2009 February 13

Chic Must Go On!

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Brandusa Niro with Gilles Bensimon Brandusa Niro with Gilles Bensimon
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(NEW YORK) "It's so gorgeous here--all roses and romance!" said Eugenia Gonzalez, walking into La Goulue with Michael Bastian last night. The Daily invited its nearest and dearest to kick off New York's Fashion Week and celebrate the notion that Chic Must Go On, the unofficial swan song of fash-insiders this season. "It's about time that somebody had a real party with good food," said Peter Som, no culinary slouch himself. "And it's even more special because the restaurant is closing!" It's true; as of April 5, "the office," as Bettina Zilkha's set refers to it, will be nothing but one of New York's most cherished collective memories.

The cocktail hour kicked off with Robbie Myers, who graciously dropped by before the amFAR benefit. (Hint, hint: She takes a starring role in Monday's Media issue.) She was embraced by Carlos Souza and Dennis Basso before retreating to her idling voiture. Even avec sniffles, Jim Gold arrived and was immediately stopped by Paul WilmotVincent Ottomanelli, president of Ferragamo USA, dropped in for the cocktail hour with Trisha Gregory. As the champagne and hors d'oeurves flowed freely, Souza took a smoke break and Gilles Bensimon, Diana Picasso and Jim Moore momentarily paused when today's cover star, Charlotte di Calypso, walked in the room. "So many beauties," murmurred Bensimon, camera in hand.

Gillian Miniter arrived with hubby Sylvester, while Libertine's Cindy Greene had a cocktail before her anticipated presentation on Sunday--the first one in New York in several seasons. Alex de Betak stayed for dinner and revealed that he is, once again, designing the set for Rodarte's show on Tuesday. Rebecca Taylor dropped in wearing a delightfully flapper-ish beaded peach confection--a preview of what's to come? The uptown darlings--Rory Hermelee, Lydia Fenet, Cena JacksonAllison Aston, Phoebe Gubelmann--asked Hillary Heard why George Gurley was wearing a red clown wig. (Again, read your Daily.) And avalanche of models descended, leaving Christian Leone and Carlos Miele trembling in their wake. Tanya D! Ali Stephens! Coco Rocha! Nicole Trunfio! Trish Goff! Liya Kebede! Calvin Klein Collection men's creative director Italo Zucchelli, who is shaping up to be the toast of New York's Fashion Week with his hotly-anticipated show on Saturday, arrived with Malcolm Carfrae. "I really cannot wait to show this collection," Zucchelli confessed. "It's been finished for weeks, but the very special pieces just arrived."

Finally, the steak frites were served. "I've never eaten so many haricots verts in my life," mused Jeff Bercovici, while talking shop with Neel Shah and Remy Stern. Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai of Vena Cava canoodled with Lulu Frost designer Lisa Salzer, who gave boyf Billy Farrell an open seat recently vacated by Vivica A. Fox. "This is the best way to kick off fashion week!" Fox exclaimed to Catherine Malandrino. Vivienne Tam, whose presentation on Wednesday is shaping up to be one of the most talked-about of the week (blame those HPs!) was locked in discussion with power lawyer Betsy Pearce.

"This woman next to me looks so familiar," mused Elise Overland. It was Fern Mallis, wedged between the subway-averse designer (read that Daily!) and Michelle Stein. Powerbrokers, dear friends and life-of-the-party types Linda Fargo and Naeem Khan quickly donned the "Chic Must Go On" buttons with pride. Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict arrived post-amfAR, coaxing Gillian Miniter to the Carlyle for a nightcap. "This is how you support fashion!" Khan roared. "We'd better see you at the shows!"

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