Partying With Bills Cunningham and Clinton... Retail Video Stars...

As if the media don't have enough to do covering fashion week, the parties turn the race into an ultramarathon.

Correction Appended Friday September 12, 2008 12:01 AM

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Bill Cunningham

Photo By Joe Schildhorn/

Mary Louise Parker

Photo By Chance YEH/PMC

PARTY HOPPING: As if the media don’t have enough to do covering fashion week, the parties turn the race into an ultramarathon. Take Wednesday night: Bergdorf Goodman feted New York Times street fashion and party photographer Bill Cunningham, who couldn’t resist covering his own event. “Look at that — that is terrifying,” exclaimed Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr., at the sight of jewelry designer Vanessa Sterbenz’s necklace made from decoupage of photos of Cunningham’s face. Another mini-Cunningham peered from atop the purple feather in her hair. Cunningham just beamed.

“He is truly a generally lovely man,” Sulzberger said. The event was cohosted by the Department of Transportation, in homage to Cunningham’s preferred ride — a bicycle.

Another co-host, Bergdorf chief executive officer Jim Gold, recalled being in a taxi in Midtown Manhattan and glimpsing Cunningham on his bike. “I must say, I felt a little lame,” Gold said.

At Gotham Hall, Esquire celebrated 75 years with LeBron James (who had his own Ralph Lauren event that night), Rupert Murdoch, Mary Louise Parker, Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black and executive vice president Michael Clinton, David Lauren, Charlie Rose, Becki Newton, Thom Browne and Ted Allen.

An hour into the ceremonies, Esquire editor in chief David Granger introduced surprise guest speaker Bill Clinton from the balcony, who made note of Murdoch’s attendance when he rattled off two early observations: “I love Gotham Hall, but every time I’m here in the dark, I expect Batman to appear. The second is, I am a Democrat so it’s somewhat uncomfortable for me to be up here and Rupert Murdoch down there.” Clinton also used the gold medal-winning U.S. basketball team, of which James was a member, as an example of how working together can bring success.

Hearst execs then hustled to Marie Claire’s welcome party for “Project Runway” judge and new fashion director Nina Garcia at Milk Studios, along with editor in chief Joanna Coles, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Molly Sims, Lindsay Lohan, Tinsley Mortimer, Kelly Klein and former Vogue intern Sean Avery. But Hearst publicists almost dropped their clipboards when Garcia had a near run-in with Anne Slowey, Elle’s fashion news director, star of CW reality show “Stylista” and now archrival of Garcia’s. Slowey was leaving the Doo.Ri presentation, which was held at Milk Studios earlier.

Also showing support for Garcia was actress Elizabeth Banks, who later turned up at Alison Sarofim’s West Village town house for a party marking Domino’s fashion issue. That crowd included designers Thakoon Panichgul, Peter Som and Chris Benz; actress Lake Bell, and even an Olympian: silver medal swimmer Ryan Lochte.

— Irin Carmon, Stephanie D. Smith and Amy Wicks
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