2009 April 22

The Tribeca Vanities

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Graydon Carter and Anna Scott Carter in Oscar de la Renta Graydon Carter and Anna Scott Carter in Oscar de la Renta
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(NEW YORK) The Tribeca Film Festival was once a neighborhood affair, but times have changed. (In this case, that's a good thing.) Last night, the organization and Vanity Fair hosted a dinner at the State Supreme Courthouse to kick off the week, and Graydon Carter and Co. couldn't disappoint if they tried. Designers, billionaires, rock stars, directors, and the city’s most notorious wives joined hosts Robert De Niro, Carter and Ron Perelman in what the actor described as “our annual family date.” No wonder Carter looked so blissful. “This is about a 1.5 on a 10-point scale of stress compared to the Oscar madness,” he sighed. “I was writing for most of the day, and helped with the seating, sat at the Waverly Inn and Monkey Bar, and came here trying to look smart. The event is about sheer momentum. And it’s also a job fair!"

Christopher Walken confirmed the editor’s theory ten minutes into the cocktail hour. He entered the party with his wife and looked around the room filled with the likes of Jane Rosenthal, Edie Falco, Fran Lebowitz, Sandy Brant and Ingrid Sischy, Vivi Nevo, John McEnroe and Patti Smyth, Jeff Koons, Peggy Siegal, Kathy and Tom Freston, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, Nick Rhodes, Andre Balazs, Lee Radziwill, Tory Burch, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Josh Lucas. “It’s nice to schmooze, see these people, and look at architecture,” Walken said, brandishing a glass of champagne. “But I'm also looking forward to getting a job in the near future!”

One guest, at least, was not searching for any extra work--Bono came to New York for a cultural expedition. “I usually watch movies in the middle of my living room, but it's nice to have a grand festival experience once in a while,” he said. “I'm really looking forward to Woody [Allen]'s film. I think that Evan Rachel Wood girl is something really special.”

Also traveling to the big Allen debut at Ziegfeld is Debra Messing, one of the bold-faced names serving as jurors this year. “I'm here for the next 12 days,” she announced. “I'm about to see an untold number of films and take notes in the dark--it’s all new for me.” So was standing in the middle of a divorce court. “Oh, gosh. What a pretty building for such a stressful place!” she laughed, as she clutched the arm of her Starter Wife co-star Chris Diamantopoulos. André Leon Talley, on the other hand, is a three-time veteran of the Tribeca boardroom--and this year he’ll be one of the deciders for the New York narrative competition. “I was a last-minute replacement after someone pulled out this year,” he said. “But honestly, there's nothing difficult about watching art in the comfort of your home and then deliberating with the likes of Parker Posey and Adrien Brody.”

Kanye West, meanwhile, had double duty in New York. He came to finish his work on Jay-Z's new album (after being delayed for seven hours in the airport) and attend the Tribeca festivities for the first time. “I have no date tonight,” he smiled. “Amber [Rose, West's girlfriend] is at the car dealership right now, buying herself a new set of wheels. I personally drive only in L.A., but she has this contagious spirit of a 5 year-old, even though she’s 25.” Spike Lee kept West company and inside the dinner room of 270, Julie Chen accepted pregnancy well wishes with Les Moonves, Anna Scott Carter greeted guests, and Diane von Furstenberg and Grace Hightower chatted about their husbands. And after an upbeat meal of leafy salad, roasted lamb chops, and a potato tart, would Carter want anyone else to join the fun? “It would be nice to have Obama here, of course,” he mused. “But I’m sure he has other things on his mind!”

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