roddick, in fact, figured in the main event last night: He cooked up a mango delicacy with Aquavit chef Marcus Samuelsson while the cameras captured his innocent look and eternal stubble. We asked German Nicolas Kiefer what his favorite pre-match meal is and reflected on his native cuisine. “If I have a Wienerschnitzel, I think I would score pretty low,” he said. Beyond that, and partly because only CBS was allowed to question Messrs. Roddick and Nadal, we turned to an unlikely source for insight on the impending contest: the D.J., one Mad Linx, who hosts BET’s Rap City and is, apparently, a tennis fanatic. Linxx predicted a victory for favorite Roger Federer. “Federer will go down as the best ever,” he said. “He will probably win twenty Grand Slam tournaments before he retires.” Not the evening's star, Roddick? “Roddick has nightmares about Federer,” the D.J. insisted. “Nightmares.” —Marc Tracy