Barneys Debuts 'Electric Holiday' Windows
Sarah Jessica Parker hosted the unveiling of the retail giant’s 2012 holiday windows.
November 19, 2012
After giving a glimpse into the fantastical world of Lady Gaga, it seemed Barneys New York would be hard-pressed to top its 2011 holiday window display. That is, until the celebrated Manhattan institution announced it would be partnering with The Walt Disney Company to create an imaginative multi-media platform called “An Electric Holiday.”
With style icon Sarah Jessica Parker as host, high profile guests like David Neville, Steven Meisel, and Simon Doonan gathered at the storefront last Wednesday night as Barneys New York CEO Mark Lee and The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger revealed the enchanting window displays to an especially packed Madison Avenue.
Created by the talented artists at Disney, “Electric Holiday” streams a short film in which a Lanvin-clad Minnie Mouse joins a similarly attired Mickey, Goofy, Daisy, and the gang at Paris Fashion Week. Animated special appearances from renowned make-up artist Pat McGrath, who helps Minnie get runway-ready, Juergen Teller, Carine Roitfeld, Naomi Campbell, Daphne Guinness, and Glenda Bailey add to the fun.
The exclusive collaboration will play on through the holiday season. Fans can purchase collectable items from the limited edition Electric Holiday collection, which includes Rag & Bone-designed Mickey ears and Eleni’s character cookies. Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the collection will benefit the American Red Cross to support Sandy relief efforts. 660 Madison Ave., 212-826-8900
photography by stephen wilkes
High-Fashion K-Pop Group Swoops In
Korean boy band Big Bang left New Jersey fans in sensory overload after a recent concert.
November 17, 2012
As South Korean entertainer PSY performed his chart-topping hit, “Gangnam Style,” with MC Hammer onstage at the 2012 American Music Awards (see it here), Korean pop music (K-pop) officially reached critical mass. Acts like Girl’s Generation, 2NE1, and buzzed about boy band Big Bang are poised to be the next big crossover artists of the genre.
As part of their 22-city tour, Big Bang recently landed in Newark, New Jersey on November 9 to promote the latest and greatest 4G LTE phone from Samsung, known as the Galaxy Note II. While the boy band concept is old news to American audiences, club kids across the globe can’t get enough of Big Bang’s soul/electro R&B brand of music.
Known for full-throttle theatrics and over-the-top designer costumes, the group emerged onto the New Jersey arena stage in a giant fireball and later donned white suits with tail coats to sing “Still Alive.” Members G-Dragon, T.O.P., Seungri, Daesung, and Taeyang also performed hits including "How Gee," "Stupid Liar," "Fantastic Baby," and "Monster." Check out scenes from the show in the slideshow above.
Recap: Dance Into Fashion
Designers and New York “It” girls danced the night away at The Junior Society of Ballet Hispanico’s annual benefit.
November 16, 2012
Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs and DJ/girl-about-town Hannah Bronfman kept the sartorial fun flowing as hosts for Ballet Hispanico’s annual Dance Into Fashion benefit. Held on October 18 at The Jane Ballroom, the event was organized by the ballet’s Junior Society co-chairs, Paul Arnhold and Janna Raskopf, and raised more than $60,000 for the company’s education and outreach programs.
“It” girls like Sophie Elgort, daughter of the legendary photographer Arthur Elgort (and a burgeoning shutterbug herself), Jessie Della Femina, and Samantha Perelman, as well as other notable guests like designer Wes Gordon, spent the evening bidding on silent auction items, dancing, sipping cocktails from the open bar, and noshing on hors d’oeuvres by E Squared Hospitality while DJ Cory Kennedy provided the evening’s soundtrack. Ensembles by the Cushnie et Ochs designing hosts were modeled by the company’s dancers in a piece choreographed by Eduardo Vilaro.
For the past 42 years, Ballet Hispanico has performed for audiences around the world, showcasing its unique fusion of dance and Latin culture. The school’s curriculum includes classic ballet with modern and Spanish dance, which is a rarity in America’s dance training institutions but has been a formula for success for Ballet Hispanico.
Though its emphasis is to create a captivating show—with performances at major venues like The John F. Kennedy Center and The Joyce Theater—the company has also served as a programming platform to develop student activities in public schools. The Junior Society has been expanding the company’s educational programs and recruiting young professionals, including the stylesetters at this year’s Dance Into Fashion, since its inception in 2007.
Dispatch: Victoria’s Secret Storm
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show led a week that brought out Julianne Moore, Marion Cotillard, and more.
November 14, 2012
Models at the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York
Miracles do happen. Last week, electricity returned to lower Manhattan, and the subways were running once again. Nonetheless, four-hour gas lines still managed to make getting around town somewhat tricky after some taxi drivers threw in the towel. And, to put a further crimp in recovery, a snowstorm socked Manhattan on Wednesday, November 7, the day of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Annual Ace Awards >>Slideshow
Before the first snow fell, the 16th Annual Ace Awards went off without a hitch on Monday, November 5 at Cipriani 42nd Street, where the Accessories Council honored Theodora & Callum, the sexy accessories line launched by Desiree Gruber and Stefani Greenfield.
All three Calvin Klein collection designers, Francisco Costa (women’s), Italo Zucchelli (men’s), and Ulrich Grimm (shoes and accessories creative director) received the Ace designer of the year award. Also honored were Assouline, the publishing company, and designer Camila Alves.
Calvin Klein also gets kudos for dressing the most stars. Costa dressed Olivia Wilde and Julianne Moore. And Zuchelli dressed Tiki Barber, who also wore a gold Rolex.
Ulrich Grimm, Julianne Moore, Italo Zucchelli, and Francisco Costa at the Ace Awards
Tika Sumpter, wearing Alice + Oliva, mentioned that she had lost power during Sandy and had been stranded in North Carolina. Julianne Moore, wearing a white, crisply constructed dress by Calvin Klein, said that she was at her house “with our dogs and our kids.”
She and Bart Freundlich, her husband, lost power, “But we were fine. We had hot water,” she said. “We were so lucky. Honestly, so many people lost so much. We had gas; we went to the grocery store. We were very fortunate. Nothing happened to our house. So many people lost so much or were hurt or killed.”
New York Notables at the Polls
On Tuesday, Election Day, I ran into my social pal Bettina Zilkha (clearly a good citizen) at a public school on the Upper East Side, where we both voted, braving somber two-hour lines that snaked through the school's outdoor tennis courts. And later in the day, Tea Leoni waited in those same lines, which by that time were a good bit shorter. She was really sweet to the people that stood with her and ran back and said “bye” after voting.
After midnight, there was an exuberant roar in Times Square after Romney lost his various home states. And then came a din of thousands cheering for hours after Obama won. Blue state.
Doutzen Kroes and Rihanna onstage at the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show >>Slideshow
Soldiers stationed at the 26th Street Armory, still helping storm victims as a day job, got a special treat on Wednesday. The Victoria’s Secret show took place at the behemoth brick structure that takes up a city block. Preparing the leggy models is an all-day affair that begins backstage. On the third floor, models were lounging around in skimpy pink silk gowns, getting their eyes and hair brutalized by well-known hair and makeup artists, as they spoke to Dispatches.
That evening, on the pink carpet before the show, Rihanna, who was performing, said she was “more nervous than excited." She had a clef note tattooed behind her ear. And what was she excited to view in the show? “Tits and ass and diamonds in those areas,” she answered. According to the singer, a Victoria’s Secret woman is “flirty and fierce and has a fit [gym] body.”
By the time the show went off, sleet and snow and bitter winds had the mayor calling for everyone to get off the streets. But despite some accumulation, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and Justin Bieber performed on the VS runway while the models walked. Bieber even made it into a private booth at the Lavo afterparty.
VS model Cameron Russell said that the 10th anniversary look that she wore onstage was beyond special. “The two guys who had built it spent 600 hours and were awake for the last three days sewing it,” she indicated.
“One of the biggest moments for me was with Rihanna onstage,” mentioned Doutzen Kroes. “When I walked out, she took my hand and guided me the rest of the runway. It was amazing!”
“It was the best night I ever had,” added Lily Aldridge.
“We’re going to go get our groove on, take our shoes off,” added Cara Delevingne, seen a few moments later downstairs in Bieber’s booth, gyrating as if she and her friends were Bieber’s bodyguards.
In the show, Alessandra Ambrosio wore the $2.5 million fantasy bra that London Jewelers created. “Oh, my God, it was definitely super-comfortable,” she told Dispatches, “And so beautiful. Like a dream come true.”
“I was really nervous,” noted Lindsay Ellingson. “My wings were the biggest wings in the show . . . really heavy!”
Marion Cotillard at a screening of Rust and Bone
Rust and Bone >>Slideshow
On Thursday, November 8, The Cinema Society, Dior, and Vanity Fair hosted a screening of Rust and Bone. This powerful French film by Jacques Audiard stars Marion Cotillard and the breakout French hunk of 2012, Matthias Schoenaerts. While it is technically yet another wheelchair drama from France, it packs a punch that is nearly unmatched. Schoenaerts plays a lunkhead mixed martial arts fighter, and Cotillard is a killer whale trainer who endures the unthinkable. Together, the unlikely pair magically lift one another up in life. The drama is gut wrenching, at times nearly painful to endure.
While we were speaking of the prosthetics she wore in the film—post-killer whale attack—Cotillard was, amusingly enough, unable to bear the pain from the chic Dior shoes she had on to match her outrageously cool gown, also by Dior. The footwear was pointy and had metal straps that were digging.
“I have to do something,” Cotillard told her handler, who encouraged her to keep the shoes on. “It’s unbearable . . . Wow!”
“It’s horrible,” the outspoken actress announced a few moments later. “I can’t do it. I’m sorry . . . I just can’t.” They let her remove the shoes for a few minutes.
Back in the shoes, Cotillard managed to walk a long flight of stairs to introduce the film. Brava! And the night before, because of the mini-blizzard in New York, a Sony executive mentioned that Cotillard had been laid over in Detroit in the only five-star hotel, which has a casino and 3,000 slot machines. The exec said she gambled a little bit, and she found it weird enough that it was “kind of fun.”
Dispatches caught up with Schoenaerts, who aces his role in the film, at Indochine during the afterfête. “I boxed when I was a teenager,” he said. “But for this film, I had to get into it on a daily basis for almost a half a year—weightlifting, boxing, rehearsing the MMA sequences on a daily basis." Onscreen, he appeared muscular and slow, but in real life, he had his hair slicked back and introduced an elegant gal pal.
Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino, and Sebastian Gutierrez at a screening of Hotel Noir
Hotel Noir >>Slideshow
The next night, Friday, November 9, The Cinema Society screened Hotel Noir in the basement of the Crosby Street Hotel. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Malin Akerman, Mandy Moore, Danny DeVito, Rufus Sewell, and Carla Gugino, among others. Sewell was in a rare mood on the press line. There was a tabloid reporter ahead of me, and Sewell got in a zinger, asking if he was going to ask him, “Who have I shagged?”
In the film, Sewell told me, “I get thumped.” Hit, not shagged.
Carla Gugino, who had on a dress by Naeem Khan, said she loves watching old noir. “If I got even a dash of Bette Davis, I’ll be a lucky woman,” she said. “I feel akin to that aesthetic.”
That same night, at The Stanton Social, it was a giggly The Bachelor summit when Ashley Spivey celebrated her birthday with six female alums of the show. They sipped bubbly (more giggles) and nibbled on red snapper tacos.
Oh, to be a straight fly on that wall.
Charity Register: November
Five opportunities to give back this month.
November 08, 2012
Phoenix House Foundation
What: After raising $1.1 million last year, the Phoenix House Foundation’s Fashion Award Dinner returns to Pier Sixty this November. Emceed by comedian Ali Wentworth, the vibrant evening will honor fashion industry leaders Diane von Furstenberg, Jim Gold, and Andrew Rosen while supporting the organization that provides support in cases of substance abuse and addiction.
When: Wednesday, November 7
Where: Pier Sixty
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
What: In celebration of the “Picasso Black and White” exhibition, the Guggenheim Museum hosts its annual International Gala. A special guest chef will be on hand at the black-tie cocktail party and dinner, and guests will receive a limited-edition gift created by artist Alexandre Singh.
When: Thursday, November 8
Where: 1071 Fifth Avenue
The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
What: Max Mara and The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Associates Committee host MSKCC ’s Fall Party. Honorary chair Maria Giulia Maramotti and cochairs Hayley Bloomingdale, Joanna Baker de Neufville, Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler, and Cynthia Smith will join guests as DJ Harley Viera-Newton spins the evening’s soundtrack and Sotheby’s Jamie Niven leads an auction to benefit the Pediatric Family Housing Endowment.
When: Wednesday, November 14
Where: Four Seasons Restaurant, 99 East 52nd Street
Step Up Women’s Network
What: Step Up Women’s Network toasts 15 years with a lively countdown to its anniversary at Stepping Up in the City. The organization creates afterschool and weekend programs for teens and also connects teen girls with professional women mentors.
When: Wednesday, November 14
Where: 404 NYC, 404 10th Avenue
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
What: The foundation’s largest annual fundraising gala, A Magical Evening, will honor The Weinstein Company’s film The Intouchables, as well as Paul Daversa and Daversa Partners. Jordin Sparks and Jason Derülo will perform during the star-studded fundraiser.
When: Wednesday, November 28
Where: Cipriani, 55 Wall Street
Sandy Humbles Revelry in NYC
At a slow, measured pace, the social circuit continued to churn after the lights went out.
November 08, 2012
Debbie Harry and Bette Midler at Hulaween, benefitting the New York Restoration Project
If you watch the news as a hurricane the magnitude of Sandy approaches, incessant, terrifying predictions create a sense of panic—in this case, rightly so. Urgent reports whipped up a mild frenzy, making for endless lines at places like Fairway Market. And then after the devastation, with no public transportation, the multitudes were suddenly one. If anything, this storm taught New York that we need everyone in order to function.
With the tragic loss of life, severe water damage around the edges of Manhattan, much of downtown out of power, the city and the outer boroughs felt completely fragile—and there was even more devastation in New Jersey and Staten Island. But despite the lack of public transportation, lights, and hot water, a number of stars and a few fêtes marched on in the name of charity and art.
Bette Midler’s Hulaween vs. Frankenstorm >>Slideshow
On Wednesday, October 31, the New York Restoration Project sent the following note: "Memo to Frankenstorm: Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project 17th Annual Hulaween will go on." The event was held that night at The Waldorf Astoria. And while the New York Post’s Andrea Peyser took the seated dinner to task for celebrating while others suffered, the charity raised $1.8 million to help restore New York City parks after Sandy, a uniquely appropriate cause.
“We would have had to cut programs, fire people,” said Midler at The Waldorf, dressed as Coco Chanel, explaining what would have happened if she had canceled. “They count on the fête for up to 25 percent of their budget. We are all rattled,” she added. “But we’ve done this for 15 years . . . the parks are not okay. There was tremendous damage . . . a lot of trees were down.”
Lance LePere, Debra Messing, and Michael Kors at Hulaween
Debra Messing was pilloried in the Post for wearing a Marie Antoinette costume to the French-themed event. “The person who does my hair for the show, Jason, is just such a magician with wigs, and he had this, and I said, 'Can I borrow that?'” So how did Messing and her brood weather the storm? “The eating was out of control,” she said. "We made cakes and cupcakes and cookies and brownies.”
Meanwhile, designer Michael Kors, dressed like a French beatnik, carrying a baguette and wearing a black goatee, dark glasses, and a beret. “Bread and cigarettes,” he said. "The French live by both." The designer also mentioned that when the lights went out, he read his coffee-table books in candlelight (because he could).
Dree Hemingway Dresses Down for the Premiere of Starlet >>Slideshow
Friday, after the storm, at The Lambs Club, The Cinema Society and Sandro hosted an intimate screening of Starlet. Dree Hemingway is the breakout star of the film about a woman working in the porn industry who finds a wad of cash at an elderly woman’s garage sale. It is a kind of hip update of the Harold and Maude story, with Hemingway befriending an octogenarian.
Hemingway, who wore rolled-up cords, a sweatshirt, and a jean jacket to the premiere, said that she got dressed while wearing a miner’s headlight and decided to wear something storm-appropriate. The shocker in the film, of course, is that she simulates a rather graphic sex scene with the addition of real sex by body double porn stars. Bam!
Dree Hemingway and producer Blake Ashman at the premiere of Starlet
Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis also attended the otherwise low-key screening. “I was visiting and was without electricity,” noted the German princess, who lives in a schloss, on her way into the event, “so I became his refuge,” she said, pointing to her date for the event, Amedeo Scognamiglio.
And Stella Maeve, who also plays a porn star in the film, said that she heavily researched the part. “We went to an actual porn convention and filmed at it,” she said. “This film was so low-budget. And I spent a whole summer with [porn-industry workers] . . . You’re not so judgmental afterward,” indicated Maeve.
Before Sandy touched down, while spirits were still light, Rumer Willis and beau Jayson Blair powwowed with his parents at The Tippler, an exceedingly cozy escape in the Meatpacking District. A source noted, "It went really well." Yuks and much uninterrupted conversation were overheard. That same evening, Dennis Rodman hit Merchants Cigar Bar with his gal pal before heading to Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club a few blocks away. (Where were you when the lights went out?)
On Sunday, the eve of the storm, while the rest of New York City hunkered down, Russell Crowe and 22-year-old Emma Watson, who costar in the upcoming film Noah, took time out from the Darren Aronofsky project to dine at The Russian Tea Room. To be fair, few other restaurants in that area were likely open. The Tea Room vowed to remain open during Sandy by putting staff up at nearby hotels. In a luxurious red leather banquette, Crowe and Watson bonded over a decadent spread that included Russian caviar. But, as it turns out, they were actually risking their lives. The 57th Street crane that bent over backwards during one of Sandy's early mega-gusts was nearly across the street. Fifty-Seventh Street only recently reopened for traffic—the crane dangled for a total of six days.
photography courtesy of patrickmcmullan.com
Dispatch: Starry October Nights
Jeffrey Slonim reports on the annual Night of Stars, Sirio Ristorante's opening party, and more.
November 06, 2012
Dispatch: Red Carpet Premieres and Parties
Jeffrey Slonim chats up Emma Watson, Channing Tatum, Nicole Kidman and more on the red carpet.
October 10, 2012
Dispatch: A Celeb-Studded U.S. Open
Jeffrey Slonim spots Nicole Kidman, Anna Wintour, Alec Baldwin, and more.
September 06, 2012
Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas on day one of the U.S. Open
Dispatches always has bubbly fun at opening night of the U.S. Open in Flushing, Queens, which took place on Monday of last week.
Last year, Moët invited me to their suite to taste-test Moët Ice, now a favorite. Dispatches barely made it home on the subway. (I actually fell asleep on the number 7 train. Yikes!) And this year, as if the booze muses knew I was working on my waistline, Heineken invited me to their elegant sky suite, with free-flowing Heineken Light and stadium seating.
Much as I tried to follow the action on the court, my eyes were glued to Anna Wintour in the USTA President’s Box. Behind seriously dark glasses, she was in turn glued to Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer on the court.
Beer or no, Dispatches did manage to catch a game ball hit into the stands before the match.
And at the President’s gate, I ran into newlyweds Felicity Blunt and Stanley Tucci. Blunt had on a lacy turquoise number. Unlike her fashion-familiar sister, Emily, who worked with Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada, Felicity, a book agent, is new at red carpets. So when Dispatches asked if "that" (the dress) was Nanette Lepore, she turned and looked to see if the designer was arriving behind her. We laughed.
Nicole Kidman on day five of the U.S. Open; Anna Wintour on day ten of the U.S. Open
Jordin Sparks, who sang the national anthem, said that she, too, was attempting to stay slim, searching out salads and fruit. Alec Baldwin and new bride Hilaria Thomas appeared happy and slim in the stands; she claimed that they eat well.
While Zach Braff sat in yet another Heineken suite, I hung out with Olympic gold-winning doubles partners and twins Bob and Mike Bryan. They were still carrying their medals, but Mike mentioned, “Mine’s getting beat up. One girl dropped it on concrete, which I didn’t like so much. It’s got a couple of chunks out of the side.”
“And my band’s getting frayed,” said Bob.
All week long, the stars kept attending the U.S. Open. LMFAO’s Redfoo wore big white glasses with no lenses and a Lacoste headband; Nicole Kidman had on a cream blazer and a printed dress; Carly Rae Jepsen donned a white tennis dress when she performed at Kids' Day; and Eva Longoria tried to hide in shades and a straw hat.
Penn Badgley and Jaclyn Spector at the NYC Cîroc Cabana Club at King & Grove Hote
Over Labor Day weekend, on Saturday, Penn Badgley sipped cocktails poolside at the NYC Cîroc Cabana Club at King & Grove Hotel in Brooklyn with his similarly hirsute brother, Jimmy—no relation to the ribs joint.
And in Vegas, Diddy enjoyed a Cîroc moment at Tao Asian Bistro on Saturday, dining with Cassie and 30 pals. Doesn’t he own Cîroc? Jennie Garth, meanwhile, hit Lavo. And Redfoo, now in Vegas and wearing a banana hammock, bodysurfed the crowd in the pool at Tao Beach. Yuck!
Not to be outdone, Garth, in a neon yellow bikini, also joined DJ MomJeans, aka Danny Masterson, at Azure Pool at the Palazzo. She didn’t pull a Prince Harry, but she did get pulled into the pool. Chord Overstreet and Ashley Benson (Spring Break) were also in the house.
In West Hollywood, Hilary Duff swilled a recyclable cup of Stacked Wines Chardonnay and had a mom’s night off with Amber Lancaster at the launch of Nine Zero One Salon. Josh Henderson (Step Up) also attended the opening party, where singer Leona Lewis let loose on the dance floor.
Dispatch: Film Fêtes and Royal Follies
Shia LaBeouf buffs up for Lawless, R-Patz steps out for Cosmopolis, and Prince Harry gets wild in Vegas.
August 23, 2012
Robert Pattinson at the New York premiere of Cosmopolis; Shia LaBeouf at the New York premiere of Lawless
“You, sir!” Shia LaBeouf called out to Dispatches on the red carpet on Monday of last week at The Cinema Society and Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto fragrance-hosted screening of Lawless. “Have you ever had a fight?” he asked.
I must have looked like a wuss, because he was using me as an example that everyone—even me—has dust-ups.
My answer: “One fight.” But it was nothing like the bloody gun battles LaBeouf undertakes onscreen. He had his hair pulled back in a ponytail and said that he had gained 40 pounds for the role. Dane DeHaan, LaBeouf’s underage sidekick in the film, claimed that they had driven across country together to bond. “We wound up in Louisiana for Valentine's Day at a homophobic lobster restaurant,” LaBeouf recalled.
Jessica Chastain later complained, “I was never on a set with so many guys. At first I thought it was great,” she said. “And then . . . really?”
The afterparty, made to look like ye olde Virginia moonshine days, took place at Gallow Green on the roof of the McKittrick Hotel. And the Grey Goose-fueled fresh berry lemonade nearly knocked this writer out of commission.
That same night, The Peggy Siegal Company presented the Gucci-sponsored New York premiere of Cosmopolis at The Museum of Modern Art. Though the film is based on a book by Don DeLillo, a great writer, the script is seriously pretentious. Spoiler alert: you see R-Patz nearly naked. (See all of Prince Harry in Vegas, below.)
And what was it like to work with Robert Pattinson? “Egoless,” said his Canadian co-star, actress Sarah Gadon. “How can a person have fans screaming all the time like that and act like that?”
“We shot in Toronto,” said Pattinson, a few hairs possibly intentionally out of place. “Regardless of who they are, people either love it, or they hate it,” he said of the film.
Kelly Osbourne at the launch of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1; Tika Sumpter at a screening of Sparkle
On Tuesday, Sparkle, starring the late Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks, charmed Dispatches. Alice & Olivia and Circa sponsored The Cinema Society screening of the remake of the 1976 film with music by Curtis Mayfield ("Superfly").
The event took place at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, with a party in The Yard at the Soho Grand Hotel; think mini-burgers and Alizé cocktails.
And what was Houston like? “She always came over and said, 'Are you okay?'” recalled Tika Sumpter. “I struggled with something in the script, and she said, 'What can we do to make this better for you?'”
Producer Debra Martin Chase characterized the film as “the final piece of Whitney Houston’s legacy. I hope this is how people will remember her—beautiful, talented, passionate. She had such fun making the movie.”
“She had a quick wit,” recalled Sparks. “And she’d back up snappy remarks with ‘You know I’m just playin’ with you.’”
Also at the event were a tableful of young Olympians from the women’s gymnastics 2012 dream team. “We just got in yesterday, so it’s still pretty hectic for us,” Aly Raisman told Dispatches. “We’re going home tomorrow, so we’re excited just to see everyone.”
On Wednesday, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 10.1 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. “It’s my birthday today,” mentioned Debra Messing. “I’m kind of a gadget person,” she said, explaining her presence.
Camilla Belle had on a beautiful dress by Jason Wu. Kelly Osbourne, in Vivienne Westwood, looked seriously skinny.
Then, on Thursday, in a domed tent on Tenth Avenue, Jaguar revealed its new XJ 3.0. “Butter,” 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan described the car. Johnny Weir was attempting to skate on the faux ice, made of plastic.
Morgan and his 30 Rock co-star Jane Krakowski both wore white. “We did not coordinate,"indicated Krakowski. “I just want to say that.”
And, finally, what didn’t stay in Vegas: last Saturday, Prince Harry and an entourage of friends were spotted at XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas, where Ryan Lochte was celebrating his birthday. They met up in the pool, and the prince was later caught on camera partying naked with a group of most agreeable young women in his VIP suite at Wynn's adjoining Encore Resort. Yes, your highness. Lochte, an eleven-time Olympic medalist also capped off his birthday celebration with a Vegas pool party at Azure at The Palazzo.
photography by patrickmcmullan.com