Do you really want to Hearst me? Tonight’s book parties are all secretly masterminded by Hearst, the stodgy, vaguely Midwestern media conglomerate that owns such scintillating titles as Good Housekeeping and Talk (quietly, desperately morphing into a soft-porn magazine). First up, Victoria the rag for women in their 40’s who buy eyelet petticoats off eBay and have three and a half cats , not that there’s anything wrong with that co-hosts a bash for Designers in Residence: The Personal Style of Top Women Decorators and Designers. Bonus excerpt regarding lady-decorator Charlotte Moss’ design philosophy: “She likes to leave books open on the Ottoman she uses as a coffee table. ‘Whenever you fluff your pillows, turn to another page,’ says Charlotte.” Genius ! (Send your shabby-chic boyfriend who likes to garden.) Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan ‘s spunky editor in chief, Kate White, throws a cocktail party at her Upper East Side pad for Cosmo senior books editor John Searles (see vaguely Michael J. Fox esque photo), who has and here’s a shocker ! written a novel of his own, Boy Still Missing . Frank McCourt compares him to J.D. Salinger, but we don’t think Mr. Searles is living in New Hampshire and eating bark. Bonus dirty excerpt: She was “smooshing her t*ts together so they grew even larger.” Conspiracy theorists take note : Heather Graham did the very same thing on the cover of Talk ! Who says synergy is dead?
[Designers in Residence, 170 East 70th Street, 6 p.m., 472-1500, ext. 194; Boy Still Missing , somewhere on the Upper East Side, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 649-3502.]
Tighten yer belts? For those in retail, the word “recession” is spelled one way: “A-C-C-E-S-S-O-R-I-E-S,” girlfriend! One of our Observer colleagues, Emily Bracken, is quitting this taco stand to design accessories for her own company, The Belted Earl. “The Belted Earl used to be a euphemism for anyone in British aristocracy, because they kept their sword hidden in their little whatever-it-was,” said the bodacious Ms. Bracken. “With George W. and conservatism, I think that people appreciate a return to the classics, updated to make them funky. Like my grandfather is the coolest dresser. It’s a range of Upper East Sider to East Village kids. No handbags .” Tonight, she has a cocktail-party sample sale. Stay tuned for the Eight-Day Week’s line of designer tea cozies …
[193 Bowery, fourth floor, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 917-969-1319.]
Ananda, fix the sink! If you’re a member of brassy, bubbly Generation Y (boomer arrogance combined with total lack of irony and a stunning unwillingness to even approach the Xerox machine), you’ll want to know about today’s YM party celebrating their MTV issue. YM used to be “Young Miss,” then it was “Young and Modern,” and now no one actually knows. In the crowd: Carson Daly, Ananda Lewis and Mandy ( please tell us this is Temptation Island’ s wacky, strawberry-blond Mandy? ); a group called O-town will perform, and no, we don’t think Oprah Winfrey owns a piece of them. “It’s the newest boy band,” a publicist told us. “They were founded by the same guy who founded Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync. He’s like a huge fat guy out of Fort Lauderdale who has his finger in every pop sensation.” We don’t like the sound of that one bit.
[Milk Studios, 450 West 15th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 499-1640.]
Hating Hollywood? Maybe we just need some Sarafem (a.k.a. Prozac marketed to women not !), but all these American movies with gerunds in the title Finding Forrester . Saving Private Ryan . Saving Silverman . Teaching Mrs. Tingle (originally Killing Mrs. Tingle ). Being John Malkovich . Guarding Tess . Boxing Helena . Chasing Amy . Servicing Sara make us want to scream . (And when we called Citibank the other day, the recording told us that all the customer-service reps were busy “servicing” other customers; since when did Citibank become an escort service? ) Anyway, today the Film Society of Lincoln Center opens the season’s umpteenth frog flick-fest, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema , and not a gerund in the lot! Merci beaucoup ! Tonight it’s Murderous Maids , a cautionary tale not about East Side housekeepers but rather about what happens when your family hates you, sends you to a convent and hires you out as domestic help. Great date movie.
[Walter Reade Theater, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, call 875-5610 for schedule.]
Early-90’s revival watch! Minimalism over? Yes but it’s also back ! “Less is more” is the very 1991 theme at the Architectural League’s Beaux Arts Ball, held in Mies van der Rohe’s sleek Seagram Building. On an invitation so subtle one can barely read it , guests are invited
to “dress more” or “dress less” the sartorial equivalent of a big, slouchy shrug. It’s enough to make one feel the first prickings of nostalgia for Save Venice’s recent masked ball or the Tartan Ball (not that anyone invited us to those lovely parties, hel- lo ?!?) Anyway, prizes will be awarded from the likes of the Princeton Architectural Press for the most architecturally inventive costumes. Hey, if they can dig us up a nice Princeton boy to make our Precious jealous (he’s gotta cook!), we’ll wear a d*mned lampshade on our head. In your gift bag: something from Calvin Klein. Ooo !
[375 Park Avenue, 9 p.m., 753-1722.]
Hi-de-heiress: You’d think we’d have learned by now that Sundays are a quiet day , but no-oo-o we came up with the one single thing that is going on in New York today (besides Sam Donaldson turning 67): Cab Calloway’s daughter, Chris, is appearing with the Hi-De-Ho Orchestra and Dancers out in Brooklyn, the borough for people who are just plain fed up! (What with Kate Hudson , that disappointing Judy Garland biopic on ABC, etc., we’re pretty much up to here with second-generation entertainers , but maybe we’ll dial up our “jazz aficionado” friend with the leather blazer and clove-cigarette habit and get him to take us or maybe not .)
[Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Walt Whitman Theater, Brooklyn College, one block from the junction of Flatbush and Nostrand avenues, 2 p.m., 718-951-4500.]
Are you Finnished? The Northern European invasion Ikea , H&M , the Scandinavian Institute , all those Danish Modern revivals at the Cooper-Hewitt continues apace with a party for Richard Rayner’s new book, The Cloud Sketcher , set in bleak, war-torn early-20th-century Finland and jolly Jazz Age Manhattan. (In continuing evidence of synergy, Mr. Rayner is an occasional Talk contributor! Which means, if he plays his cards right, he’ll be promoted to writing for Gotham soon!) Alan Parker (he of such riotous successes as Angela’s Ashes and Evita ) is supposed to direct and write the movie version, and Brad (“Gwyneth Who?”) Pitt is apparently seriously considering the part of the protagonist, a Finnish architect named Esko Vaananen with burn scars on his face . We smell a “Best Makeup” Oscar. But tonight the thing is still a book, so enjoy some gratis Finlandia vodka at the United Nations (which, disturbingly, seems to be a new book-party hot spot ) and this bonus dirty excerpt about typical Finnish lovemaking from page 93: ” she behaved, after sex, like a hectoring aunt .”
[Consulate General of Finland, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 250, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 207-7522.]
Gala gridlock: Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon (the “smart” one) goes up against Lauren Bacall, Zoe Caldwell, Sandy Duncan, Celeste Holm (of All About Eve fame), Bebe Neuwirth , Lynn Redgrave and the Radio City Rockettes? Whose event will win? Ms. Nixon may look frail, but we kinda like her chances. She M.C.’s a benefit for the Kathryn and Gilber Miller Health Care Institute for Performing Artists at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center ; the other ladies are teaming up for that interminable ” Nothing Like a Dame” event for the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of the Actors’ Fund of America. Free advice: Go to the wacko Finnish book party, above, or stay home and watch Ally McBeal ; but send a check to both of these fine causes, because without performing artists and women this city would just be a bunch of guys sitting around scratching themselves, eating Cheez Doodles, checking out “stereo equipment” on the Internet and talking about the designated-hitter rule.
[Miller Health Care, Kaplan Penthouse, Lincoln Center, 6 p.m., 523-7800; "Nothing Like a Dame," Martin Beck Theater, 302 West 45th Street, 8 p.m., 221-7300, ext. 129.]
High Colin-ic: Anyone else share our mild Colin Quinn obsession? No? O.K. Tonight Mr. Quinn, whose brash, understated presence we really kinda miss on Saturday Night Live ‘s slick new “Weekend Update,” joins 90’s sex symbol Janeane Garofalo and peerless Bill Clinton Al Gore mimic Darrell Hammond to do some good old-fashioned standup at a Town Hall “Comedy J.A.M.” Normally we avoid anything with the word ” comedy” in the title, let alone an acronym like ” J.A.M .,” but it benefits spinal meningitis . What they’re raffling: signed Rangers sticks (see aforementioned Cheez Doodles reference) and “some stuff” from spunky Daily Show host Jon Stewart , who did a nimble job of hosting the Grammys even if the music-industry types were too stupid to get his material. Did we mention Colin Quinn is gonna be there?
[123 West 43rd Street, 7:30 p.m., 307-4100.]
A week ’til spring? We just can’t wait for that fetid, inexplicably popular season that makes our skin break out . In the meantime, Hearst continues its stranglehold on the week, as art directors and photo editors from CosmoGirl , Good Housekeeping and Redbook (along with a bunch of stable boys from Condé Nast’s Allure , The New Yorker , Self, etc.) show up bright and early at the Art Directors’ Club in Chelsea to review and “judge” the work of any photographer willing to show up and pay 100 bucks Continental breakfast (a Danish, if you’re lucky) will be served. So, you li’l Soho shutterbugs, get together those “edgy” nude self-portraits you did last spring .
[106 West 29th Street, 8 a.m. yikes! call 643-1440 to register.]