WITH SPENCER MORGAN
February 23, 2004
Regaining Conscience: Lizzie Gears Up
PR queen Lizzie Grubman is getting back to her roots (no, not those roots …). As you may recall, two summers ago, she repped—and then abruptly stopped repping—the Southampton nightclub Conscience Point. This summer, Grubman’s returning to the Hamptons club scene, to do publicity for Star Room, a Wainscott club that opened last year. We suggest her special parking spot be clearly demarcated this time… . In other East End news, Bamboo will open only as a restaurant this summer (leaving few Hamptons nightclubs left), but Jean Luc is opening another restaurant, in Wainscott, and David Loewenberg of Red Bar will open a new eatery in East Hampton. Book early to avoid, well … just book early.
With this season’s Fashion Week party circuit disturbingly low-key, the opening fête for Louis Vuitton’s 57th Street store was a deservedly hot invite—and the most lavish event since Hermès closed down a block in 2000. Attending the label’s 150th-anniversary bash: Rudy and Judi Giuliani, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst, and Angie Harmon, who generously declared that she “could never deprive anyone of the Louis Vuitton experience.” Then it was off to a Lincoln Center tent for a performance featuring a trippy video, a gospel choir, and trunks in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. “This beats their other events!” trilled Eve. “It’s amazing!”
“I sit there and look at those girls on the runways and I realize all it takes to model clothes is attitude and an IQ to match your waist size.”
—Joan Rivers, on Fashion Week.
Brit-Pack Update: No Plum Deal
The British invasion was interesting for five minutes and now it’s not. (Soho House, Posh-’n’-Becks—yawn, bloody yawn.) Further evidence: Plum Sykes, Vogue contributing editor and last millennium’s “It” girl, can’t get a movie deal for Bergdorf Blondes, her thinly fictionalized memoir (Miramax Books, April). Apparently, Sykes, who named her protagonist Moi and seems to have modeled Moi’s ex-fiancé on her real ex-fiancé—painter Damian Loeb, who recently wed a model—retained the movie rights in her whopping $650,000 advance. We suspect that her witty-yet-not observations (e.g., “The hottest sample sales in New York are so fraught with danger they make the Gaza Strip look peaceful”) may have been deal-breakers for Hollywood execs, who merrily passed on the option. Sykes’s agent didn’t return calls.
Marrying Up: Whipple Will Wed
George Whipple, NY1’s bushy-browed society reporter, may soon marry someone who married into New York society. (Matrimonial social climbing runs in the family—Whipple’s sister, Allison, married Peter Rockefeller.) Whipple recently became engaged to Lisa Woodward, the widow of banking heir William Woodward 3rd, who jumped out of a window during their divorce proceedings in 1999. (Woodward’s father was shot by his mother in 1955 when she allegedly thought he was an intruder. The ensuing scandal was immortalized by both Dominick Dunne and Truman Capote.) Last week, Whipple and Woodward threw themselves an engagement party at Le Cirque, and we hear her ring finger is sporting some serious bling. Whipple was briefly married in the late eighties and had a long, bubbly relationship with a water-aerobics instructor he met while covering an event.
Porn Identity: Slick, Rick …
It seems no one is more excited than Rick Solomon that the world can now view a full-length, in-color version of the sex video he shot with Paris Hilton. “The other one’s like The Blair Witch Project,” he said, referring to the four-minute, grainy, green, night-vision clip that found its way onto the Internet in November. “You know what I mean?” (They’re both frightening?) But is the 37-minute color version—currently downloadable for the bargain price of $50—better? “For sure,” grinned Solomon, in that doofy, Bill-and-Ted way that makes you wonder why he didn’t append “dude” to the end of the sentence. Upon further contemplation, he conceded that both versions were “cool.” On hand to support his friend Jennifer Nicholson at her Bryant Park fashion show on Wednesday, the irrepressible Solomon offered his astute analysis of a runway “wardrobe malfunction” that left a model’s breasts exposed: “Nice!”
Toasting Travolta: Vid Wishes
Apparently, blowing off John Travolta’s 50th-birthday-bash weekend in Mexico—which took place at the luxurious One&Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos—is perfectly okay as long as you make an appearance via video. The extent to which you embarrass yourself, however, is entirely up to you. Bill Clinton, for example, mailed in a truly stellar performance for the tentatively titled John Travolta Kudos Video, with the line “You’ve got enough grease to keep you going for another 50 years, and that’s not pulp fiction.” (We don’t know who Clinton’s new humor writers are, but they must be stopped.) Steven Spielberg, imitating Woody Allen, played the clarinet as wife Kate Capshaw, looking Mia Farrow–esque in a tiara, sang “Happy Birthday” in a deafening falsetto. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson performed a “disco” version of the birthday song, while the birthday boy’s fellow Grease-er Olivia Newton-John really pushed the video-protocol limits with an unbearable Travolta-ized version of “The Girl From Ipanema.” No word on whether The Man From Englewood, New Jersey, was moved to tears. But we certainly were.
Her Other Big House: Jailbird Diana Ross puts her place up for sale.
Now that she’s out of the slammer (Set me free, why don’tcha baaaaabe! … er, sorry), Diana Ross won’t be coming home to her Fifth Avenue co-op in the Sherry-Netherland. We hear the Motown legend—forced to serve a brief stint for DWIÂ—has put her 2,500-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment on the market for $9.2 million. For more than a decade, she’s lived there and presumably ordered room service from Harry Cipriani. Ross also has homes in L.A. and Connecticut. Her broker, Roger Erickson of William B. May, declined to comment.