O.K. to be gaudy again? Hey, if Gwyneth Paltrow can bare her buttocks in the new Harper’s Bazaar, perhaps people are ready to plunge back into frothy glitz … or maybe it’s just Gwyneth. Tonight, the fashion mafia tests the waters as it shuttles between the Dia Center for the Arts’ fall gala in Chelsea, chaired by Donna Karan , and the Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars in midtown, hosted by former CNN fashion star Elsa Klensch -and where the aforementioned Ms. Paltrow, with her parents Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner , will be picking up an award, along with Oscar de la Renta and his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen, and kooky designer Betsey Johnson and her daughter Lulu . The theme-you guessed it-is ” Dynasties .” So (why not?) we called Nolan Miller, the fellow who designed the ruffled gowns for TV’s Dynasty , at his boutique in Beverly Hills and asked him how people were holding up out there. “I think everyone’s very nervous!” he said. “No matter where you go, people say, ‘Are you afraid to fly? Are you afraid to fly?’ Fortunately, we’re very busy, because everybody’s saying, ‘Well, we’ve canceled our trip to Europe, might as well buy clothes .’” Tonight, if you can get your boyfriend to stop playing anti-terrorist games on the Internet, you can log on to Sothebys.com and bid on some of Mr. Miller’s old schmattes . “I just decided it was time to clean out the warehouse, get rid of everything and simplify my life,” said the designer. The spoils include a white dress Eva Gabor wore in Green Acres , a riding costume from Barbara Stanwyck (“She thought she owned me; she ran my life!” said Mr. Miller), a red chiffon beaded number with big slits that Cyd Charisse wore to the Oscars, and the costume Ginger Rogers wore the last time she danced, which happened to be on Love Boat . “It’s blue sequined pants on jersey with a chiffon overcoat, because she was dancing with four boys and they lifted her on their shoulders,” said Mr. Miller. Our big-cheese editor just booted up his laptop ….
[Dia Center for the Arts, 548 West 22nd Street,
7 p.m., 989-5566; Fashion Group International's Night of Stars, Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street, 6:30 p.m., 593-1715; Nolan Miller collection, http://www.sothebys.com.
Sink or Schwimmer? Although it looks like Friends may last forever, its cutest cast member, David Schwimmer , isn’t taking any chances and is making a bid for “serious acting roles”-hence his bumbling appearance in Band of Brothers , that HBO World War II miniseries that we can’t pry our Precious from; and Uprising , a TV movie (on NBC on Nov. 4 and 5) about Jewishresistance against the Nazis. Themoviepremieres tonight with a subdued party and an oddcastthatincludes LeeleeSobieski (lookslike HelenHunt’s naughtylittlesister), HankAzaria (Helen Hunt’s ex), Jon Voight (fatherofAngelina Jolie, who looks nothing likeHelenHunt), Cary Elwes (he was in The Princess Bride , looks vaguely like Helen Hunt) ….
[Reception, Decade, 1117 First Avenue, 6 p.m., screening to follow, Clearview Cinemas Beekman Theatre, 1254 Second Avenue, 7:30 p.m.,
by invitation only, 595-6161.]
Gucci or jihad? Leave the gas mask at home and head to the Gucci store for a private cocktail party followed by drunken shopping; a portion of the receipts go to the Joseph Papp Public Theatre–New York Shakespeare Festival, which boasts a benefit committee including Sandra Bernhard , Harry Connick Jr . and Alan Cumming , all of whom may or may not show tonight …. If you can’t crash, there’s always the 92nd Street Y , which has gamely added a “Life After 9/11/01″ series to its roster of swingin’ singles nights disguised as poetry readings, art lectures and cooking classes. Tonight, Princeton professor and Islamic expert Bernard Lewis speaks on “The Meaning of Jihad.” People listen.
[Gucci party, 685 Fifth Avenue, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 816-2500; Jihad talk, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 8 p.m., 415-5500.]
What can’t she do? CNN anchor Paula Zahn , who’s been broadcasting war news, is also an avid cellist! Yo-Yo Ma, move over ! Tonight, Ms. Zahn M.C.’s a benefit for the International Sejong Soloists , a 12-person, conductorless string ensemble whose young, comely members appear in publicity photos sullenly prowling the streets of Manhattan à la U2 …. Meanwhile, if you’re like us and are barreling down on 30 but still have white walls , use today to buy some art and photos from one of the 150 galleries participating in the I Love New York Benefit -all the proceeds are being donated to the Robin Hood Foundation for families of W.T.C. victims.
[New-York Historical Society, 2 West 77th Street, 7 p.m., 580-5494; find out about buying art at http://www.ilovenyartbenefit.org.
“The show must go on,” said Bash Dibra, animal behaviorist and trainer, who’s inviting New Yorkers and their pets to Madison Square Garden today for a big expo. “You’ll see some weird lizards with horns, and birds with beautiful plumage, and we also will be honoring the search-and-rescue dogs-I want to call them New York’s Faithful. Animals are very sympathetic and responsive to changes in our feelings.” Does he have pets? “There’s the bulldog, Ziggy; Cora, the Rottweiler; Phoebe, the Maltese … then we have Skippy, the fox terrier, then Harry the spaniel, Mopsy the shaggy dog; then we have Winnie thePersian, Thomasina the domesticshorthair; Vinnie is another cat, also Reggie , and the bird’s nameis Tweety .” ChoiceB: Putyour feministboyfriend -theone with the Matchbox20haircut and clunky,shinyblack shoes -on aleashanddraghimtoa Barnard women’s-leadership summit, where Naomi Wolf (pumping a new book) and Janet Reno (pumping a new political career) will address the question, “Women and the Public World: Do Women Leaders Make a Difference?”
[Pet show, Madison Square Garden, 10 a.m., 800-243-9774; Barnard leadership summit, 3009 Broadway, 9 a.m., 854-2037.]
Need one more reason to feel a pervasive sense of encroaching melancholy ? Daylight Savings Time ends at
2 a.m. ; everything goes back one hour, and our Precious gets out his scented alarm clock and sets it to “apple pie.”
What makes someone a New Yorker writer in 2001? Is it enough to have merely a single pithy story published alongside a large color photo of oneself vamping in a silky camisole? Or do you have to publish a whole entire big “serious” book? Tonight, New Yorker editor David Remnick entertains the crowd with card tricks at a party for a bunch of fall 2001 books by New Yorker writers and artists, including Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election by Jeffrey Toobin (O.J. expert, remember him? ); The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (quite the party guy post–Sept. 11); and a New Yorker cartoon anthology. Meanwhile, new Harper’s Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey throws a party for Laura Day, the Demi Moore guru who’s written a new book called The Circle . We’ll spare you an excerpt and offer you a review of the new Harper’s Bazaar instead: 1) It’s very British, but not in a high-end way-for example, Sting’s wife Trudie Styler is on the masthead, Joan Collins writes a piece about shopping, etc. 2) As reported above, Gwyneth Paltrow drops her pants. 3) Instead of book reviews, Ms. Bailey revives Diana Vreeland’s old edict “Why Don’t You” and has a bunch of designers make brief cultural recommendations. “Why Don’t You Hear This Music Recommended by Anna Sui … Why Don’t You See This Exhibition Recommended by Nicole Miller … Why Don’t You Watch This TV and Theater Recommended by Cynthia Rowley .” To which we might reply: Why don’t you hire some actual critics?
[ New Yorker party, Housing Works Used Books Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 286-5357; The Circle party, a fancy Upper East Side address, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 310-288-4941.]
Twist my Naipaul? For most of us, Flushing, Queens, still feels like the safest place to be -and what good luck, because tonight V.S. Naipaul (we hope his Nobel Prize put him in a better mood than usual) reads at Queens College. Or should one head to a spa ? There’s a launch party at the Chambers Hotel for The Canyon Ranch Guide to Living Younger Longer ; watch for scrubbed New York magazine editors trying to win a Canyon Ranch vacation for two …. The guest of honor is Linda Richman, comedian Mike Myers’ mother-in-law, who inspired the “Coffee Talk” sketch on Saturday Night Live and went on to be a motivational speaker and Canyon Ranch devotee. “An unlikely love affair is what it was,” said Ms. Richman, the Fran Lebowitz of Aventura, Fla. “I actually ended up living at Canyon Ranch for two years. It’s nirvana; it’s like the movie Lost Horizons , it’s just paradise …. My conception of Canyon Ranch was that you exercise and run and hike and bike and have a froufrou service, but you know what? If you’re like me, you hike an inch ; you don’t have to climb Mt. Everest!” Meanwhile, Shoshanna Lonstein alert at the Madison Avenue Bookshop, where Noelle Cleary and Dini von Mueffling are serving potent white wine and signing their new book, The Art and Power of Being a Lady .
[V.S. Naipaul, Music Building, Queens College, Flushing, 7 p.m., 718-997-4646; Canyon Ranch Guide party, Chambers Hotel, 15 West 56th Street, 5:30 p.m., by invitation only, 800-975-8880; The Art and Power of Being a Lady , Madison Avenue Bookshop, 833 Madison Avenue, 5:30 p.m., by invitation only, 535-6130.]
Socialites young and not-so-young attempt to “Raise Your Spirits” -that’s a triple-entendre-at a ball benefiting the Central Park Conservancy. Get spooky with junior blueblood Alexandra Lind, and possibly, fearsome giantess-actress Sigourney Weaver …
[Sorcerers' Tent, Mall in Central Park, mid-park at 72nd Street; 7 p.m., 310-6609.]
Halloween?! And yet, we can’t possibly think of anything scarier than reality just now . ( Memo to self: Stop speaking to friends who forward pointless chain e-mails from “my father’s friend’s father, who works for the F.B.I.,” about avoiding the malls on Halloween.)