Party Loyalty

Recession or no, the social set is out on the town —even if they’re swapping caviar for pigs in a blanket.

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Special Issue
WWD Scoop issue 11/24/2008
• Celebrities aren’t shying away from the party scene, either. Debra Messing and Becki Newton giddily party hop from Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure event to Diane von Furstenberg’s studio, Jessica Biel and Maggie Gyllenhaal get all dolled up for a MoMA benefit and Christina Ricci and Sarah Jessica Parker trot out for a preview of the Chanel Mobile Art exhibit. Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford plans a birthday party for her two-year-old son, Hermés, at the Four Seasons, sponsored by Gymboree. At the opening of Hugo Boss’ new Meatpacking District shop, Brooke Shields says, “It’s very brave of Hugo Boss to open a store now. It’s like my show [Lipstick Jungle]—some people look at it and say, ‘Why?’ But in these times you need a break from CNN.” (Well, maybe not: Shields’ series has subsequently been canceled.)

Others are showing up because they feel it necessary to make good on their promises. “They asked me to come out six or nine months ago, so of course I’m going to say yes,” says Richard Meier at a party hosted by Vacheron Constantin for its new Quai de I’lle watch collection. “Perhaps if they asked me today, I’d say that we shouldn’t be doing things like this.”

And, in the end, that’s the new mood throughout the museums, party venues and Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue apartments all over town.

Even Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group, one of the poster boys for hedge fund excess, admits (to an extent) the error of his ways. Schwarzman is taking the opportunity to express regrets over his $3 million 60th birthday party last year, which included a performance by Rod Stewart, recently telling an investors’ conference: “Obviously I wouldn’t have wanted to do that and become some kind of symbol of sorts of that period of time. Who would ever wish that on themselves?”

NEXT: "The Wild Ones" >>


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