Scene Last Night: Seinfeld Disses Fancy Socks for Men

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Jerry Seinfeld shared some thoughts on fashion at a benefit for Lincoln Center last night.

“I think men who wear interesting socks aren’t working hard enough,” the comedian said, potentially ruining Christmas sales for men’s stocking makers (polka-dots, anyone?).

Seinfeld made the remark as he interviewed Stella McCartney, the women’s clothing designer, in a conversation that touched on shorts as an epidemic and models’ scowls. Afterwards, her dad, Beatle Paul, handed her the Lincoln Center Women’s Leadership Award, designed by Lalique.

Lincoln Center’s Corporate Fund organized the event, whose content can mainly be credited to some folks at the Hearst Corp., seeing as the fund’s chairman is Steve Swartz, Hearst’s president and chief executive.

In one example of good synergy, honoree McCartney is featured in the November issue of Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar. The piece includes a photograph of the designer by artist Marilyn Minter, who was present last night, as well as the transcript of an interview between her and Chelsea Clinton where the women commiserated over the heavy influence of their talented parents. McCartney also reacts to the criticism Clinton’s mother faced over her wardrobe.

“It’s interesting, the fear that fashion can push into people,” McCartney told Clinton. “It’s not supposed to make you feel bad and paranoid.”

Glenda Bailey

Perhaps Hillary Clinton was vindicated by the appearance last night of model Kate Upton in a white pantsuit. Also in a suit: Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, which owns 50 percent of Stella McCartney’s fashion label.

The evening’s alignment of corporate and nonprofit interests not only gave a plug to Harper’s Bazaar but also to its editor, Glenda Bailey, who introduced McCartney on stage at Alice Tully Hall.

“For women like me who feel great in her clothes, she’s the ultimate designer,” Bailey said.

Over the past few years, Bailey carved out a philanthropic niche for herself at Lincoln Center, which is located less than 10 blocks from her office at Hearst headquarters. As an editor of a prestige fashion title, she has a great role model: Anna Wintour of rival Conde Nast’s Vogue, who has done so much for fundraising at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that a wing is named after her.

One of Bailey’s contributions at the performing arts complex, where she’s a member of the nascent Women’s Leadership Council, is hosting a “First Look at Fashion Luncheon.” While the event would be welcomed as a way to encourage the stodgier donor to dress more on-trend, Lincoln Center’s on-staff fundraisers have described it has a way to encourage donations from women. It also helps the institution build a formal bridge to Fashion Week, so much of which takes place on its campus.

Juilliard Grad

Giving the stars that attend Fashion Week a reason to return to support Lincoln Center’s year-round presentations of music, theater, opera, ballet and visual art also seems to be in Bailey’s bailiwick.

At the Corporate Fund benefit last year, she reeled in Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and Jessica Chastain, a particularly nice fit as the actress is a graduate of Juilliard, one of Lincoln Center’s 11 constituents, along with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.

At this year’s benefit, the guests included actors Liv Tyler, Drew Barrymore and Woody Harrelson, Wintour favorite Seth Meyers and his wife Alexi Ashe, designers Brett Heyman and Thakoon Panichgul and model Natalia Vodianova. The event, presented by American Express, raised more than $1.6 million.

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