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Lena Dunham took a break from being the center of attention when she attended the release party for Betty Halbreich‘s memoir I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, With a Twist on Thursday night and handed off the torch to the book’s author. The party, which feted the 86-year-old Bergdorf Goodman buyer, attracted designers Zac Posen, Isaac Mizrahi, and Duro Olowu, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, and herds of Halbreich’s longtime clients on the first official night of New York Fashion Week.
“She picked out my first Bob Mackie dress for me,” said one octogenarian in a suit dress. The original invitation for the party, held on the store’s third floor, stated that the hosts would be designer Michael Kors and Halbreich’s longtime pal Joan Rivers — however, neither were in attendance, the latter for the unfortunate reason of the 81-year-old comedian’s death that very day. “It’s so sad, so sad,” Halbreich said to a group of guests who had surrounded her as she tried to make her way into the packed party. But in typical Joan Rivers fashion, the show went on: Halbreich was escorted through the crowd by publicists and security as she made her way to the front of a roped-off line where her clients and friends waited, between photographs being taken, for her to sign their copies of I’ll Drink to That.
As for Dunham, who optioned Halbreich’s book before it was even published, she practically went unnoticed. Despite a few reporters approaching her (“I’m not really doing press tonight,” she said politely), the Girls mastermind stood off to the side, walking through the older crowd with ease, as guests swarmed Halbreich, the star of their show, craning their necks over the hulking security guards to see the vivacious buyer-turned-writer in her sequin top. Dunham, meanwhile, stood off to the side with pal Audrey Gelman, chatting with art curator Thelma Golden, before making a quiet, unnoticed exit — presumably for the first time, in a long time.
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