Chloë Sevigny Down! We Repeat, Chloë Sevigny Down!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.
The Annals of Socialite Upstarts: Out With Olivia Palermo, in With Emily Brill?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?
Alex Kuczynski Uses Her Socialite Magic on Our ‘Real Housewives’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]
in other news
Jamie Johnson: The Superrich Are Totally Psyched About RecessionsYou’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.
in other news
Ally Hilfiger Can’t Imagine Curling Her Hair More Than Twice a MonthWe 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!”
Margherita Missoni to Abandon New YorkAt 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
Park Avenue Peers: A Blogger Meets Tinsley
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
Lydia Hearst Misses Socialite RankCandie’s Foundation “Event to Prevent” raised money at Cipriani last night and Kim Cattrall, Kenneth Cole, singer Cheyenne, and more were there to fight teen pregnancy. We caught up with model and heiress Lydia Hearst to discuss reckless behavior and this week’s New York cover story on Socialite Rank.
Have you ever seen Paris out?
I don’t actually go out very often. I wake up and go to the gym for about three hours every morning at about 6 a.m., and I pack meals in a soup kitchen. It’s more of a misconception that I go out.
At Least They Have Park Avenue PeerageIn a canary-yellow suit last night at the dinner for American Patrons of Tate, musician David Byrne (who turns 55 on Monday) alluded to this week’s New York cover story on the demise of Socialite Rank. “It’s kind of a tease to read about it and be told it was closed down, because you know it’s still there, sitting on a server somewhere,” he said. So did he follow the site? “Nooooo!” exclaimed the former Talking Heads front man, with the same semi-shocked expression that accompanies many of his remarks. “I was above that kind of shit in high school.” Artist Cindy Sherman, standing nearby, also claimed not to have read Socialite Rank, though she copped to recognizing a few of the faces she saw in the New York story. But she denied knowing that her Untitled 92 is estimated to fetch between $700,000 and $1 million at Christie’s today. We doubt that. Tim Murphy
Socialite Rank Saga, Cont’d.: Are the Creators Who They Claim to Be?
If New York society is more than a bit like a high-school cafeteria, it turns out that lately the jocks and valedictorians have been somewhat surreally lorded over by the Wacky Foreign Exchange Kids. It’s among the strangest lessons of Isaiah Wilner’s exposé in this week’s New York, unmasking the writers and proprietors of the socialite-skewering Website Socialite Rank as the mysterious Russian-émigré duo Olga and Valentine Rei. The pair of step-siblings carved out an impressive New York niche, but it’s their almost Zelig-like Moscow background that makes them most fascinating. Thing is, we at Daily Intel are starting to wonder if their version of life in Moscow is entirely true.
it just happened
Socialite Rank, We Hardly Knew YeThe queen is dead; long live the tiara. Socialite Rank, the adorably ungrammatical Website that chronicled, lampooned, and at times brought to tears the new generation of charity-circuit women, announced today that after a year’s effort it will publish no more. SR’s creators, tenaciously anonymous even at the height of their fame, now plan to publish a book, The Year of the Rank. The faceless bloggers promise insider tales of the Tinsley set, “behind-the-scenes triumphs, power struggles, love affairs,” as they wrote in their farewell note, and — here’s the must-have fillip — “more unpublished ‘Palermo’ letters.”
The Donald Picks a New FightDonald Trump claims that Golf Digest didn’t include his West Palm Beach course on their “Greatest Courses” list because he refused to advertise in the magazine. Jennifer Lopez arrived three hours late to her album-release party. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie may be breaking up. James Gandolfini picked up a girl Tony Soprano–style. And Christopher is apparently the odds-on favorite to get whacked in the final season. Julianna Marguiles bought condoms with some guy at Duane Reade. Lindsay Lohan was allowed to use an apartment in the Atelier on West 45th Street because developers wanted to give the building some star power.
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It’s Hard Out There for a SocialiteThink it’s easy to be beautiful, rich, and “charitable”? Not hardly. Aspiring socialite Olivia Palermo — a former national-team ice-hockey player who grew up in the city, Greenwich, and Paris, and now attends the New School — doesn’t feel she’s getting enough love from the social gals. So she sent them a mass e-mail, which made its way to the can’t-look-away blog Socialite Rank. It’s not pretty.
new york fugging city
Socialites and Starlets Face Off in a Coast-to-Coast Battle Royale!
New York socialites and Hollywood starlets have traditionally inhabited two separate celebrity worlds. Never mind the continent between them; they also do different things. Society girls bring attention to disfiguring diseases by wearing designer dresses to galas, while their Hollywood counterparts spend evenings talking their way into free drinks at the latest hot bars, usually not wearing any underwear. And, for years, each group has seemed content to remain within its own orbit. Until now.
The Great New York Socialite Invasion of 2007 hit Los Angeles when Tinsley Mortimer and Fabiola Beracasa descended for some Oscar post-parties. It was the first sign of cross-pollination between the two PR-grubbing groups, and we fear it will not go smoothly. Will the L.A. girls tolerate the New Yorkers moving in on their turf? Will the East Coasters give the locals the respect they demand? A battle royale could be in the works. Here’s who we see poised for face-offs — and who we predict will be left standing at the end, triumphantly clutching a bloodied hair extension.
new york fugging city
Y-3 Has Them Falling Out of Their Seats
We’re sure the idea to hold the Y-3 show in the gymnasium at Hunter College made a lot of sense at the time. The athletic venue dovetailed nicely with the sporty collection, which with its track-pants and slouchy sweaters and peacoats reminded us of something the richest kid at your college would wear out to the gym on a cold day. It was cute the way the time clock counted down to the start of the show, and we certainly appreciated the popcorn and spiked sodas. On the other hand, sitting on the bleachers wasn’t fun ten years ago, and it’s even less fun when you’re surrounded by people who are all either bigger than your typical student or wrapped in bigger, furrier, more expensive coats.
new york fugging city
Catherine Malandrino: Where Fashion Fears to TreadWe found it deliciously evil that Catherine Malandrino scheduled her fall-winter 2007 at the Chelsea Art Museum to coincide with “Dangerous Beauty,” an exhibit that forces visitors to walk across a floor of bathroom scales. The very idea that a bunch of fashionistas, bundled up in an extra ten pounds of outerwear no less, might be required to traipse across a gigantic Floor of Judgment in order to see Malandrino’s show thoroughly tantalized us. The prospect had absolutely nothing to do with our decision to wear fewer layers today. Nothing at all.
show & tell
The Rumor Mill: Fashion Blogs We LikeFashion bloggers are typing away, bringing us the latest rumors and info that makes the Internet worthwhile. Here are just a handful of our favorites.
Fashionista is reporting up-to-the minute rumors on the Marc Jacobs show. Dita Von Teese is expected to open the show, and the models will be sporting pink, red, or blue hair. So punk rock!