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.
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?
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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!”
We may have borne inadvertent witness to a catharsis of sorts for twig-size actress Brittany Murphy. At Monday evening's Max Azria show, we caught sight of Murphy — the first celebrity to wander out from backstage after photographers waited for about 40 minutes — refusing an interview with one gossip-magazine reporter by placing her hand gently on the girl's arm and intoning, "Not for that magazine. Your magazine HURT. MY. LIFE."
Tinsley Mortimer, hair styled, full face of makeup, popped into a nail salon yesterday afternoon for a new coat of Ballet Slippers. As you can see, the nail salon she chose happens to be Iris Nails on Madison Avenue. Which happens to be next door to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. Which happens to have been surrounded by photographers since early yesterday, when Heath Ledger's body was taken there to await burial. We're just saying.
Tinsley Mortimer's Grim Photo-Op [Socialite Life]
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Oh. My. GOD. Were you at Lauren Davis's wedding to billionaire Andres Santo Domingo, on January 18? You know, it was held on Baru, the Colombian island off Cartagena owned by his family, and the papers were all calling it "the first real society wedding of the century." No? Well. You didn't miss anything because it sucked. First of all, did you know that Colombia is, like, dangerous? Yeah, well, it IS. We had to be driven everywhere in bulletproof cars accompanied by bulky, Spanish–speaking bodyguards. Plus, it was 400 degrees, and get this: There wasn't any air-conditioning at the church. We were sitting across from Tinsley Mortimer, and we swear all of a sudden her entire face melted straight off into her lap. It was like Raiders of the Lost Ark or something. Afterward, everyone just flew out of the church like they were being released from a hostage situation.
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We love, love, love Heatherette — even though their show is a glamorous debacle every year, and even though we're not always sure where to buy their clothes. Traver Raines and Richie Rich, the house's creative team, are nice, fun, energetic, and brilliant. Every season their train wreck of an exposition is the highlight during Fashion Week. That's why we are hit hard by the news that they won't be showing this February. They were supposed to show at Roseland Ballroom this year, too, which would have meant that everyone could have come, and the after-party would have been glorious. We're trying to find out why they've bailed (they "prefer not to comment," but we'll get it out of them — we run with the same gays, after all), but in the meantime, we've compiled a top ten list of reasons they might have called off the show:
1) They're only doing a "Cruise" collection this year.
2) They, like so many other small fashion houses, fell victim to great glitter shortage of 2008.
3) The only chaps they could find had asses.
4) Tinsley ate something.
5) Boy Meets Boy went back on the air.
6) A six-foot-eight drag queen has Richie and Traver locked up in a basement somewhere in the Village because she didn't get into their last fashion show, even though she WAS INVITED.
7) Lady Bunny ate Lydia Hearst. Totally kidding. She flossed with her.
8) Someone actually wanted to buy something from last season's show, and they had to figure out how to make it again.
9) Richie broke an axle. On his roller skate.
10) Their Amanda Lepore popped.
Heatherette Cancels Fashion Show [Fashionista]
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Think it’s odd that party fixture Tinsley Mortimer was recently flown to China to attend Fendi’s runway presentation on the Great Wall? Actually, the socialite (and ambassador for Dior Beauty) is big in Asia she’s hard at work designing the fall 2008 collection for Samantha Thavasa (clothes sold only in Japan; handbags sold on Madison Avenue) and is preparing for the spring launch of a new line called Riccimie by Tinsley Mortimer. That doesn’t mean she goes out of her way to eat exotic. “I have a really poor palate,” she confesses. “So I tend to eat a lot of crap.” So is it crap, or merely guilty pleasures?
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For our money, the hottest seat in the house at a Michael Kors show is right next to his fabulously bespectacled mother, Joan. So color us surprised when the blonde who glided in at the last second was not Kors's Project Runway co-host Heidi Klum but instead the increasingly pointless Jessica Simpson.
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It wouldn't be Fashion Week if the Europeans weren't descending to promote something or pick up an award or simply swan about, then disappearing just as quickly as they'd come. Following in the wake of the Alber Elbaz's New York flyby was Donatella Versace, who somehow managed to get Mischa Barton and Demi Moore to take time off from their busy showgoing schedules to pop into Versace flagship earlier this week, hitting the private sixth-floor space for Versace's luncheon. The event was held in honor of Versace's HIT bag, a hot leather number that was Donatella's favorite from this year's line, and the fashion house's first ever Official "It" Bag. (Guess they've learned from Balenciaga that if you name something the most awesome bag of the season, the orders will simply come.)
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We tried our very hardest to navigate the poorly ventilated clusterfuck that was the opening of Just Cavalli’s new flagship on 53rd and Fifth a human smorgasbord of A-listers, models, and hangers-on but the overstuffed room, sweaty attendees, and police-regulated crowd out front made that nearly impossible. Diane Kruger arrived with her equally attractive Dawson’s Creek alum–slash–boyfriend, Joshua Jackson. She was swarmed by photographers; he chatted with us. “Well, I’ve got nothing better to do, right?” he said. Josh swears he’s not into fashion: “I own all these things, but I didn’t put any of this together. That’s Diane’s job. I’ve basically regressed to a 5-year-old boy.”
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Tinsley Mortimer and Olivia Palermo hate each other so much they couldn't jointly host a benefit for Darfur. John Mayer took Mandy Moore to lunch (at La Esquina) and Cameron Diaz to dinner (at Indochine) on the same day. New School president Bob Kerrey, a former governor and senator from Nebraska, might move back to run Chuck Hagel's senate seat. Ivanka Trump instituted a "no midriff, no bikini bottom" rule for her October Stuff magazine cover. Former Jets QB Joe Namath is now a grandfather, though his daughter is only 16. Billy Joel thinks his Hamptons benefit concert was overpriced — and not that good. A Mr. Chow is opening in Vegas. Giants safety Will Demps is done with groupies. A Maxim writer thinks Sanjaya and Adrian Grenier are doppelgängers.
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
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