Wednesday, February 11

The economy may stink, but we’re still strapping on those dominatrix booties and preparing for the inexorable forward march of fashion—clomp, clomp, clomp! Yes, even though consumer culture is dying and so are department stores and nobody parties anymore and Michelle Obama isn’t coming! Hey Fashion Week, didn’t they have room for you in Hoboken? Shiny GQ magazine gets things started by throwing a party celebrating their selection of “Best New Menswear Designers in America”—among them Andre 3000, hip-hop star and suspenders enthusiast—at a party attended by our personal heroine Diane von Furstenberg, goddess of MTV’s The City, the West Village, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the year’s best sample sales (hi, DVF!). Also expected: Thom Browne, much-discussed designer of those high-water pants and circus capes for men … Later, the literati band together against the forces of silk and tulle at an early Valentine’s Day celebration thrown by the indefatigable Lewis Lapham’s new Lapham’s Quarterly, a journal of writings by dead intellectuals. First topic? Sex! Contributors include: Henry VIII, Vladimir Nabokov and the Marquis de Sade. Bonus dirty excerpt from the randy Mr. Lapham’s introduction:!“On assignment for The Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1964, I accepted one of Mae West’s invitations ‘to come up and see me sometime,’ and on the stage set that was her house in Malibu, I found her in what both Giacomo Casanova and Cecil B. DeMille would have recognized as a ‘boudoir’—white fur rug, gilded mirrors, satin hangings on the walls; Miss West arranged on the bed wearing a lace negligee, a feather boa and a pink silk nightgown.… After 10 minutes the imperfections in her appearance were no longer visible. Whether it was art or biology, her letting slip the sleeve of her negligee or the gene sequence encoded in her elbow, so distinct was the sensual inducement that had she directed me to climb the stairway to paradise, I would have gone as willingly as Tristan to Isolde, or Napoleon to Josephine. …” Easy, fella! Finally, over at MoMA, the dress code is red, white and blue as Josh Brolin, Marisa Tomei and Julia Roberts’ ex Benjamin Bratt fete the New York premiere of The People Speak, a documentary based on Howard Zinn’s classic book, A People’s History of the United States. (Just kiddin’ about the dress code—we think!)

[GQ and the CFDA celebrate the Best New Menswear Designers in America, 620 Fifth Avenue, 7 p.m., invite only; Lapham’s Quarterly party, the Salmagundi Art Club, 47 Fifth Avenue, 7 p.m., invite only; The People Speak reception at MoMA, sponsored by Alternative, 11 West 53rd Street, 9:30 p.m., http://www.peopleshistory.us/events/MoMa%5D 

mbryan@observer.com

Wednesday, February 11