Investors showered a socialite's husband with more than $500,000 to build an online mall, where customers maneuvered their avatars into virtual Chanel and H&M shops. They claim the money was blown on living expenses. But did they honestly think this terrible idea would ever make them a dime? Really?
Douglas Hannant previewed his spring collection in the Terrace Room of the Plaza on Monday night, which is located just upstairs from the designer's brand new, Geoffrey Bradfield-designed boutique. Given Hannant's popularity with the Upper East Side moneyed set, a long list of society fixtures turned up to pay tribute to Hannant, including Tinsley Mortimer, Cece Cord, Bettina Zilkha, Jennifer Creel, Annie Churchill, Alexandra Lebenthal, Gillian Hearst, and Valesca Guerrand-Hermès. Roving party reporter Douglas Marshall caught up with Beverly Johnson, legendary model and the first African-African woman to appear on the cover of Vogue, to ask her about the modeling biz today and Tyra Banks.
Merrill Lynch's disgraced CEO, John Thain, turns 53 today. Rocker Lenny Kravitz is turning 45. Helena Bonham Carter turns 43. Matt Stone, the co-creator of South Park, is turning 38. Stevie Nicks is 61. Mega-lawyer and Cravath partner Robert D. Joffe is 66. Socialite Annie Churchill is turning 38. Architect Bruce Fowle is 72. Pam Grier (Foxy Brown) turns 60. North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is turning 56. Comedian "Bobcat" Goldthwait is 47. And Philip Michael Thomas of Miami Vice fame celebrates his 60th birthday today.
Tom Hanks was honored with the Chaplin Award at the at the 36th annual Film Society of Lincoln Center Gala Tribute last night, where he was joined by an A-list crowd including Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Charlize Theron, Sally Field, Glenn Close, Adrien Brody, Mike Nichols, Graydon Carter, Sam Mendes, Christopher Walken, Christy Turlington and Ed Burns, Christie Brinkley, Lorne Michaels, Jeff Zucker, Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, David Gregory, Joy and Regis Philbin, John Patrick Shanley, Bruce Springsteen, Ninah and Michael Lynne, Leslie and Robert Zemeckis, Roger Waters, Jonathan Demme, Jeremy Irons, Abby McGrew and Eli Manning, Ken Burns, Nigel Barker, Rob Wiesenthal, and Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, along with Tom's wife Rita Wilson and son Colin Hanks. [PMc, Wireimage, FWD, USA Today, People]
• Gwyneth Paltrow's latest goal? To get Mario Batali to lose weight, apparently. She's supposedly already given him a free membership to the gym she's opening with Tracy Anderson, since he's "the only fat friend she has, and wants him to change." [P6]
• Poor Jennifer Aniston has been "holed up" in her room at the Greenwich Hotel since arriving in New York a few weeks ago, supposedly because she's terrified of "bumping into Angie" on the street. [L&S]
• Michael Phelps and Miss California, Carrie Prejean. are apparently dating, or at least that's what Prejean's grandmother is saying. [NYDN]
• In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Lindsay Lohan says she's "still in love" with Sam Ronson, and that their breakup "came out of nowhere." She's also lost a lot of weight, which you've probably already noticed. [OK!, People, NYDN]
• Tim Gunn says he hasn't been on a date in 26 years, but that he's okay with it because he's "very happy being alone." [NYDN]
GQ held its second annual "Best New Menswear Designer in America" competition last night in conjunction witht he CFDA. Finalists like Andre "3000" Benjamin, David Mullen, Alex Carleton, Robert Geller, Sam Shipley, Jeff Halmos, and Yigal Azrouel were joined by guests like Tommy Hilfiger, Fern Mallis (left), Thom Browne, Jim Nelson, Kelly Cutrone, Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, Peter Som, Rory Tahari, Chase Crawford, Steven Kolb, Ally Hilfiger, Fonzworth Bentley, David Chu, Ryan Leslie, David Lauren, Katie Lee Joel, Glenn O'Brien, Steven Alan, Calvin Klein mens creative director Italo Zucchelli, GQ publisher Peter Hunsinger, and last year's winner, Daiki Suzuki. [PMc, NYO, FWD]
• Andrew Saffir's Cinema Society hosted a screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the Tribeca Grand last night. Attendees at the Pamella Roland and Svedka-sponsored screening and after-party at the Soho Grand included Kanye West, Spike Jonze, Olivia Palermo, Richard Meier, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lauren Bush and David Lauren, Moby, Amy Sacco, Sandy Brant and Ingrid Sischy, Stefano Tonchi, Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo, Bettina Zilkha, Charlotte Ronson, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers, Chace Crawford, Debbie Harry, Heather Matarazzo and Caroline Murphy, Judith Light, Kelly Bensimon, Karen Duffy, Liya Kebede, Rachel Roy, Liam McMullan, Ciara, and Danny Masterson. [PMc, Wireimage, The Daily]
At last night's opening night party for the New York City Ballet's David H. Koch Theater, guest of honor David Koch and wife Julia mingled with Candace Bushnell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Keys, Al Roker, Debbie Bancroft, Lisa Falcone, Mary Alice Stephenson, Alexandra Lebenthal, Zani Gugelmann, Annie Churchill, Peter Martins, Veronica Webb, Mark Indelicato, Blythe Danner, Valentino, Rachel Roy, Derek Lam, Peter Som, and Vanessa Williams, who all ate, drank, and danced to inaugurate the new Lincoln Center venue. [Wireimage, PMc, Style.com]
We should all take a leaf out of Annie Churchill's book: In order to focus on her new online venture (not because she had a drinking problem or anything) she's given up alcohol, yet she still manages to get through evenings that most mere mortals would need half a gallon of vodka to to manage. One recent evening, she tells the Observer, she was at an art party, then headed to Marquee, attended a dinner, and then made a stop at Socialista—and she did it all on water and an energy drink! Such restraint will hopefully pay off with the launch of her multimedia fashion empire: In January, she'll be introducing a retail website, online magazine, and a web-based lifestyle show hosted by Churchill and featuring "interviews and intimate discussions with people in the business." As the 37-year-old social ubiquity has honed her on-camera skills with an array of blink-and-you'll-miss-her roles on TV and film, that part at least should be a breeze for her.
♦ Yesterday evening the New York Women's Foundation Fall Gala took place at Gotham Hall: Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor, Iman, Joel Klein and Nicole Seligman, Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower, Felicia Taylor, Jamie Niven, Herbert Wachtell, and Jonathan Farkas ate, drank, and watched a performance from the American Ballroom Theater Youth Dance Company. [Wireimage, PMc]
♦ As we've heard, the financial crisis isn't stopping the benefit crowd from turning out, and Tuesday night's New Yorkers for Children Annual Fall Gala managed to rake in $1.85 million with the help of Mariska Hargitay, Julianne Moore, Juliana Margulies, Christine and Steve Schwarzman, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Campion Platt, Lauren Remington Platt, Annelise Peterson, Adam Lippes, Patti LaBelle, Annie Churchill, Oscar de la Renta, Moises de la Renta, Julie Macklowe, Nancy Jarecki, Hope Atherton, Olivia Palermo, Holly Dunlap, Denise Wohl, Frederic Fekkai, John Demsey, Jeff Zucker, Gillian Hearst Simonds, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Zac Posen, Lola Schnabel, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, Robert and Nanette Lepore, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Olivia Chantecaille, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Julia Restoin Roitfeld (pictured), Zani Gugelmann, Peter Davis, Lydia Fenet, Bettina Zilkha, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Meredith Melling Burke, Muffie Potter Aston, Jamee Gregory, Heather Mnuchin, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Jamie Tisch, Amanda Cutter Brooks, Marjorie Gubelmann, Poppy de Villeneuve, Jennifer Creel, Marina Rust Connor, Sylvana Soto-Ward, Jessica Joffe, Taylor Momsen, Blake Lively, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Liles, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Gayle King, Gilles Mendel, Maggie Betts, Topper and Tinsley Mortimer, Monet Mazur and Alex de Rakoff, Joy Bryant, Kelly Klein, Sylvana Soto-Ward, Horacio Silva, Patrick McMullan, Fabiola Beracasa, and Angel Sanchez. [The Daily, Park Ave Peerage, PMc]
» The Liv Tyler-hosted party for Hearts on Fire diamonds at the Rose Bar was the hottest ticket in one of the busiest social weeks of the year: Leonardo DiCaprio, Alexandra & Theodora Richards (who DJed), Keith Richards, Elizabeth Banks, Catherine Keener, Mena Suvari, Dave Navarro, Ellen von Unwerth, Tara Subkoff, Alan Cumming, Tinsley Mortimer, Adrian Grenier, Sean Avery, Emma Roberts, Monet Mazur, Richie Rich, Ingrid Sischy, Jamie Burke, Russell Simmons, Lauren Santo Domingo, Diego Garcia, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict all stopped by. [The Daily/Paper]
Notwithstanding her dazzling performance as an extra in The Nanny Diaries last year, it seems Annie Churchill is now planning to give up on her acting career. Sort of. She's now launching "an e-commerce website in nine months or so that will have a magazine and a TV show attached to it, of which Ms. Churchill will be the host." Naturally. [NYO]
(1) Attendees at Sephora's party at the Angel Orensanz foundation last night included Lydia Hearst, Kelly Osbourne, Kat Von D, Nicky Hilton, Dani Stahl, Ali Wise, Jason Preston, Mike Satsky, Olivia Palermo, and Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss. The crowd, though, was more impressed by the presence of out-and-proud couple Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson (above, with half-sister Annabelle) than by performances by Ashanti and Natasha Bedingfield. [Elle/PMc]
In case you weren't invited to their parties over the long weekend, feel free to extend your belated birthday wishes today to Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain (52), socialite Annie Churchill (37), architect Bruce Fowle (71), who all celebrated birthdays yesterday. Turning a year older today: fashion designer Behnaz Sarafpour, who is turning 39, and Henry Kissinger, who will be blowing out 85 candles this evening.