May 6, 2002

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Fashion Wire Daily

Alicia Silverstone Pulls Rabbit Act
Alicia Silverstone doesn’t monkey around when it comes to animal-rights activism. When Anne Klein signed on as a co-sponsor with InStyle for the opening-night party of Broadway’s The Graduate, Silverstone agreed to wear one of the fashion house’s dresses to the bash. But then Silverstone – who stars in the show along with Kathleen Turner and Jason Biggs – got a look at the rabbit-fur jackets featured in the Anne Klein catalogue. She refused to slip on one of its dresses unless the company agreed to stop using fur. Shockingly, Silverstone has gotten her way. “I agree with your point of view, and have today pulled the rabbit jacket off the line,” Anne Klein CEO John D. Idol wrote in a letter to the actress. “We will not be producing it or like product in the future. Based upon your convictions and our belief in the same, I will also terminate our fur license as soon as possible.” And that’s not all. Silverstone, a longtime PETA supporter, has convinced several of the show’s crew members to go vegetarian and keeps animal-rights videos on hand backstage for the cast and crew.

Wyclef Jean Finds Refuge for New Restaurant
Britney Spears isn’t the only singer trying to break into the New York restaurant business. Wyclef Jean tells us he’s close to signing a deal for a space in Hell’s Kitchen to hatch the Refugee Lounge, a Haitian restaurant. He hasn’t chosen his chef, but he’s already begun collecting authentic Haitian recipes from family members. Also, look for the wait staff to be performing between courses. “I want everyone who works there to have some sort of talent, like singing or playing an instrument,” he told us last week at Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, and Mark Baker’s Hamptons magazine party at China Grill. “They’re going to be able to show off what they got.” If all goes well, Jean says, he wants to hit Miami next. Meanwhile, Spears’s NYLA restaurant in the Dylan Hotel is coming along just fine. We hear it will open on June 15, and Spears will host a blowout organized by Berk Communications on June 27 for about 1,500 people.

Getting Old Is a Drag for Jeff Klein
Socialites Lulu de Kwiatkowski, Alex Von Furstenberg, Serena and Samantha Boardman, Rena Sindi, Ginny Bond and her daughter Ginny Jr., Marjorie Gubelmann, Amanda Hearst, Tory Burch, Fernanda Niven, Lauren duPont, and Nicky Hilton and beau MTV hunkster Brian McFadden gathered at DB Bistro Moderne at the City Club Hotel last Monday to celebrate the birthday of the hotel’s owner, real-estate and exterminator scion Jeff Klein. Halfway through dinner, in walked Destiny, a drag queen in a bustier, who began serenading him by lip-synching Etta James’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” Also stopping by was Monica Lewinsky, who scowled when Destiny cracked, “Oh, is that why Monica is here?” as Klein was blowing out his candles.

Bijou Phillips: A Card-Carrying Celebrity
Fred Durst, Christina Ricci, and Gina Gershon made the cut, but Thora Birch and Bai Ling got turned away at the party to launch the new Skechers Four Wheelers rollerskates at the Palladium in Los Angeles on April 18. Shortly after 9 p.m., club owner Alan Shuman started carding everyone at the door. (There was an open bar inside.) The situation got a bit tense when Lionel Richie’s 20-year-old daughter, Nicole, handed Shuman a license she had borrowed from her pal, 22-year-old Bijou Phillips, which Shuman immediately confiscated. “Then he told her to go fuck herself,” our spy says. Yet despite the tight security, 17-year-old Jena Malone and 20-year-old Jessica Biel somehow made it inside without fake IDs. Shuman vehemently denied losing his temper, saying only, “We obeyed the law.”

Waiting for the Sun To Go Down
Many staffers at the New York Post are betting on the New York Sun’s folding. We hear that a pool was started in the Post newsroom a day after the Sun launched on April 16 to predict the exact date when the new conservative broadsheet will shutter. Getting into the pool costs a dollar, and so far the pot has risen to $79. Predictions range from two months to never. However, some Post-ers opted not to gamble. “They don’t like the idea of betting on another paper’s demise and people being out of work,” one staffer told us.

Carrie On: Despite the fact that the 1988 musical version of Carrie was one of the biggest fiascos in Broadway history (it burned through $8 million), Stephen King may yet see the story back onstage. We hear that King has given Theatre Couture, an edgy company known for campy productions that usually include at least one drag queen, permission to develop its own version based on the horror novel. The show will be written by Us Weekly’s Erik Jackson and directed by Josh Rosenzweig with costumes by Patricia Field designer David Dalrymple. Drag queen Sherry Vine is expected to star as either Carrie or her crazed Bible-thumping mother. And just to be safe, King has final script approval.

With Catherine Townsend.

May 6, 2002