2009 April 15

Grey & Gold

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Drew Barrymore in Alberta Ferretti gown, Dior shawl, vinage headpiece, and Roger Vivier clutch Drew Barrymore in Alberta Ferretti gown, Dior shawl, vinage headpiece, and Roger Vivier clutch
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(NEW YORK) It’s safe to say that if the two Edies immortalized in Grey Gardens would host a bash, it would look nothing like last night’s lavish uptown affair. In all likelihood, the reclusive mother/daughter duo would've plopped down a carton of melted ice cream, allowed the cats to run wild and offer up derelict lawn furniture as seating. But their famed Hamptons hideaway has long been restored, the two characters themselves are resting in peace, and over the years, their stories have been upgraded from a documentary to a musical to, now, an incisive HBO film starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Last night, the most recent actress to portray the younger Edie stormed into the Ziegfield Theater. “I hope Edie would be proud,” Barrymore smiled as she gave the cameras an obligatory twirl. “It just feels like a magical New York night, and I wanted to wear something timeless for the occasion.”

But the road to the big premiere was a long one for Barrymore. “I had few not-so-subtle challenges!” she smiled. “I couldn’t speak like a valley girl, I gave up my cell phone and e-mail, and I got to wear awesome prosthetic make-up. But these kinds of parts don’t come around every day, so I had to passionately fight for a place in the house.” And co-star Lange was just as grateful for her experience. “I’ve never sung in my entire life,” she admitted. “And then I just let myself go! Drew helped me along, especially with our soft-shoe dance routine. It was a total blast with all the kitties and great company.” Audience members like Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone, Olivia Thirlby, Justin Long, Kristen Wiig, and David Neville seemed to agree, clapping thunderously and admiring the multiple costume changes and one-liners offered by the Kennedy in-laws.

It turns out that Jackie O wasn't the only one with eccentric relatives. “My mother is pretty up there on the colorful relatives list,” said Selita Ebanks. “Our house is painted in ten different colors and we have three dogs and two cats. And we had few hamsters that expanded to a few million. It was like living in an Ebanks zoo!” Rudy Giuliani was bit more timid about naming his kooky in-laws. “I have so many odd relatives, it would probably take me too long to recite the entire list,” he winked. “And then I'd be thrown out of the family!”

The party moved The Pierre Hotel's Grand Ballroom, where guests were greeted with bright tulip arrangements and a lavish menu complete with a lobster salad, tilapia, roasted chicken, marinated steak, and a dessert bar overflowing with at least a dozen delectable treats. Barrymore never sat down for dinner, as she was busy accepting warm champagne wishes alongside director Michael Sucsy from familiar faces like Jimmy Fallon, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Monet Mazur, Chris Benz, Peter Som, Debbie Harry, Erin Fetherston, and Aerin Lauder. Jason Wu broke his mini-diet by indulging in desserts and discussing his Easter with his date Hilary Rhoda. “I went to Atlantic City,” he shared. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it was so busy that I couldn’t even get dinner reservations at the top places. I won $275 and then lost it all a half hour before I was supposed to leave!”

Rhoda was fascinated by Frances Hayward, who now lives in the Hamptons residence. “It would be fun to spend a night in the house just to say that I did it,” she quipped. Unfortunately for the supdermodel, the owner only spends about 4 months a year at her Hamptons summer home. “No matter how many cats lived there and how many documentaries were made in that home, it's only just a house,” she declared. “You sit in that room and this room, cook your supper, and get comfortable by all the Grey Gardens sweetness.”

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