Nip Slip! Socialite Survives Wardrobe Malfunction at Indian Consulate
Who says it’s only bored, middle-aged socialites that design jewelry? On Tuesday, March 13, the Sikh actor Waris Ahluwalia, 32, unveiled his new line of gold baubles, House of Waris, with a party at Bergdorf Goodman. Later that night, there was a seated dinner at the Indian Consulate on East 64th Street.
The room had been transformed into a sort of decadent palace—think heavy draperies—by production designer Mark Friedberg, whom Mr. Ahluwalia befriended while acting in Wes Anderson’s movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. And it was filled with plenty of his other “dear friends.” The producer Damon Dash pumped a shoulder to a pre-prandial drum session performed by an attractive brunette, while one table over, Fran Lebowitz perched on her chair, staring intently as if absorbing the music through her nostrils. Also enjoying crab cakes over avocado salad and tamarind chutney (catered by the Danny Meyer–owned restaurant Tabla) were actor Willem Dafoe, designer Rachel Roy (a.k.a. Mr. Dash’s wife) and Vogue European editor at large Hamish Bowles.
The Transom, meanwhile, was squished between the potent societal fermions Fabiola Barracuda—er, Beracasa and Zani Gugelmann. “Nice watch, Fabiola,” Ms. Gugelmann said, directing the table’s attention to her pal’s gold Rolex. “Very subtle.”
“Zani, my mother gave it to me, so calm down,” Ms. Beracasa replied, sounding mildly amused. “Here, try it on.”
“Fabiola is really the best friend you can imagine,” Ms. Gugelmann purred.
Ms. Beracasa said she was sweating a great deal under her Fendi frock, which was part latex. Indeed, the room was beginning to feel a bit hot. Ms. Gugelmann appeared to be having a bit of a wardrobe malfunction, her beaded red dress falling away to exposing her left breast. “Um, Zani? Zani, hello?” Ms. Beracasa said.
“Oh,” Ms. Gugelmann said nonchalantly. And then: “Well, they really are fantastic.”
The incident was forgotten by the time the black-pepper braised lamb shanks were carried away, and actor Josh Lucas and theater heir Simon Hammerstein (grandson of Oscar)—the handsome duo behind the Lower East Side nightclub and performance space the Box—dropped by the table. “I had a great time talking to Simon Hammerstein,” Ms. Beracasa said. “He was telling me about his childhood, and how he became such a creative person.” Mr. Hammerstein’s new young friend, actress Lindsay Lohan, was nowhere in sight.
And where was Waris? Mr. Ahluwalia proved elusive on his big evening, but called from Punjab a week later to profess his great satisfaction with the affair. “It was less a celebration of my work and more a celebration of the people who have allowed me to do this work,” he said. “I’ve waited three years to do an event in New York, to do something right, to show the work properly. I’m very patient. Unless it’s right, I won’t do it.”
Of the eclectic mix at the ballroom, he said: “I don’t like to explain things. I’m lucky to be living this adventure, and I want to share it with everyone.” And, it seemed, everyone wanted to share it with him.
Gourmets Gripe About Four-Figure Food; Ruth Reichl: “It’s Just Sthick!”
What do foodies think of all these $300 steaks, $800 omelets and $1000 pizzas that are floating around Manhattan of late?
“All that’s cheap publicity stunts–these things are stupid,” said Santa Claus-esque restauranteur Drew Nieporent–owner of Montrachet, the Tribeca Grill, and Nobu–at the Great Chefs Dinner at Lure Fishbar in Soho on Monday March. 19, benefitting the Jeff Salaway Scholarship at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton (The late Mr. Salaway was co-owner of East Hampton celebrity hotspot Nick & Toni’s). The $1500 price of admission included foie gras torchon with baby arugula, Vermont suckling pig with drunken Heirloom beans and sour orange marmalade and roasted lamb stuffed with Swiss chard and lemon confit (burp!).
“Most people know what food should cost, then there’s labor and time and then there’s the je ne sais quoi,” Mr. Nieporent, the evening’s co-host, continued. “There’s the talent, and that’s priceless. But the idea of putting caviar on a pizza is kind of silly.”
Nearby, Mr. Nieporent’s co-host, Gourmet editor-in-chief and thinking man’s sex object Ruth Reichl, was wearing an elegant black suit and a warm smile. “It’s just sthick,” she said. “What’s so ridiculous to me is the notion that great food has to be expensive, because there’s nothing more delicious than a ripe peach right off the tree. I can think of thousands of wonderful foods, like hot dogs off a cart, that are great!”
The fad for super-costly comestibles has failed to make an impression on actress Isabella Rossellini, who entered the subterranean restaurant wearing what appeared to be a large purple and black blanket, her hair in a smooth bob. “I don’t know, I’ve never heard of it,” she said. “I have no idea what it is.”
Irish Soda? Lovely Lindsay Lohan Toasts St. Patrick With Clear Liquid
Around midnight on Saturday, March 17, in the backroom of the Beatrice Inn, a nightclub in the West Village, The Transom was wending its way across the dance floor when it spotted—ohmigodohmigodohmigod—Lindsay Lohan, wearing a hoodie, at a table of gritty rocker chicks, including her pal, D.J. Samantha Ronson. The ostensibly now-sober actress lifted a glass containing a clear liquid, on the rocks, to her lips and took a long but effortful draught.
The Transom restrained itself from barging over and requesting a Breathalyzer. But a source close to the actress in Hollywood claimed, “I’ve seen Lindsay pour Jack Daniel’s into a Rock Star energy drink at least five times. All the girls do it. I’ve seen her pour vodka into a Voss water bottle!”
Ms. Lohan’s publicist, Leslie Sloane-Zelnick, scoffed at the idea that her famously freckled client was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the traditional manner. “Do you have photos of her drinking the alcohol?” she asked. “Tell your friends to take pictures next time—until then, I have no comment. She’s still going to meetings. It’s a process.”
Bare-Chested Male Models Pout at Photographer’s Sweaty Party
At around 9:30 on Saturday, March 17, a woman wearing gold latex and leather boots had just mounted a swing that hung from the ceiling of the not-quite-yet-open-to-the-public Arena—a nightclub on East 41st Street, not to be confused with the late Area—where photographer Patrick McMullan was holding his 25th annual St. Patrick’s Day party. Eighties music was pumping; a green-and-white “PMc” logo shone brightly, Batman style, on the wall; and the place was packed with people.
Mr. McMullan regarded the crowd from a balcony, wearing an aqua blazer over a mint-and-white-striped dress shirt and flanked by two young men who wore only blue jeans and festive green-clover necklaces over their bare chests.
“I always like to have girls at the party,” Mr. McMullan said. “You know: girls and guys to dance and create a little eye candy. But this year, would you believe it, the girls got in a car accident and couldn’t make it. So I didn’t have any girls here.”
But the boys made it! They loomed close, silent and hairless, alternating brooding looks with enormous and rather frightful smiles. “I told them to follow me around and be glamorous,” Mr. McMullan said, adding that the club had arranged for the models.
And how did it feel to be the photographer’s arm candy?
“Glamorous,” said one, Rex Workman, earnestly, before flashing a grin.
“I’m arm candy?” said his pale-skinned, chestnut-maned companion, Joseph Foley. “Look, I know I’m hot, because I brought more women to this party than any guy on the dance floor. I rolled in here with 12 girls.”
The handsome threesome descended the staircase into the masses below, which included designer and downtown life force Richie Rich and Mr. McMullan’s high-school-chic son, Liam. “I cannot tell you how many people have called to say they couldn’t make it because of the bad weather conditions,” said Addison O’Dea, who identified himself as the club’s “curator.”
Brooklyn Fashion Week(end) a Total Bust
Forget about Anna Wintour! Not even ubiquitous Borough President Marty Markowitz managed to make the desultory opening-night party of Brooklyn Fashion Week(end) on Thursday, March 13, at Well, a new bar in Park Slope offering—we kid you not—bottle service.
Nor was Mr. Markowitz present at the shows themselves, which were originally scheduled for the Tobacco Warehouse on the Dumbo waterfront and moved at the last minute to the marble rotunda of his Borough Hall headquarters because of bad weather. Or so claimed members of the Brooklyn Style Foundation, which organized the event with somewhat infelicitous timing, considering that store buyers have already chosen looks from the fall 2007 collections. Mysteriously, out of hundreds of portfolios submitted, not a single designer from Williamsburg—arguably the epicenter of Brooklyn hip—had been booked. “We got that question a lot about why Williamsburg isn’t included,” said Cybele Sandy, co-founder of the B.S.F., which was formed in 2004. “We did the best we could.”
On Sunday, two rows of flimsy white folding chairs—some covered with gift bags containing cheap fleece blankets, olive shampoo, CD samplers and old issues of obscure magazines—formed a makeshift “runway” between Ionic columns, under portraits of octogenarian white men. Singers seemingly straight out of the tired SNL skit Club Traxxx performed in the corner, to the mild amusement of young women clad in Forever 21–esque ensembles and seated in the bored and celebrity-free audience.
Descending from one staircase, rounding the makeshift runway to techno beats and ascending back up another, pockmarked models wore an assortment of low-pocketed skinny pants and wrinkled sports coats. The occasional flash of exposed breast—a leitmotif for The Transom this week—was visible beneath too-big dresses as the day’s last remnants of sunshine made their way through a wall of recently restored plate-glass windows.
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