New York Fashion Week: Cinema Society Founder Andrew Saffir's Party Diary
Woody Allen chats up Lindsay Lohan, we check out Heidi Klum's 2 A.M. party, dine at Isabella Rosellini's daughter's new restaurant and more.
As LA girds itself for the Oscars and the breakneck flurry of pre-Oscar festivities, New York (not to be outshone!) just completed its own version of star-studded spectacles, celebratory dinners and non-stop parties until dawn, on par with the numbing pace of Oscar week: Fashion Week! Warning though …Fashion Week is not for the faint of heart, prone-to-fatigue or weak-livered!
The week begins with our premiere of Thin Ice with Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup and Lea Thompson. Paul Haggis, Debbie Harry, Russell Simmons and more all take in the cool comedy/noir thriller at the Soho Grand Hotel. Kathy Najimy invites us to see her husband Dan's band (called aptly, The Dan Band) later in the week. More on that to come…
The next night is the annual amfAR gala (and the unofficial start to Fashion Week). Like the big gala they do every year in Cannes during the film festival, the evening is packed to the Cipriani rafters with celebrities and high-rollers. Host Sarah Jessica Parker (every benefit should have SJP host! Please!),kicks off the proceedings with a tribute to amfAR pioneer Dame Elizabeth Taylor, as the monitors roll a movie montage of those notorious violet eyes, which has all of our eyes welling up. Roberto Cavalli is also among the honorees and Cindy Crawford and Elizabeth Hurley do the honors. Throughout dinner, there’s beaucoup de mingling, and I spy co-chair Woody Allen talking to….Lindsay Lohan? I later learn they were at the same New Year’s Eve party together (really?). I also spot Anna Wintour, Julianne Moore, Leighton Meester, and Rose Byrne (who is making her first trip to the Oscar stage this year). Padma Lakshmi auctions off a Robert Mapplethorpe photo of a strapping and shirtless Richard Gere in super-tight jeans. Following dinner, Daniel and I kidnap Karolina Kurkova and boyfriend (and filmmaker) Archie Drury into the back of our waiting SUV and dash off to Heidi Klum's late night party at chic boite Double Seven. We run into model/actress Liya Kebede, singer Janelle Monae, and Gossip Girl bad boy Ed Westwick. I glance at my watch and it’s almost 2 am. So much for pacing myself.
The next night it’s dinner at brand new hotspot Acme. We did the premiere of Man on a Ledge there just before they officially opened their doors a few weeks ago, and the place is now among the city’s hardest-to-score table. We sup with Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman, Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, and scattered around the room are a few of fashion's finest, among them, designer John Varvatos, MAC’s John Demsey, Aerin Lauder, and on and on.
The next day we hit our pal Elettra Wiedemann's Goodness restaurant opening (her chic organic spot) and gab for a bit with her mom, Isabella Rossellini, before racing to our seats at Rachel Zoe’s runway show. Rave review in Women's Wear Daily, among others. We give Rachel and family (and blue-eyed baby boy Skyler) big kisses before resting up for the evening. After our disco nap, we head to dinner at Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel, where we hear the devastating news about Whitney Houston. Fighting back real tears, we hit Kathy Najimy's husband Dan Finnerty's show (The Dan Band), along with Meg Ryan, Steve Guttenberg, Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. Whitney Houston is playing as we enter Kathy and Dan’s cozy VIP party after. Eyes tear again. Following that, we meet up with Rachel & Rodger for some post-show champagne in their hotel room (a stunning suite high above the city with killer skyline views).
Next up, following dinner at Graydon Carter’s still red-hot Waverly Inn, we pack into cool nightspot The Electric Room for our close friend Helena Christensen's fete for VS Magazine. We kiss Ali Hewson (aka Bono’s wife), spot Michael Pitt and Stephen Dorff, and stay for Helena's boyfriend's (musician Paul Banks) DJ set, before racing off to chic Rachel Roy's post-show bash at the Darby Downstairs.
The following night, W editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi hosts a cocktail party (and mesmerizing 50-foot-high video installation) at the Park Avenue Armory, where our weary half-mast Fashion Week eyes are newly revitalized by the sight of a stunning Cate Blanchett, Sienna Miller, Evan Rachel Wood, Chris Evans, Martha Stewart, and gorgeous power coupleTory Burch and Lyor Cohen.
The next day, we are front row at the Marchesa show at the Plaza Hotel. Across the runway, we wave to Hollywood king, the cool Bryan Lourd and CAA’s dapper Joe Machota. The show and every drop-dead glamorous dress is ethereal and breathtakingly beautiful. We dash backstage to kiss Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, while stopping to chat with a beaming and proud Harvey Weinstein.
And the next morning, we take our champagne-soaked, sleep-deprived selves to Kennedy airport, winging our way to L.A. as I write this, so that we can begin another week long bacchanal all over again! (God help us.)
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