Lotus entertain you! Let’s face it: No matter how many well-showered fashion models, cozy little pie companies and fancy flower markets they put in the meatpacking district, the place just isn’t gonna smell good until they clear out those dear, departed cows . But can you blame a gal for trying? Tonight at Jeffrey where we have spent many a rainy weekend afternoon fitfully running our hands over the $500 shoes designer Masakï Matsushïma (protégé of the pleats-obsessed Issey Miyake) launches a perfume called Mat, which will retail for about $50 per ounce and stink to high heaven of ancestral bamboo, mango pulp, juniper berry, watermelon, parsley and tea leaves, squeezed mint and lotus flower. (Note to conspiracy theorists: That somewhat ersatz-feeling nightclub Lotus, with its plump and unnecessary velvet ropes, is just a few doors down the street.) According to a publicist, the guest list cleaves neatly into three social groups: “your standard magazine types” (Anna Wintour and Kate Betts, or more likely their terrified deputies), “your society types” (perhaps Nina Griscom or Marina Rust, both of whom also qualify as “standard magazine types”) and then “your models” (Carmen Kass, Maggie Rizer). And if you think about it, “your magazine types” are really just people who deep down want to be “your model types,” while “your model types” have sex with rich men hoping to become “your society types,” while finally “your society types” spend tens of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery trying to be “your model types.”
[449 West 14th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 206-7447, ext. 27.]
Entrenched! Come spring, those aforementioned “magazine types” will insist that one purchase a $600 trench coat, one of those purportedly useful garments that is the color of wet mulch and totally not waterproof . Tonight Burberry, fancy trench-coat purveyor with penchant for plaid, throws a cocktail party at Saks to preview an exhibit called The Art of the Trench Coat. Who’s not invited: artist Damian Loeb, who put the Burberry plaid in one of his paintings; and designer Miguel Adrover, who rudely deconstructed a Burberry coat in his first New York show . Meanwhile, Matthew Broderick, who is rumored to be married to Sarah Jessica Parker, opens with Nathan Lane, who plays Max Bialystock in The Producers. Can the musical version even come close to the sublimely funny Mel Brooks film? Will Producers co-producer Harvey Weinstein accidentally sit on Sarah Jessica Parker and squash her? Meanwhile, ever notice how, in acting couples, when the wife’s star begins to eclipse the husband’s, hubby suddenly decides it’s time to “get back to my true love, the theater?” Watch for Chad Lowe in Cabaret any day now.
[Burberry, 611 Fifth Avenue, the Men’s Store, sixth floor, 5:30 p.m., by invitation only, 940-4242; The Producers, St. James Theatre, 246 West 44th Street, 8 p.m., 239-6200.]
Spring drinking! Is it more of a champagne evening (spindly heels, clutching at the elbows of your girlfriends, copious burping), or do you just want to plunge straight into the gin and vodka (glum Dries Van Noten Oxfords, pawing some greasy-haired guy behind a pillar, waking up in Williamsburg hel-lo?). Begin at Nicole’s, the feminine version of Fred’s (restaurant-in-basement concept), where you can join the girls of Marie Claire in their little slip dresses, guzzle Veuve Clicquot and fête Adweek editor-of-the-year Glenda Bailey, the Jean Brodie of women’s magazine editors. Then throw on a moth-eaten cardigan and walk, briskly, three-quarters of a mile north, where the Whitney Contemporaries, that bunch of young art ninnies, is celebrating the museum’s new high-tech exhibit: BitStreams & Data Dynamics. Your refreshments: Mercury Gin, Peconika Vodka and desserts from Nicole’s! Mmm.
[Marie Claire, Nicole’s, 10 East 60th Street, 6 p.m., 841-8489; Whitney Contemporaries, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, 9 p.m., 570-7737.]
She got her Beatle now where’s yours? Heather Mills, the girlfriend of Paul McCartney (she’s only a bit older than his designing, horsy daughter Stella not that there’s anything wrong with that), has given away some 27,000 prosthetic limbs to land-mine victims around the world; tonight she and her cute, crêpe-faced beau hotfoot it to a reception honoring themselves for their work on behalf of Adopt-A-Minefield. Social land mines at the party include actor Chevy Chase, writer Fran Lebowitz, bandleader Paul Shaffer and restaurateur Keith McNally. The Observer suggests sending a check, then bringing that pugnacious yet secretly sexy guy at the office to “White-Collar Fights” night at the Church Street Boxing Gym, where literary Ivy League wusses like to go to prove how, despite their soft exteriors, inside they’re just seething beasts (with book deals and bimonthly pedicures). We asked a tough-sounding gym staffer named Nate to set the scene. “A D.J. plays hip-hop and R&B; we have students, businessmen, stockbrokers; they have headgear, mouth guards, protective gear,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it a singles scene per se, but a lot of singles show. I think the competition against yourself is what’s really the rush. There’s beer, no food.” Click.
[Cherry, W New York–The Tuscany, 120 East 39th Street, 6:30 p.m., 981-5139; White-Collar Fights, Church Street Boxing Gym, 25 Park Place, doors open 7:30 p.m., 571-1333.]
You’d hope that, with summer and bathing-suit season around the corner, Manhattan would be buckling down and easing off the hard stuff . But no-oo, spring drinking continues apace at the Italian Wine Merchants on Union Square, which begins a weekend-long tasting of over 100 white wines from the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It’s co-hosted by Slow Food U.S.A., a nonprofit organization of about 5,000 people, so we called Slow Food chick Erika Lesser to find out if slurping down the occasional Starbucks Frappuccino is gonna send us straight to hell. “You know, New York is one of the fastest cities around,” she said. “Just the pure manifestation of speed that is New York makes it hard on a daily basis for people to incorporate ‘slowness’ as we like to call it into their lives. It starts with the small gestures, taking small steps to combat the industrialized food culture. In the beginning, it might be something as simple as going to the green market and buying some tomatoes instead of paying a huge premium for tomatoes flown in from Holland.” Yeah, those Dutch are always up to no good.
[Italian Wine Merchants, 108 East 16th Street, noon, 988-5146.]
Feeling Puckish? There’s a reason today is pokier than life on an artisanal goat-cheese farm. Yesterday’s throbbing Slow Food singles scene moves to the Puck Building for a risotto workshop. Elsewhere, Janis Joplin’s siblings, Michael and Laura Joplin, open a rock musical of the blues mama’s life called Love, Janis. Like all culturally oriented New Yorkers, we stay home for our customary Sunday VH1 Behind the Music marathon.
[Slow Food orgy picks up at the Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street, 1 p.m., 988-5146; Love, Janis, Village Theater, 158 Bleecker Street, 8 p.m., 307-4100.]
That big PalmPilot in the sky must have short-circuited, because there are just too many high-wattage galas tonight! Don’t say we didn’t warn you the entire city is going to be crawling with people in “creative” black tie. (Please, fellows, no bolos! Also, be on lookout for untrained Manhattan males who, trying to recreate Russell Crowe’s ghastly Oscars get-up, affix a ribboned medal to their lapel if you see one of these idiots, we will give you $10 for every tomato you hurl at his head .) Speaking of which, on the Upper East Side, Anna Wintour and Annette de la Renta co-chair the $3,500-per-head Costume Institute Benefit Gala, which used to be known as the “Party of the Year” when it was held in December and now that it’s been moved to wacky, moist spring, well, anything could happen! Wardrobe tip: Don’t wear Chanel the Chanel people were ticked off when the Met gave them the slip in favor of a Jackie O. exhibit . If you pedal across town, it’s the P.E.N. Literary Gala! (Think lots of boring speeches and then Warner Books chief Larry Kirshbaum pulsating like a wild man on the dance floor.) Your “literary table” hosts include: Dominick Dunne, Eve Ensler, Nora Ephron, Rick Moody, George Plimpton and Gay Talese. Sparkle, sparkle! Meanwhile, spiky “downtown” folk like Laurie Andersen, Karen Finley, Philip Glass, Yoko Ono and Eric Bogosian charge you big bucks for performance art for the Kitchen’s 30th-anniversary gala at the Roxy (wardrobe tip: roller skates!) and, we also have midtown covered: Bob Costas and a bunch of Yankees are raising money for multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow.) We need smelling salts.
[Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 570-3948; P.E.N. Literary Gala, New York State Theater, Columbus Avenue at 63rd Street, 7 p.m., 334-1660, ext. 111; Kitchen, the Roxy, 515 West 18th Street, 7 p.m., 243-7300; Multiple Myeloma, Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street, 6 p.m., 203-972-1250.]
Uma, Korda . So Henry James wrote a big, boring book called The Golden Bowl, and of course Ismail Merchant and James Ivory took one look and thought, “We can do this cr*p with our eyes closed!” The movie version, starring Uma Thurman (the Julia Roberts of independent film), Kate Beckinsale (the British Neve Campbell) and Nick Nolte (the, well, Nick Nolte!), premieres tonight and then, in a stunning example of old-fashioned capitalism, there will be a reception at Steuben, the crystal tchotchke store on Madison Avenue, which is auctioning off the first in a limited edition of 50 Steuben “golden bowls” that retail for just $14,000 apiece. What is this, a Merchant Ivory production or QVC? (Mitigating factor: Some proceeds will benefit the Merchant and Ivory Foundation, which supports emerging artists, and the American Foundation for AIDS research.) Meanwhile, a few blocks north, the overspill from the P.E.N. Literary Gala last night hits the party for Simon & Schuster stud muffin Michael Korda’s 12th book, Country Matters: The Pleasures and Tribulations of Moving from a Big City to an Old Country Farmhouse. Bonus dirty excerpt! “The pigs’ droppings produced so many melons that we couldn’t eat them all and had to give them away to everybody who stopped at the house, along with immense quantities of tomatoes and zucchini .” Note to self: Avoid tonight’s crudité platter.
[The Golden Bowl, screening, Paris Theater, 4 West 58th Street, 6 p.m., auction and reception to follow, Steuben, 667 Madison Avenue, by invitation only, 817-9404; Michael Korda, Madison Avenue Bookshop, 833 Madison Avenue, 5:30 p.m., by invitation only, 207-6926.]
Renée Zellweger turns 32 today so go see her, that scoundrel Hugh Grant and Colin Firth (thump-thump, thump-thump) in Bridget Jones’s Diary! Why? Because it’s grrreat!