Valentine’s Day is still 10 long, wintry days away , but already we have a bunch of events crowding our in box, all of which begin, “Hey all you Single Ladies!” [ delete, block sender ]. Fashion Week, on the other hand, starts the day after tomorrow (that sound you hear is 10,000 Brazilian bikini waxes … ), and the invites aren’t exactly overwhelming us-or even whelming us …. As for today, you can get your monthly requisite art event out of the way: Weimaraner wonk William Wegman and Cindy Sherman (favored artist of impressionable Barnard co-eds ) are among the 288 artistes who have kindly donated their wares to benefit the children of Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School . Mr. Wegman told us about his dog, which just gave birth (we like it when dogs are pregnant because, unlike all the smug Manhattan mommies, dogs don’t act like being pregnant is equivalent to winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Twice.) “My children, who go to Little Red, slept through the entire thing. In fact, my son got up at 3 to go pee, and he saw my wife and I at our most hysterical-holding on to a puppy, trying to breathe life into it-and he said, ‘My nose hurts.’ He peed and then he went back to bed.” Anything the Sex and the City foursome wear annoyingly flies off the shelves, so it was only a matter of time after Charlotte left shiksa-ville that people started trying on Judaism for size. Hence today’s discussion, “It All Began With Ruth: A Panel Discussion on Conversion to Judaism.” “I converted to Judaism a year and a half ago, after a very long spiritual journey that began in the mid-1990′s. I was basically practicing Taoism,” said panelist Joel Sanchez, a 40-year-old former actor. “I love gefilte fish. Before I converted, I had a Russian-Jewish girlfriend, and her mom used to make it.” The gefilte fish gets ‘em every time.
[Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School silent auction, I-20 Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, 10 a.m., 212-477-5316, ext. 232; "It All Began WithRuth: A Panel Discussion on Conversion to Judaism," J.C.C. in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue, 7 p.m., 646-505-5708.]
Henri Bendel, Part I- Dilemma for the ladies : Do you send your boyfriend to Bendels to nibble hors d’oeuvres and aptly named Playboy Playmate Nicole Wood ? Or do you endure yet another Valentine’s Day composed of a card from Duane Reade and acrylic lingerie from H&M ? Henri Bendel is holding an exclusive Valentine’s Day men’s private shopping party -complimentary booze, complimentary gift wrap, free delivery of purchases over $500 and photos with the Bunny . ( You’d hope a fella would be happy enough just buying some naughty piece of lingerie for his ladyfriend without having to be enticed by some pneumatic nudie girl on stilt-like stilettos, but we digress …. ) We’ll be downtown with our childhood crush Ralph Macchio, who’s now 42 -yes, 42!-and who’s in a new play, Magic Hands Freddy . “I co-star with Michael Rispoli, who plays a masseur named Freddy and is just great in the role,” Mr. Macchio said. “He’s perfectly cast . I play his brother Calvin. They’re foster brothers who grew up in a rough neighborhood in Philadelphia, and my character winds up being a n art historian for the University of Pennsylvania …. The story explores the love of the brothers and the choices we make in life. It’s got this great twist at the end that I’m tiptoeing around and trying not to give away. The first time I was onstage was in Cuba and His Teddy Bear with Robert De Niro .” Do people still recognize Daniel-San? ” All the time ! They don’t recognize as much anymore, because I’m beginning to age like the rest of the human race-and shamefully so! But it’s always there; The Karate Kid is like my middle name in every press release. I realize that not many folks get that kind of an opportunity, so as much as it’s been a double-edged sword, it was really a great thing.” We’re just happy he hasn’t turned up on Star Dates on E!
[Men's shopping party, Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue, 6 to 8 p.m., 900-HBendel; Magic Hands Freddy, Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, 8 p.m., 212-239-6200.]
Shivering, bare-kneed fashion editors take their pencil skirts to the Fashion Week mothership and pretend not to watch she of the sunglasses and bloodless lips …. To raise awareness for women’s heart disease, the designers have whipped up some pretty red frocks that’ll be parading down the runway on the bodies of mannequins Alek Wek and Erin Wasson, modelite Amanda Hearst, and celebs like Vanessa Williams and Jamie Lynn Discala. Later , Alek and Erin repair to Jean-Georges’ new restaurant, Spice Market , for the 7th on Sixth party and wave away hors d’oeuvres with the likes of beauties Bridget Hall , Angela Lindvall , Carolyn Murphy , Anouk Lepore and Trish Goff. Hey, while we’re almost on the subject, can we talk about how every woman on The Apprentice looks like a contestant from one of Mr. Trump’s pageants? … Meanwhile , we recently inspected a press release, and when we saw the phrases “mockery of suburban living,” “collapse of American value system” and “sexually repressed couple,” we thought, “It’s either a typical night on the Upper West Side or an Edward Albee play.” The American Dream opens tonight.
[Red Dress Collection 2004, the Studio Noir, Bryant Park, noon, by invitation only; The American Dream , the Arthur Seelen Theatre, 250 West 40th Street, 8 p.m., e-mail email@example.com for reservations.]
John Waters once said, “I pride myself on the fact that my work has no socially redeeming value.” A man after our own heart! We asked him about Edith Tells Off Katherine Hepburn , part of his photography retrospective, which opens tonight at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. “Hepburn took herself so seriously!” he said. “So this is Edith [Massey, whom you might remember from Pink Flamingos , sucking down eggs]-somebody that Katherine Hepburn I’m sure would have been snotty to -but, of course, Edith isn’t really giving her the finger. That’s the whole thing: using images from completely different things. I put them together to tellthenew narrativethat I want to tell that, of course , neverreallyhappened.”What exactly is going on in that photo? “Well,I don’tknow whatthat’s called.With balls, it’s called ‘tea-bagging.’ With breasts, I’m not sure what it’s called- foreplay ? Icon foreplay.” … On the Left Coast, Clive Davis has his annual pre-Grammys bash and invites all his splashy friends.
[ John Waters: Change of Life opening reception, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 583 Broadway, 7:30 p.m., members only; Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash, the Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Calif.]
Henri Bendel, Part II- British clothier Alice Temperley has hopped across the pond to move in with ol’ Hank Bendel, and today she opens her new boutique with the help of model Helena Christensen (the one from Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” video). Meanwhile, at Bryant Park: Luca Luca (youthful, sensual), Alice Roi (princessy, rock ‘n’ roll) and Tracy Reese and Catherine Malandrino (is there a difference? We can’t tell) …. And hey, rememberlast year’s Grammys,when Erykah(“I knew I should have gone to rehearsal”) Badu read too far on the cue card and actually said “Applause” at the end of her speech? Moments like that are why you’ll find us glued to our crappy Ikea sofa tonight, watching Beyoncé, Justin and OutKast win everything. And how exactly is Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” still eligible for nomination? It came out so long ago, everyone’s found themselves. (That last joke is an homage to Joey Adams . It wasn’t his, but he woulda stolen it, and we woulda been glad he did.)
[Temperley store opening, Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue, 7 to 9 p.m., by invitation only; 46th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS,
8 p.m.; all Fashion Week shows by invitation only: Tracy Reese, the Studio, Bryant Park, 10 a.m.; Alice Roi, the Promenade, Bryant Park, 11 a.m.; Catherine Malandrino, 776 Sixth Avenue, 4 p.m.; Luca Luca, the Tent, Bryant Park, 8 p.m., more info at http://www.7thonsixth.com.
Oscar de la Renta takes his rich ruffles (and that later-in-life-acquired “de la” ) to Bryant de la Park and joins Carolina Herrera ( neatnik, big on the polka dots), Betsey Johnson (slightly goth, slightly slutty-the clothes, not her), Badgley Mischka (beading, elegant) and BCBG Max Azria (Banana Republic, but more fluttery). The Drama League honors smoldering actor Antonio Banderas and wife Melanie Griffith at the annual Musical Celebration of Broadway Gala. Jerry (“I put Baby in the corner”) Orbach serves as honorary chair, while Chita Rivera and Christine Ebersole do the sing-and-kicky-kick thing …. At the uncivilized hour of 9 a.m., Bridal Guide magazine encapsulates daily life for women ages 25 and up with its annual “Race for the Rock,” in which 50 entrants chase down a three-carat engagement ring. Winner gets the chance to propose to their sweetheart live on WB-11′s Morning News .
[All shows by invitation only: Carolina Herrera, the Tent, Bryant Park, 11 a.m.; Oscar de la Renta, the Promenade, Bryant Park, 1 p.m.; Betsey Johnson, 17 Irving Place, 3 p.m.; Badgley Mischka, the Promenade, Bryant Park, 5 p.m.; BCBC Max Azria, the Tent, Bryant Park, 7 p.m., http://www.7thonsixth.com; Musical Celebration of Broadway Gala, Grand Ballroom, the Pierre Hotel, 2 East 61st Street, 7:30 p.m., 212-244-9494, ext. 5; Race for the Rock, start at Michael C. Fina, 545 Fifth Avenue, 9 a.m., 212-557-2500.]
The luxury-gooding of Manhattan continues apace, as Louis Vuitton debuts its largest store in the world on East 57th Street. Speaking of which, on today’s pussywalk : Chaiken (think Theory, but more expensive), Nanette Lepore (gypsy, feminine), Calvin Klein (so minimalist even he’s not there anymore), Narciso Rodriguez (satin, clingy) …. Meanwhile, what does Bruce Wasserstein have in store for New York magazine? Ask him yourself when you crash the Bank Street College of Education soirée honoring him and playwright sister, Wendy Wasserstein. (We got a sneak peak at her next play: It’s about a furrier and three Jewish women. One act.) If that doesn’t do it for ya, fill your pipe with strawberry tobacco and head to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at the Gah-den. “It’s a benched-dog show, meaning the dogs have to be in a certain area when they’re not being shown, and they’ll be on benches-hence the name!” said Kennel Club spokesman David Frei. “That means you’re able to circle amongst the contender, and maybe even pet them, shake some paws, meet the breeders and handlers of the dogs. You can ask questions like, ‘Why does my dog do this, and how can I get them to stop? Why did my dog eat my modem?’ That’s a true story, you know! I came home last night, and it was just in pieces! I have the two greatest Brittanys, but they’re kind of stir-crazy right now because of the weather.”
[Louis Vuitton store preview party, 1 East 57th Street, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., 150th Anniversary party, surprise location, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., by invitation only; Bank Street College honors the Wassersteins; the Pierre Hotel, 2 East 61st Street, 6 p.m., 212-961-3332; Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Madison Square Garden, 9 a.m., 212-307-7171, http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org.
The pitter-patter of model’s big, bony feet continues today with Vera Wang (classic, tasteful), Michael Kors ( Ralph Lauren meets pre-Target Isaac Mizrahi ), Proenza Schouler (now out–Marc Jacobs–ing Marc Jacobs ), Anna Sui (quirky, boho), Matthew Williamson (we dunno, but the Vogue girls dig ‘im) …. Once upon a time, Rolling Stones fans found out what it’s like to be touched by an angel when it’s packing a blade and weighs a deuce and a half. And you can, too, at the 92nd Street Y’s screening of Gimme Shelter . “It’ll be just like old times,” cracked director Albert Maysles . “But I don’t know what the rates of drug addiction are these days, or if anybody is taking LSD the way they used to.” George Lucas pops up in the credits as one of the cinematographers. “The funny thing about Lucas was that none of his stuff was used,” Mr. Maysles confessed. “His camera had something wrong with it and the stuff didn’t come out. When we looked at it, all we saw was black with little spots, so we used to joke that that’s how got the idea for … what was his film? That famous film?”
[All Fashion Week shows by invitation only: Vera Wang, the Atelier, Bryant Park, 11 a.m.; Michael Kors, the Tent, Bryant Park, 11 a.m.; Provenza Schouler, the Studio, Bryant Park, 2 p.m.; Anna Sui, the Tent, Bryant Park, 7 p.m.; Matthew Williamson, the Studio, Bryant Park, 8 p.m.; Gimme Shelter , Steinhardt Building, 35 West 67th Street, 7 p.m., 9 p.m., 212-601-1000.]
Follow Elon R. Green via RSS.