The indie actress is felled by a viral infection, Salman Rushdie would vote for Barack Obama, and writer Peter Davis cares too much about a socialite contest. All that and the rest of the gossip from New York's tabloids today.
So January was cold, and February was short, but now it's finally March. And you know what that means? It's party time! No, not for you. For people who matter. We know since SocialiteRank.com shut down nearly a year ago, you haven't been as able to keep track of what's been going on with Tinsley and Zani and Margherita, but, trust us, they're still out every night, flawlessly executing that arm move that Ellen Page has been trying to imitate! See, March is when the events for young socialites really begin in earnest. Last night saw the Riverkeeper benefit at the Hearst Tower, hosted by the ecocharity's junior council. Scheduled next week is the American Museum of Natural History's Winter Dance and the Frick's Young Fellows' Ball. A quick peek down the list of all the host committees show that, this year, all the fun is dominated by one set of friends. Claire Bernard, Maggie Betts, and Jamie Johnson are on the committees of all three of the above events, and they are joined here and there by Amanda Hearst, Hudson Morgan, Annie Churchill, Andrew Black, Derek Blasberg, and Byrdie Bell. This is a little bit of a shift away from the Tinsley-Dabney-Lydia axis, but it's essentially the same gang. Which isn't surprising, only…where's Olivia Palermo?
When grappling with how to handle the advent of the new Bravo show The Real Housewives of New York City, the Times was faced with a conundrum: Here is a show that will purportedly expose a sector of society that the newspaper, in its "Style" section and in its T magazine, regularly covers. But it's also trashy reality television. How to cover? Thankfully, the geniuses at T came up with a solution just in time for the show's March 2 debut. They took matters into their own hands, and, for one photograph, at least, they grabbed the cast of the show and classed them up. They put on a "lingerie party" organized by the owner of upscale boutique La Petite Coquette in the West Village. They styled the ladies, thrust Champagne glasses into their hands, and sent in Times style icon Alex Kuczynski to moderate it all for their Women's Fashion Spring 2008 issue. Above, you'll see the fruits of their labors, an image from their story coming out this Sunday in the paper (it's not online yet). Don't they look sophisticated? The T people are really geniuses. Nothing makes a person look classy like sticking them next to someone in her undies.
T Magazine [NYT]
You've gotta love Jamie Johnson. The prettiest boy heir of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune has a real knack for uncovering the most confusing and loathsome aspects of wealth. First we heard about all of his tragic but forgivably young and naïve friends in Born Rich, his debut documentary. Now, with his sophomore effort, The One Percent, we're apparently going to hear about the older versions of these subjects — the ones whose offensiveness we can't shrug off as due to youth or stupidity. "Contrary to common assumption, many of the wealthiest Americans aren't worried about the weakening economy at all," Johnson wrote on the Huffington Post last night. "They are actually excited about it." Wait, wha? But they're the ones who are going to lose the most money! (Oh, wait. They're still going to have tons of it while we have less of the little we had originally.) Johnson explains the so-called glee of the ultrarich:
To them, the crisis in the housing market, the recent slide in stock prices, and the general loss in purchasing power for millions of Americans have resulted in the thinning of the aristocratic ranks, or in other words, have decreased demand for the highest level of luxury living. Ironically, for the mega-rich, recession brings with it the ability to live well at a lower cost and with less of a hassle.
We can't believe that we made it this far into the day without discovering this breathtaking new development: The Observer ran an article about socialites! And how some of them are not like the others. It's completely out of character for the paper. The Observer's prep-master general, David Foxley, today dissects the phenomenon of the "fauxcialite," the society girls who can't be bothered to get all dressed up every time a tot needs a new toy. Surprisingly (and we mean that honestly, not in the obnoxious, overly sarcastic way we wrote the lead-in to this item), it's not filled with the classic Observer tone, where a reporter pretends to take a subject seriously, and then lets himself hoist himself with his own petard. ("The doorman eyed Mr. Cheban's Louis Vuitton shoes appreciatively. 'Some day I'll get there,' the man sighed longingly. 'I'm not quite there yet, but some day.' 'Don't worry — it took me awhile to get them, too!' Mr. Cheban said. 'Actually, it totally didn't,' he confessed minutes later. 'I just didn't want to make him feel bad.'") But the story does include lots and lots of moments of genius from our favorite socialite ever, Tinsley Mortimer Ally Hilfiger! Gosh bless her.
• “I think it’s pretty narcissistic of these socialite girls to worry so much about how they’re going to look when their intentions should just be about giving back,” Ms. Hilfiger said of her more high-maintenance sistren, sliding her naked heels forward on an ebony neoclassical coffee table. “I can’t imagine having a blow dryer or a curling iron in my hair more than, like, twice a month!”
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
James Kurisunkal, the very midwestern brains behind the very inside-the-10021 blog Park Avenue Peerage, has spent the last four months chronicling the lives of the city's social set — from the comfort of his dorm room in Illinois. But this summer he's come to the big city, to intern at New York, and last night, at a Cinema Society screening of Interview at the Tribeca Grand, he finally got a chance to meet some of his idols. After the jump, the story of when James met Tinsley