Great Scot! At Plaid Party, Mrs. Mortimer Gets Frisky With Lucy Sykes’ Hubby
On the evening of Monday, April 2, the odd troika of Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips, model Marcus Schenkenberg and actor-turned-socialite Matthew Modine pranced down a runway in pleated plaid skirts. The occasion was a “Dressed to Kilt” fashion show held at Capitale, proceeds of which benefited Friends of Scotland.
Also modeling traditional Scottish costume were a back-flipping gymnast; the bagpiper from Madonna’s wedding; Colin McGregor, the brother of actor Ewan; and real-estate mini-mogul Ivanka Trump.
Her father Donald wasn’t, alas, though his hair did seem lighter than usual—a spring tint, perhaps. “My mother was from Scotland,” Mr. Trump said. “And I have tremendous land holdings in Scotland, mostly in Aberdeen. We’re doing a tremendous development there—one of the biggest in Europe.”
Another half-Scot, Tinsley Mortimer, strode the catwalk with investment banker Euan Rellie, the husband of fashion designer Lucy Sykes, who couldn’t be found in the crowd. At the end of their promenade, Mr. Rellie attempted to kiss Ms. Mortimer, and she pretended to slap him. Later, he apologized to her husband, Topper.
“We were just hamming it up for the stage,” Ms. Mortimer said later. She was clad in a preppie pink-and-green plaid mini—not the family tartan, and cut rather more skimpily than is customary. “I am actually very well covered up tonight,” Ms. Mortimer said, blushing. “More so than usual—just in case there’s a wind gust.”
The air in the room was quite still, but that didn’t stop several gentlemen present from exposing their, er, Scottish pride. “Everyone knows a true Scotsman wears shoes and socks only under his kilt,” said Ken McKenna, a mustachioed bagpiper. “We’re Scottish; we go rough and ready,” declared Craig Sim, who works for a project-management firm in Scotland. Not even a dash of baby powder—you know, to keep things fresh? “They didn’t have baby powder in the Highlands!” he proclaimed. “If you had to wipe your butt, you did it with heather.” Charming!
Sisters in Arms? Carmen Commissions Coat For Gal Pal Jett
Does this mean war for Carmen Electra and Joan Jett, to paraphrase one of the latter’s greatest hits? An L.A.-based illustrator told The Transom that one of Ms. Electra’s stylists recently commissioned a pair of “his and her” matching military jackets for her client and Ms. Jett.
The stylist requested specific designs for the standard-issue surplus-store garments, to reflect the women’s individual personalities. “She asked for a skull and a guitar—you know, like rock ’n’ roll images—on the back of Joan’s jacket, and something more feminine and flowery for Carmen’s,” reported the source, who said he intends to use simple fabric markers for the illustrations.
“[Model] Amber Valletta is getting one too!” laughed Ms. Electra’s rep, who has repeatedly said that the busty starlet, 34, is just friends with the rocker, 48. Also Nicole Richie and some other celebs.
Still, “I thought it was pretty cute,” the source said. “It reminded me of those couples who wear matching jumpsuits at theme parks.”
I’d Donahue Him! Unlikely Heartthrobs at Huffington’s Umpteenth Book Bash
On Friday, March 30, Arianna Huffington hosted a party celebrating the paperback edition of her book, On Becoming Fearless, about women overcoming challenges, at the West Village apartment of her friend David Fenton, a publicist. “This will be the last one,” she said of the seemingly endless stream of publicity events for the book. “Until we make the movie. Just kidding!”
Speaking of humor, the author, who’s found great success with her eponymous Web site of left-leaning news and commentary, is getting into the comedy business with another site, called 23/6. “It’s called 23/6 because it’s aspiring to be 24/7, but will probably wind up 23/6,” Ms. Huffington said. “It’s going to be a satiric-reaction group about whatever happens—not just politics, but also culture. It’ll be every day in real time, in words and video.”
The room was filled with fearless females, most of whom seemed to be mobbing legendary broadcaster Phil Donahue, still looking sharp at 72. “My wife picked out this suit for me,” he called to the Transom, meaning Marlo Thomas. “She picks out all my clothes.”
Just then, the crowd parted and—
“There’s Henry the intern!” cooed a lady blogger. “I love him.”
Since the age of 16, Henry (“the intern”) Seltzer, has been apprenticing for media outlets, including Gawker.com, Wonkette.com, Us Weekly, Bloomberg News, CNN and C-SPAN. “If you’re not everywhere, you’re nowhere,” philosophized Mr. Seltzer, now 21 and an associate editor at the Huffington Post.
He was dressed for the part in glasses, floppy hair, khaki pants and a white oxford-cloth shirt, but: “I’m lost,” he said. “I have no idea what I want to do.”
Lenore Skenazy Dresses Snazzy for Daily News’ After-the-Fact Farewell Fête
Erstwhile Daily News staffers who never got a goodbye party were treated to one on March 29, courtesy of Les Goodstein, the newspaper’s former president and chief operating officer. Well, not exactly treated—they had to pay $40 to make it past a bouncer (yes, folks, a bouncer) into the basement of the Gin Mill, a tavern on the Upper West Side.
“I was there in the short-lived Pete Hamill era,” said Keith Kelly, for eight years the New York Post’s “Media Ink” columnist, of his tenure at the News. “I place a lot of stock in personal loyalty, but everybody I was loyal to left, so—boom!” Mr. Kelly went on to disparage the managerial efforts of real-estate mogul Mort Zuckerman, owner of the News since 1993. “He’ll never get it. You could explain it to him until you’re blue in the face, and he’ll ultimately never get it.”
Standing a few yards away—wearing snazzy gold pants!—was former News columnist Lenore Skenazy, now of The New York Sun.
“I loved my old job, and when I lost it, I couldn’t believe I lost it,” Ms. Skenazy said. “My plan, my wrong plan, was to be there for the duration. But things change.”
Astrologist Susan Miller, meanwhile, was sipping cola on a barstool. The stars failed to warn her about her firing from the News last June, which occurred after she fell down a flight of stairs and broke her shoulder. “After they set it at the hospital, I didn’t want to cook, so I went out to have bacon and eggs, and I opened The News and I’m not in it!” said Ms. Miller, now contributing to In Style and CosmoGIRL! “I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to the readers.”
Near the exit, nibbling from a plate of food, was former features managing editor Jane Freiman, now working on Atticmag.com, a Web site about collectibles. “We complained, because in newsrooms, everybody complains,” she reminisced of her time at the News. “But it was great. It really was great.”
You Can Ring My Schnabel: Artist Scion Scoops Up Coveted Canvas
On Wednesday, March 28, a marquee crowd of artists, celebrities and socialites attended an art auction in Chelsea benefiting the Nest Foundation, which helps children at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.
“We’re here because this is an amazing cause,” said actor Tim Robbins. His longtime partner, Susan Sarandon, was one of the evening’s hosts. “It’s an issue that needs to be addressed now.”
“It’s an American issue,” said painter Elizabeth Peyton, who had donated a color etching to the auction. “It’s nice to see something being highlighted that’s right here in front of our faces.”
Of course, the smell of commerce was also hanging in the air, heavy as turpentine. “You can get some great deals at these things,” said Cynthia Rowley, who was keeping a close eye on a photograph by Dash Snow. “There are some things that are really undervalued.”
Spry Vanity Fair photographer Todd Eberle won the Peyton painting for $8,900. “It’ll be worth twice that in no time,” he said. “She’s the best thing here.”
But Mr. Eberle couldn’t help feeling a pang of envy when Vito Schnabel, the 20-year-old son of artist Julian, walked by with an abstract oil by Dan Colen tucked under his arm, secured for $18,000. (“Dan Colen’s so hot right now, he could sell that tomorrow for $40,000,” the photographer groaned.)
“It’s for a good cause,” said Mr. Schnabel, who had been spotted earlier that evening vigorously makizng out with a young blonde. “Everything’s worth what it’s worth. And it’s worth it. I plan to keep it. For a little bit.”