The Party for Elie Tahari’s Spring Collection Was Basically a Set for The City

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Elie Tahari, Emmy Rossum, Jim Gold, Samantha Swetra, Whitney Port, Joe Zee. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Upon entering the party for Elie Tahari’s spring collection at Bergdorf Goodman last night, we had to dodge several large video cameras and squeeze past herds of headset-wearing producers before we realized what all the fuss was about: Nearly the entire cast of The City was milling around, pretending to act natural while other guests pretended not to stare. We had been there for barely five minutes when a woman tapped us on the shoulder, presented us with a release form, and informed us that we were in some of the shots. Randomly, Emmy Rossum popped by for a few minutes and chatted with the designer, who looked adorably baffled by all of the cameras. When asked if he watched The City, Tahari nodded loyally. “Yes! Yes, I watch it. I love it,” he answered. Really? “Well, I haven’t watched all of the episodes. I’ve only watched a few.”

Whitney and Olivia were too busy looking social to do interviews, but City star and Elle creative director Joe Zee spoke about recent changes at W, where his former boss Patrick McCarthy is being replaced by Stefano Tonchi. “W was my home for ten years, and I absolutely adore Patrick McCarthy — he was my mentor and my hero, and I look up to him and he taught me so much. My career is due to him in many ways. So it’s really the end of the McCarthy era, and that part is really sad for me. But the exciting part is to see the future. Stefano will do a great job, totally,” he said. Tonchi has vowed to make W more general-interest and less fashion-obsessed; was Zee hoping to see any specific changes in the publication? “No. I want to be surprised. I don’t want to guess, I don’t want to speculate, I just want to be surprised. When you’re surprised, you’re so much more excited.”

Meanwhile, producers cleared away a large chunk of party attendees so that they could get uninterrupted shots of Whitney pecking Tahari on the cheek and Zee talking with Olivia Palermo. But they did have to make the set — er, the party — look realistic, so they took turns walking in front of the cameras themselves. When they had each taken several laps, producers began drawing “extras” from the guests. “Excuse me,” said one, “would you mind walking over to that rack over there [he indicated a rack on the other side of the room] and then back to me?” We obliged, trying not to look as ridiculous as we felt.