The Us Weekly Most Stylish New Yorkers party honored the celebrities who come to mind first when you think “style” and “New York”: Jamie Chung, Bethenny Frankel, former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, a dozen other people who have appeared on television at least once, and Billy Bush. Us Weekly’s publicists did not reveal how they determined that these New Yorkers were the most stylish (secret ballots tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers?), but they did let me know that I would only be able to speak to the honored guests on the press line outside the party, which was held at Vandal on Bowery. Once inside the event, the most stylish among us were not to be bothered under any circumstances for photos or interviews.
Luckily, I got to meet so many fashionable city dwellers on the pink carpet on the sidewalk outside. I talked to Frankie Grande, the older half-brother of Ariana Grande, and Rachel Smith, a former Miss USA, about their web series Style Code. Rachel told me that I need to get a new phone. (It’s cracked.) I talked to Katie Lee, formerly known as Katie Lee Joel, about life in the Hamptons. I did not talk to former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman about The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or Bachelor in Paradise because her publicist told me, “Fashion questions only — no Bachelor.” Instead, I asked her about Fashion Week.
“I’m seeing a lot of tribal for, like, spring, which I love,” she said. “I’m not always great with color, but for some reason my eye is on the tribal.”
All of the stars’ egos seemed boosted by the honor of being named most stylish and the fact of the pink carpet, and they talked at length about their lives and their projects, even if I didn’t ask. After about an hour of this, the Housewives showed up.
Real Housewives of New York City’s Carole Radziwill told me about her evolving relationship with fellow cast member Dorinda Medley. Bethenny Frankel, purveyor of Skinnygirl Margaritas and the most successful star on RHONY, did not want to talk to me at all.
When I asked her about Bitch Sesh, a popular podcast about the Housewives, she looked at me like I was mentally incompetent. “What happened? Bitch-something the podcast?” she snapped. “What is she saying? I don’t know what you’re saying.”
Then I asked her about the rumor that she worked with producers to prove Tom cheated on Luann this season (if you’re not watching, I don’t know what to tell you). “That would never, ever happen on the show. Ever,” she said. I laughed nervously for about 1 million years, and then her blonde, 24-year-old assistant whisked her inside.
Suddenly, I was interviewing the R&B singer Maxwell, because his publicist said, “I’d love for you to talk to Maxwell,” and Maxwell was in front of me. “What’s your favorite restaurant in New York?” I asked him, because I had heard another person ask it earlier. He told me Wild, and then he changed his mind.
“Honestly, there’s nothing like a good home-cooked meal by a beautiful woman that loves you and wants to nourish you with the food that they’ve made with love.”
With that, I decided to move off the press line and into the party, where other stylish New Yorkers like former 90210 star Jessica Lowndes and four more Bachelor stars were drinking “Miss Demeanors,” the signature cocktail of the night. Lowndes, dressed in a sexy Charlie Chaplin outfit, chatted with Andi Dorfman at the bar, while Bethenny Frankel sat at a reserved table near the DJ.
Before I crossed the threshold into the wood-paneled basement lounge, Us Weekly’s publicists reminded me once again that I was not allowed to talk to any celebrities inside. “That’s fine,” I said.