Gucci, Tucci or clafoutis ? Here’s October in New York, 2002 : people donning striped mufflers and acting “jaunty” ; fear of mushroom clouds and chanterelle mushrooms ; and a great big groaning board of social possibility …. Tonight, Gucci (luxury-goods company that was tacky in the 80’s and resurgent in the 90’s) spits at the recession and opens a new 12,350-square-foot store on the Upper East Side , with a party hosted by designer and Kevin Spacey look-alike Tom Ford . A spokesman, touchingly named Siddhartha , described zebra-wood fixtures, pebbled riverstone concrete floors (custom-poured by Italian mill workers ) and perilous-sounding bronze ceiling pendants. “It’s a brutal aesthetic,” he said. Meanwhile, across town, a charity called Change for Kids throws a “talent extravaganza” to raise money for kids in public schools …. Among the scheduled talent: Saturday Night Live moppet Rachel Dratch and actor Stanley Tucci -alas, the latter had to pull out to play the nude guy in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune , but gamely called from the zoo , where he was shepherding a passel of kids on a field trip. “First graders,” he said. “Hold on one sec, I have to turn the phone up. They just had lunch- little bag lunches , peanut butter and jelly on a bun-and now they’re running around like crazy . I had hoped to see the polar bear; it’s so beautiful to watch them swim. But they got to watch the seals being fed, and the penguins were the biggest hit-the kids were hysterical, screaming.” We’ll send an intern over with some Ritalin! (Oops, all the interns have gone back to write sex columns for their college newspapers!) Finally, it’s a big night for cheesy magazine events : GQ Men of the Year in Chelsea, Time Out sex-issue bash at the flaccid Museum of Sex-but our pick, hors d’oeuvre–wise at least, is In Style magazine’s bash for party-planner Colin Cowie’s new book, Dinner After Dark . Clafoutis recipe on page 190, for the many among you who are “nesting.”
[Gucci party, 840 Madison Avenue, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 379-8436; Change for Kids, Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, 7 p.m., 989-3009; Dinner After Dark party, Nicole's, 10 East 60th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 522-8349.]
Pleased ta meet ya, Muffie! Last year, the International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show was forced out of the Seventh Regiment Armory (thanks a lot , terrorists), and Upper East Siders’ thirst for Chinese ceramics, etc., went unslaked-but tonight marks the show’s triumphant return, with naughty highlights that include a wooden circumcision mask from Vuvi, Gabon, and a mahogany sleigh bed, c. 1825-throw a frisky socialite down on it and have your way with her! A preview party chaired by Muffie Potter Aston and a veritable slew of countesses-some real, some not-benefits the worthy Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
[International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street, 5:45 p.m., 874-5457.]
The new Faith Popcorn? When we’re feeling dull and stupid , we like to get out our mod Mylar miniskirt and plunge into a futurist think tank. Meet the C.E.O. of one such “tank”: Melinda Davis , who’s written a book, The New Culture of Desire, and is throwing a bash which she promises will be “wild.” Some are likening her to trend-spotter Faith Popcorn. “Yeah, yeah, I know-heh, heh,” said Ms. Davis from the Next group’s H.Q. in Chelsea, where they settled because it was so close to all the artists (whom they view as “seers”). “She’s packaged what she’s done so well. I certainly tromp around in the same territory she tromps around in, but I do it differently: I think I take a more intellectual approach.” Me- ow! Ms. Davis studied literature at Radcliffe in the lank-haired 70’s, before Harvard munched it up: “I had a very short beginning career writing fiction, before I got captured by making money,” she said. Join the club, honey, join the club . We asked for a trend. “Yoda-ism: this new enthusiasm for finding a godlike person to make decisions for us. It’s totally the opposite of the American character. It’s about looking around and saying, ‘You know, life is just too complicated-there are too many options.’ Instead of making all these choices, we choose the chooser, and that chooser becomes our Yoda. “
[Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street,
6 p.m., by invitation only, 414-9066.]
Mellow Friday- sort of a lull in town , except Stella’s Gramercy Park Antiques Show (gets overflow traffic from International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, above) is coming
to town with some French kitchen
accouterments …. Also, Auto Focus , that movie about the Hogan’s Heroes actor and amateur pornographer (starring Greg Kinnear in a contrived career breakthrough and almost saved, as usual, by Willem Dafoe ), is opening, but after the execrable Secretary -this season’s acceptable “naughty” movie for uptight, sexless couples-we just don’t have the appetite for any more “depraved” movies .
[Stella's Gramercy Park Antiques Show, 69th Regiment Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th Street, 11 a.m., 255-0020.]
Hippie parents, who seem to be making an alarming resurgence , strap on the Birkenstocks and Snugglies for “The Glory of Grasses: Tufts, Stalks and Plumes,” a family fall festival up in the Bronx …. Meanwhile, in Joisey (not technically an outer borough, but sort of!), flick those lighters for a hard-rock concert benefiting World Trade Center disaster relief, headlined by Foreigner . (Sudden 10th-grade flashback of being pawed on someone’s leather couch with tinny “hard-rock” hits like “Cold as Ice,” played in the background, jamming valuable synapses …. ) Band-founder-turned-socialite Mick Jones called from his Gramercy spread and said in plummy British tones: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a pretty in-your-face set, 30 minutes, just like bam-bam-bam-bam …. ” How’s he doin’? “I’m doing really well …. I get the occasional yell from the truck driver or ‘Yo, Mick,’ but I know how to get around New York unbothered. It’s kind of nice. I’ve been working out quite a bit, started that again.” Turns out he belongs to our gym-New York Sports! See ya on the Precor, Mick!
[Glory of Grasses, Wave Hill, 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx, 1 p.m., 718-549-3200; Rock to the Rescue benefit concert, Continental Airlines Arena, somewhere in New Jersey, call Ticketmaster.]
A sleepy Sunday, except for
the 5,000 or so cycling dudes and dudettes offering up their burning hamstrings to the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour …. And speaking of burning hamstrings, some where that 2002 Olympian nym-phet and budding glam queen Sasha Cohen is warming up in slow circles for the opening of the Rockefeller Center ice-skating rink tomorrow. Get psyched for that roasted-chestnuts feeling …. “I’ve got a new short and long,” Ms. Cohen told us. “My long program is to Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto . It’s really hard …. I don’t really remember most of my summer. I was in England for a week, doing a show for the Queen. They were nice people.” Did she pick up a nice fella in England, like the frolicsome Chelsea Clinton ? “I’m not dating anyone at the moment -I’ve been kind of busy . I graduated from high school, and I’m going to enroll in a Kaplan Center and start studying for the SAT’s.” You go , sister girlfriend!
[M.S. Bike Tour, South Street Seaport, 6:30 a.m., 463-7787; Rockefeller Center Rink opens tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., 332-7654.]
Be careful out there tonight-it could get ugly … Uptown, at the implacable Whitney, a fore mentioned party-planner Colin Cowie imposes a “Black and White” theme on a gala-if you can’t afford, nibble Oreos at the cheaper after-party with pretty-boy Chris Cuomo and his bride Christina , and Alexandra and Alexander Von Furstenberg (annoying high-society trend: choosing a spouse with matching first name?) …. Downtown, Outward Bound (the proto- Survivor organization where you pay good money to be dumped in the wilderness with nothing but a paring knife and some beef jerky ) has a 40th-anniversary benefit honoring the Duke of York ; cocktail hour actually has a “climbing” component-no joke …. And in midtown , the “Shall We Dance” tribute to Richard Rodgers ( Bebe Neuwirth, Sandy Duncan and Ann Reinking leaping about like gazelles) goes up against Project A.L.S.’s gala, hosted by furry little comic actor Ben Stiller and big blowsy actress Kristen Johnston. Actor Richard Kind -late of Spin City -called from Hancock Park, Calif., to pull for the A.L.S. party, which his wife helped organize. “She works hard-she works very, very hard-putting these things together. It’s a logistics nightmare,” he said. “I can’t imagine it being black tie. Come on, we’re talking about theater people!” What’s he up to now? “I house-husband . I have a new baby and what’s the worry, a little girl named Skyler , she
is the light of my life and it’s true- I cannot remember a day before she was born. What the hell, the market’s down and I’m unemployed!”
[Black, White & Whitney gala, 945 Madison Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 671-5303; Outward Bound 40th Anniversary Benefit Dinner,
Regent Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, 6:30 p.m., 573-6933; Shall We Dance, West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, 7 p.m., 581-1212; Project A.L.S., Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street, 7 p.m., 946-4581.]
Susan Sontag loves him! There are tons of other benefits today , but we’re plumb out of cash . Author Frederic Tuten celebrates his new novel, The Green Hour , at a party hosted by Si Newhouse’s nephew Jonathan . Susan Sontag calls Mr. Tuten “valiant and gifted.” The plot: Dominique , an art historian, is torn between two fellas. Bonus dirty excerpt! “He … quietly unzipped his fly and let loose his tired old prick, his balls, like rosy old prunes, flopping to the edge of his chair.” Goodness!
[Four Seasons Restaurant, Pool Room Terrace, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 410-7366.]
Derrida derring-do: Line up with the other disaffected former comp-litmajors at the Film Forum for the premiere of Derrida , a documentary portrait of the pipe-smokin’, deconstructin’ French philosopher who got lots of Yale guys laid back when the gals didn’t know any better and Yale guys weren’t so vehemently bisexual …. Actually, the real premiere was two days ago in Tribeca with cocktails and urgent mingling around M. Derrida, who was in town for the occasion, but you were at some stupid benefit .
[209 West Houston Street, 727-8110.]