You hear a lot going to parties every night. Here are a few things I can actually repeat:
What fashionistas are reading: “Double Down,” said Anna Wintour at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund dinner. “So far it’s gripping.” Wintour chose the account of the 2012 presidential election because “I was involved in the campaign and it sounded like a must-read.”
CFDA President Stephen Kolb said he’s reading “The Zombie Survival Guide” by Max Brooks. Designer Vera Wang: a book “so out of my comfort zone,” by Arthur Bahr, a professor at MIT, titled “Fragments and Assemblages: Forming Compilations of Medieval London.” Designer Irene Neuwirth: “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer, which reminds her of “St. Elmo’s Fire.”
What preservationists are singing: Gossip columnist Liz Smith did “Willkommen” from “Cabaret” before Joel Grey sang it himself, leaving Peter Duchin dumbstruck at the piano. The New York Landmarks Conservancy gala at the Plaza also offered sing-alongs to “Happy Days Are Here Again,” in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the folks who built the FDR Four Freedoms Park in his honor, and the “I Love New York” theme composed by Steve Karmen in 1977 to revitalize the city.
Whither people are escaping: Hedge-fund manager Mark Kingdon and his wife, private-equity adviser Anla Cheng, are headed to Miami over Thanksgiving, and to Morocco for Christmas, he said at the Museum of Chinese in America gala.
What financiers are reading: “Rocketman: Astronaut Pete Conrad’s Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond,” said Blair Effron of Centerview Partners LLC at the New Visions for Public Schools benefit.
Alex Navab at the Wilson Center for International Scholars benefit said, “The Alchemists -- not the one everyone knows, the one about the three central bankers, Bernanke, Trichet and Mervyn King.”
How spouses are rhapsodizing: Writer Chris Henchy said his wife, Brooke Shields, was “not born, but erected, in 1965” in his tribute to her as a “Living Landmark” at the Landmarks Conservancy gala.
He added: “I will always ask for permission before touching her facade.” The couple worked with the conservancy to renovate their 1864 brownstone in the city.
How ensembles are fashioned: Robert Grossman, chief executive officer of the NYU Langone Medical Center, wore a Tom Ford tie in the university’s purple to the NYU Langone Musculoskeletal Ball, and said he’d buy one for the center’s chairman, Ken Langone, who showed up in a yellow tie.
Jewelry and handbag designer Kara Ross, for the party opening her Upper East Side boutique, wore Elizabeth and James to greet Cindy Weber Cleary, fashion director of InStyle magazine, which regularly features her designs.
What drinks are stirring: Bronson van Wyck put a spicy Margarita served in a short and skinny glass into my hands at the party for his pop-up store with interior designer Celerie Kemble, the Holiday Workshop. The drink is made with Arrowhead Farms Spitfire Margarita Mix, available at the store along with beautiful ornaments made in Poland, Austria and Belgium. Van Wyck will decorate your tree for $17,500 and up, with a portion of proceeds going to the East Harlem School.
What Bergdorf Goodman is hiding: Curtains are meant to keep under wraps the making of the store’s famous holiday windows, but last night one was exposed for about five minutes as window designer David Hoey stood outside, directing two people inside.
A large piece of quartz was placed at the front of the window and several fake pastries and cakes were rotated or moved around. Then an icicle hanging from a wall of pink flowers was adjusted in what looks to be a sweet-tooth’s fantasy. The windows go public on Nov. 19.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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