— DIANE CLEHANE
After an apparent scaling back of those late summer vacations, it was a sea of suits at Michael’s today as the money men and moguls hunkered down for serious business between bites of Cobb salad. I doubt any real carbs were consumed, but legendary fashionistas Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera still provided a nice touch of glamour as they quietly broke bread at Table One with their mutual friend, the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez.
It was interesting to see two of the most elegant people in New York enjoying a civilized lunch when the rest of Seventh Avenue is frantically getting ready for the start of Fashion Week next Thursday. (They were practically the last ones in the dining room.) Oscar is having quite a year: He’ll receive the Superstar Award from The Fashion Group International at this year’s 26th Annual Night of Stars Gala at Cipriani on October 22. Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole are also being honored at the chic soiree. Just imagine the goody bag!
I was lunching today with my longtime pal Carol Brodie who I first met when she was working at Harry Winston to make sure every star that stepped out on the red carpet was dripping in diamonds from the legendary house. Her days as a celebrity wrangler now behind her, Carol is becoming a star in her own right with a new fine jewelry line for HSN, Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie. After the first collection sold out in three hours during its June launch, she’s now busy preparing for the next airing on the shopping network in September. She’s also doing some business consulting for Barnes & Noble (details are very hush-hush), writing a book and developing her own talk show. Where does she find the time?
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and the First lady of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez.
2. Mickey Ateyeh and two business types. Mickey came over to say hello to Carol and me and told us she’s busier than ever since “retiring” from her last gig. At the moment, she’s doing some consulting for Carlos Falchi and looking for “some rich guys from Greenwich” to fund fabulous and fashionable new projects in the pipeline. Between this and that, says Mickey, she’s also enjoying some much delayed and deserved time off. “But I’ve got to make a living!” Indeed…
3. Bonnie Timmerman with David Belafonte (Harry’s son, in case you were wondering)
4. My lobbyist pal, Suri Kaiser , looking chic in head-to-toe black Chanel, and the indomitable Lillian Vernon.
5. Michael Barker
6. Toby Myerson
7. Patricia Suarez
8. Sanford Krieger
9. Carol Brodie and yours truly
10. Frank Barry
11. Harold Evans ,who had plenty of reading material courtesy of his lunch date, a gent we didn’t know
12. Peter Price dining just steps away from wife Judy
14. Jack Kliger , who is whipping things into shape at TV Guide
15. Scott Donaton, who arrived sporting some post-vacation stubble and toting what looked like a small suitcase.
16. Jerry Inzerillo talking TV with two ‘suits.’
17. Judy Price and a natty bespectacled gent.
18. Michael Del Giudice
20. Liz Claman, channeling her inner Michelle Obama in a stunning purple sheath. It was barely past noon when she arrived, but she seemed in an awful hurry to get to her table to chat with an unidentified fellow.
22. Matthew Serra
23. Paul Debary
24. Geoffrey Boisi
25. Keith Reinhard
26. Peter Mckillop
27. Joel Silverman, presiding over a table full of blonde beauties.
28. Robert Bennett
29. Susan Bishop
In Memoriam: We were saddened to hear of our friend Dominick Dunne’s passing last week. Over the past several years, I’d gotten to know Vanity Fair‘s chronicler of the famous and infamous and always enjoyed our dishy conversations, especially those that took place in Michael’s. He never tired of being out and about and thrived in the center of it all.
“I’ve been really lucky,” he told me during our last conversation a few months ago. “Being a spectacular failure in Hollywood gave me a chance at a second career I could never have imagined. I’ve loved every minute of it.” Our condolences to his family.
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.