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TIME WELL SPENT: Architect Richard Meier, author Salman Rushdie and news anchor Charlie Rose will be feted tonight by Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin at the company’s launch party for its new watch, the Quai de l’Ile. The company will celebrate the trio’s achievements in their fields as well as contributions they have made to the Afghanistan World Foundation. One of the major achievements of the foundation is in providing mobile medical units to victims of violence in Afghanistan, especially those who have been harmed by land mines. Since time is of the essence in these situations, it was a natural association for the fabled watchmaker. The watch, which is named after the maison’s founding address in Geneva, was created in collaboration with Swiss designer Richard Pfund and is virtually counterfeit-proof. Grammy Award winner Ne-Yo will perform for the likes of Katie Lee Joel, Susan Sarandon, Kate Bell, Byrdie Bell and Boston Celtic basketball champ Ray Allen, all of whom are expected to attend.
HAUTE CUISINE: Bernard Arnault has a delicious new calling card for his Hôtel Cheval Blanc in the ski resort Courchevel 1850: a restaurant overseen by star chef Yannick Alléno. “It’s a dream place for a new restaurant,” said Alléno of Le 1947, slated to open Dec. 6 for the winter season. Alléno, the Michelin three-star chef who heads the restaurant at the prestigious Paris hotel Meurice, will supervise the 1947 menu and is already working on new dishes, such as a roasted turbot with a light celery cream. Expect lots of local products, like Tomme de Savoie cheese and the famous Jura yellow wine.
OH BABE: Those who have long admired Babe Paley’s personal style will have the chance to get a closer look. Beginning today, Verdura will have over 50 gems once owned by the late socialite on display at its Fifth Avenue salon. For those who would prefer a more lasting memory, the jewelry house will also be selling 12 pieces from Paley’s collection, including a set of yin and yang sea pearl bracelets. The exhibit will run through Nov. 28.
SEX AND THE WESTWOODS: Erotic photographer Ben Westwood clearly did his rabble-rousing mother proud on Tuesday when he led a chain gang of bound-and-gagged models in fetish clothing to London’s House of Commons. Dame Vivienne Westwood’s son (with ex-husband Derek Westwood) was protesting a government bill that would render his work illegal as of Jan. 1. The British government is taking a tougher line on extreme pornography, which will be outlawed when the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2008 comes into force. As of Jan. 1, anyone caught in possession of Westwood’s book of sadomasochistic photographs of women, “F**k Fashion: The Erotic Photography of Ben Westwood” (Erotic Print Society, 2005), could potentially face a three-year jail term. “The government gets away with murder when it comes to legislating about our sexual behavior,” said Westwood, “because we are a straitlaced nation, and far too many of us are embarrassed about talking about sex.”