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American Way

Singer Bryan Adams went behind the lens, assisted by Calvin Klein, for a book of black-and-white photos called "American Women."

Helen Schifter in Calvin Klein with Francisco Costa

Helen Schifter in Calvin Klein with Francisco Costa.

Photo By Steve Eichner

NEW YORK — “Mine looks like Cousin It,” cracked Helen Schifter of her portrait in Calvin Klein and Bryan Adams’ new book “American Women,” which was feted Wednesday night with a party at the designer’s store and a dinner afterward at Tory and Chris Burch’s home.

While Adams may be known more for his singing than his snapping, his black-and-white photos of such Calvin Klein-clad luminaries like actresses Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes and Mandy Moore and socials like Nan Kempner, Blaine Trump and Gigi Mortimer were nonetheless a hot commodity. Guests bid on a silent auction of the stark portraits that filled the walls of the Klein store, but Jeffrey Katzenberg jump-started the bidding a day early over the phone by putting down $15,000 for the portrait of his wife, Marilyn, and his daughter, Laura. Proceeds of both the book sales and the auction will benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Rufus Albemarle pointed to the picture of a pregnant Gwyneth Paltrow and slyly asked Renee Rockefeller if it was her. But Rockefeller has her own photo, thank you very much.

Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa was also taken with the Paltrow pic. “We had to do a special dress for her because she was really pregnant,” he noted.

As for Adams, he enjoyed shooting each personality, but faced a challenge of a different kind. “Working with the celebrities was a dream,” he said. “But most of the time it was me versus the publicists.”

Afterward, a select few headed to the Burches’ home around the corner for dinner. “Sin City” actresses Marley Shelton and Carla Gugino (who are also featured in the book), Arie and Coco Kopelman, Marina Rust Connor, Anne Grauso and Jennifer Creel nestled into the many velvet chairs and couches and chatted about everything from Tom Ford’s new business adventures to their plans for the summer. Jamie Tisch is in Manhattan until June, when she’ll head to Aspen. “It’s so beautiful there and there’s so much to do,” exclaimed Tisch. “My kids don’t even need to go to camp.”
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