— DIANE CLEHANE
There must have been something in the air besides the distinctive pungent aroma that trailed Damon Dash when he sauntered in to join Rachel Roy‘s birthday lunch for Vogue‘s style guru Andre Leon Talley. The normally calorie phobic fashion crowd — which included Upper East Side bridal maven-turned-mass marketer Vera Wang, Nicole Miller and Manolo Blahnik’s George Malkemus tucked into their entrees with gusto. The forks were flying as staffers kept the crowd in burgers with frites, duck confit and plenty of cobb salads. Just asking: Can you get the munchies by osmosis?
Self-described junk food junkie Vera Wang stopped by the bar to chat with me about her hugely successful line at Kohl’s. When I told her that I’ve seen scores of Scarsdale yummy mummies trolling the aisles of Kohl’s Yonkers (!?) store for her lower priced wares, Wang said she’d just visited there last weekend and seen firsthand how fast her cheap chic clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories and linens are being snapped up. “It’s so exciting,” says the always ebullient designer, who was sporting her signature black leggings from the new Simply Vera line. “I’m thrilled by the response. It’s just great.” No doubt.
1. Birthday girl Debbie Bancroft celebrating with a gaggle of social swans that included Somers Farkas, Patricia Duff and Nicole Miller.
2. Ed Rollins enjoying some red wine with two distinguished looking gents.
3. George Lucas, whose unexpected arrival with Melody Hopson set off a small frenzy among staffers who found themselves humming the theme to Star Wars. The multiple Oscar winner, who was his usual low key self in an AFI jacket, jeans and Jack Purcells, seemed oblivious to the stir his presence caused among fellow diners.
4. Early shift: Bruce Wasserstein and, we’re told, his daughter. Second shift: PR maestro Howard Rubenstein and two guests.
5. Norris Church (Norman Mailer‘s wife) with Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd.
6. Andre Leon Talley with Rachel Roy, Damon Dash (who arrived with a buddy in tow), Vera Wang, Melania Trump, Grace Hightower, ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and an unidentified brunette in Oscar de la Renta. It’s a big week for Andre. Tomorrow night he’s being feted by The Fashion Group International at the 24th Annual Night of Stars, which is honoring fashion’s “Rule Breakers.” Andre, who has definitely broken a few fashion rules along the way (he wears a cape like nobody else can), will receive the Lord & Taylor Fashion Oracle Award which will be presented by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. I guess they’ve air kissed and made up since he picked that Jane Jetson capelet (I told you he had a thing for capes) for the former American Idol contestant to wear on the red carpet at this year’s Academy Awards.
7. Gant’s Ari Hoffman with a big cheese from WWD …
8. Larry King producer Todd Polkes with publicity maven Susan Blond.
11. Susan Aarons and a scribe from the Hollywood Reporter.
14. Jim Casella.
15. Playboy‘s Chris Napolitano.
16. Designer-turned-do-gooder Steven Stolman — once the go-to-guy for the Southampton set, he now toils as director of development for Foundcare and is currently raising funds to build a healthcare facility for the uninsured — lunching with Chip and M.A. Quinn, who are visiting from Palm Beach.
17. A nattily dressed young English gent who could pass for a certain member of the royal family, if you ask me.
18. Ashley Schiff.
20. Freddie Friedman.
21. Chris Meigher.
22. The lush fall arrangement blocked our view.
23. Scott Singer.
24. Nick E. Rubinstein (Loved those new photos of your darling daughter!)
25. Tom Goodman & television consultant Jeff Gralnick.
27. Jim Mitchell.
29. James Lefrak.
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.