August 6, 2001

Photo: David Allen/Corbis

Wintour’s Not Too Sure About HavingSex
Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on Sex and the City may worship Vogue, but the fashion bible’s editrix, Anna Wintour, isn’t returning the love. Wintour recently received a letter from Sex and the City producers requesting permission to shoot an upcoming episode at her office (for all you Sex fans, we won’t say why), but Wintour’s not ready for her close-up. We overheard Wintour at last week’s premiere of Apocalypse Now Redux telling her 15-year-old son, Charlie, that she’ll probably pass because she hasn’t been too impressed with the series’ third season. Charlie wisely countered that the publicity would be good for the magazine. Wintour, however, worried about how she’ll be portrayed. “They’ve already written the part that’s based on me,” she said, “but I am afraid she will probably be dreadful.”

Lizzie Grubman: Signature Dish
First there were the Lizzie Grubmanjokes and the “Lizzie’s Hamptons 500” Internet video game. Then there was the rather boorish New York Post contest launched last week (first prize: one Mercedes-Benz SUV). Now, here come the autograph hounds. Bizarre, yes. But it seems there’s a burgeoning market for Grubman’s signature. After Grubman was quoted in New York’s 1999 Hamptons issue declaring that Twice Upon a Bagel in Wainscott had the best bagels on the East End, the magazine’s cover and Grubman’s snippet were blown up to poster size and displayed in the shop. Grubman autographed it with YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST, LIZZIE. Two years and one horrible accident later, shop owner Steve Vaccaro says customers have offered as much as $25,000 for the blowup. “People have been making comments,” he says, “asking if I’m going to take it down, how much do I want for it, am I going to put it on eBay. The Grubmans have been customers for six years. I’m just not willing to write someone off like that.”

Annie Leibovitz’s Ribbon Cutting
Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree and Annie Leibovitz will likely rip it off. On two different occasions, the photographer made her employees cut down yellow ribbons that the Live/Work Coalition – a group lobbying to extend the city’s loft laws into West Chelsea – has tied around trees in front of her 26th Street studio. The ribbons – intended to raise awareness of the plight of local artists facing eviction – have appeared throughout the neighborhood recently. “We had no idea that those were her trees that are planted on the sidewalk,” snipes coalition member Eileen Kelly. Kelly claims a Leibovitz employee told her that they were under strict orders by Leibovitz to remove the ribbons. “We have photo shoots and celebrities here, and it doesn’t look good to have these bright yellow ribbons,” one staffer says. Even so, another staffer says they’d be happy to display the ribbons now: “We didn’t know what they were for. But now that we do, we’d be happy to leave them.”

A Mademoiselle in Distress
It’s true, the goodie bag atMademoiselle’s party at Cabaña in Southampton for covergirl Kristin Davis was better than most. But junior socialite and real-estate heiress Marjorie Gubelmann may have gotten a little carried away. It seems that by the time the millionairess tried to claim one of the giveaways – a SAK tote stuffed with about $300 worth of freebies – there were none left. But Gubelmann – who appeared in last summer’s BBC documentary on the Hamptons, Manhattan on the Beach, proclaiming that “new riche is better than no riche at all” – didn’t want to go home empty-handed. Onlookers laughed as she frantically searched the room for a possible stray, peeking under tables and pleading with staffers to help her find one. “People turn into greedy creatures overgift bags,” reports a fellow partygoer. “You could put a dead animal in a paper bag and people would try and take two.” Gubelmann confirmed that she still wants a bag and won’t be happy until she gets one. Mademoiselle has graciously offered to send her one.

Art Patrons Duped by Rogues’ Gallery
Nonprofit arts foundation Gen Art is dedicated to showcasing emerging artists, so you’d think the organization would have a clue as to who those artists are – or, in this case, aren’t. At the recent opening of a Gen Art exhibit at the Puck Building, co-curator Jon Raymond, along with HilarySwank and husband Chad Lowe, was splattered with a cream pie thrown by a man protesting the anti-police artwork of Zelig Kurland. But we’ve since learned that Zelig Kurland doesn’t exist. And neither do artists Heath Bieferman, Darius Rinaali, or Betsy Tripi – in fact, ten of the fourteen artists featured in the show are fictitious, and the pie and protest were staged as well. Unfortunately, Gen Art organizers still don’t get the joke. They insisted to us that all of the artists were real and, to vouch for their authenticity, referred us to the curators. “Most of them were fake,” confirms co-curatorJay Sanders. “It seemed like the best thing to do, since we felt like Gen Art was just asking us to provide props for their party.” The bogus artworks on the walls were created by Raymond, Sanders, and a bunch of their friends.

Scotch Guard
Sandra Bernhard’s no fan of Madonna’s fashion choices. While having breakfast at the Bus Stop café the day after Madonna’s first New York concert at Madison Square Garden last week, one of our spies saw Bernhard snatch up a newspaper from the counter. Pointing to the front-page photo of the Material Girl in her punked-out Scottish attire, Bernhard sneered, “What the hell is that?”

Matt Lauer: A Fate Worse Than Death?
Jennifer Lopez may be wishing she’d never used the N-word in the remix of her “I’m Real” single. She’s apparently received death threats since Hot 97 morning hosts Star and Buc Wild started blasting her on their show for using the word because she’s not African-American. A source tells us that Lopez was so worried about the threats that she actually considered canceling her July 13 performance on the Today show. A Today rep says the show knew of no threats but that producers beefed up security in order to handle the 6,000 or so people who squeezed into Rockefeller Plaza for the free concert. Lopez’s rep insists her only real fear was Matt Lauer: “She was nervous about Matt Lauer’s questions, like ‘Are you pregnant?’ and ‘Are you getting married?’ There was never a doubt Jennifer would perform.” Traci Bingham Goes Commando
Former Harvard student and Baywatch alum Traci Bingham had a slew of single men – including Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Breckin Meyer, and even Hugh Hefner – to choose from at ‘N Sync’s record-release party in Los Angeles last week, but she decided to go straight for one of the big guys instead – 24-year-old ‘N Sync-er Joey Fatone. A spy at the bash reports that after only a few minutes of chatting with Fatone, the skimpily clad 33-year-old Bingham leaned close and cooed into his ear, “You know, I never wear underwear.” Fatone, who’s been linked with women’s-wrestling champ Chyna in recent months, was less than impressed. “He kind of politely smiled and looked at her like, ‘Why are you telling me this?’ ” says our source. “And then he just walked away.”

Craig to Jenna: Joke’s on Me
First Daughter Jenna Bush has every reason to be fed up with the beating she’s taken on late-night TV. But confronting Craig Kilborn in a bar probably won’t help matters very much. A West Coast spy reports that the 19-year-old Bush was in a Los Angeles watering hole last week when she spotted Kilborn drinking with Vince Vaughn. Bush, who’s spending the summer in L.A. as an intern at entertainment firm Brillstein-Grey, introduced herself to Kilborn and then pleaded, “Will you stop making fun of me on the air?” Sure, Kilborn said. But then, without missing a beat, he cracked, “So, can I buy you a beer now?” For the record, our spy did not see the underage Bush drinking, although most of the friends she was with seemed to really be enjoying themselves.

We’re happy to report that preparations for the highly anticipated October wedding of supermodel Christy Turlington and director-actor Ed Burns in Italy are coming together nicely. Not only will Bono walk her down the aisle, but now we hear that Turlington has asked John Galliano to design her dress.

Jewelry designer David Yurman and his wife, Sybil, love their
6-month-old Maltese, Sushi, so much they can’t bear to leave him home alone. The couple brought Sushi along to a recent dinner honoring Saks Fifth Avenue chairman Philip Miller at the historic Harold Pratttown house, where they kindly asked to check the dog at the coatroom. A fellow partygoer reports that Sybil made sure to bring home a doggie bag filled with treats, including veal scaloppine from Glorious Food.

When Bill Clinton was introduced to Lee Dunham at a breakfast with the New York City Partnership business group at Harlem’s Bayou restaurant last week, Partnership prez Kathy Wylde pointed out that Dunham was the first person to open a McDonald’s in Harlem, in 1972, not far from Clinton’s new office. Clinton, who had just finished a breakfast of bacon and grits, smiled. “I know,” he said, according to a spy. “I’ll be seeing all of
you there in twenty minutes.”

With Catherine Townsend and Aric Chen.

August 6, 2001