Lunch: Charlie Rose, Fern Mallis & Tina Brown


Forget about the summer doldrums: Even though the sun’s not shining today, Michael’s was hot, hot, hot and so jam-packed I could barely get a bite in edgewise as I tried to keep up with the air-kissing action in the dining room. Despite the dreadful weather (and its dampening effect on rental prices in the Hamptons — we can’t relate but maybe we can score a bargain for August), the usual suspects were on the scene and downright chipper to mix and mingle with fellow media mavens.

I was thrilled to be lunching with my good pals Lisa Silhanek (who knows everyone) and IMG’s Fern Mallis who, when she’s not running New York Fashion Week, moonlights as a guest judge on Bravo’s The Fashion Show with Isaac Mizrahi. We were joined by two charming and enterprising entrepreneurs, Fermin Perez and Carlos Lorenzo of Global Events, a worldwide event production company. The guys are producing the Spanish Mile in SoHo tomorrow night, where 1500 fashionistas are expected to tour all the Spanish-themed and owned businesses in the neighborhood. Fern is acting as ‘ambassador’ for the evening’s festivities. Where does she find the time?

I just had to ask Fern how her fledgling career as a reality show star was going. “It’s been great,” she says. Incidentally, Fern wears her own clothes on the show (seems she’s been getting emails from fans inquiring about her wardrobe). On Friday, Fern and the gang will be shooting the second to last episode at Cipriani downtown, where six finalists will stage a runway show before a full house (word is those plucky Housewives from New Jersey and New York will be there). Then, America will have 24 hours to vote on a winner, who’ll be announced on the season finale next month. Stay tuned!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Charlie Rose and pals

2. Jim Wiatt

3. Town & Country’s Pamela Fiori with a striking silver-haired gal and a gent who looked so familiar, but we just couldn’t place him…

4. Cosmo editrix Kate White (Long time no see!) with Linda Fairstein, who arrived sporting ‘Cy Vance for DA’ buttons on both lapels of her jacket. Linda (who hates Kindle, by the way — “I’m an old fashioned book person”) tells all about what it takes to churn out a book a year (she’s written 11!) and how the Internet is marketing Mecca for aspiring writers everywhere in the latest installment of’s So What Do You Do? series.

5. Stan Shuman

6. The ‘Imber Gang’ — Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield and Andy Bergman

7. Fern Mallis, Lisa Silhanek, Fermin Perez, Carlos Lorenzo and yours truly.

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia (resplendent in summer seersucker) and a dark-haired beauty who gave him a very enthusiastic greeting …

9. Henry Schleiff

11. Lynn Goldberg (Loved the floral-patterned jacket!)

12. A very tan Sherrie Westin — sporting killer black suede pumps — with Susan Mercandetti and pals

14. Faye Wattleton rocking a chic bob, with a distinguished gent we didn’t know

15. Time Warner’s Ed Adler with BusinessWeek‘s Jon Fine (hubby of founder Laurel Touby, in case you didn’t know)

16. Actor Steve Guttenberg, who arrived curiously drenched from head to toe (and it wasn’t even raining at the time!) with Morris Levy. A little birdie told me Steve rode his bicycle to 55th Street, so he may have worked up a sweat peddling through midtown. May we suggest a pedicab next time…

17. Uber agent Ed Victor with Sir Harold Evans

18. Money talks: Amy Rosenblum and Randy Jones, author of the new book The Richest Man in Town. I stopped by their table to chat, and Amy told me things are going great guns with Joan Rivers’ new show, How’d You Get So Rich?, premiering on TV Land August 6. (Amy is executive producing with Mark Burnett, Barry Poznick and John Stevens). The always-dapper Randy was lunching with Amy to brainstorm ideas for the show. Word is Joan will be lunching at Michael’s tomorrow — seems like Joan’s star is really on the rise these days, between the show, her success on QVC (her ‘readers’ for those of us not willing to admit we need glasses are her latest bestseller) and her upcoming roast on Comedy Central. Congrats!

81. A very blonde Christie Hefner (looking chic in all white) with a serious-looking fellow

20. Deborah Grubman

21. Denise LeFrak

22. Jarrod Moses

23. Bob Barnett

24. Lisa Caputo (the fashionistas at my table were admiring her groovy tote) and Adam Miller

25. Judith King

26. Tina Brown (we never got to see who she was with)

27. Amanda Haynes-Dale and two gentleman friends

28. Beauty Fashion‘s George Ledes

29. Sarabeth Shrager and Judy Bressler

Faces in the crowd: Bradi Nathan and Terry Starr, co-founders of MyWorkButterfly, a social networking site for moms. These enterprising gals are the subject of a cover story in the latest issue of (201) The Best of Bergen. Finally, some real housewives of New Jersey we can believe in! … Holly Koenig, VP of Kellen Company with Ellen Koteff, editor-in-chief of Nations Restaurant News … Retailing legend Marvin Traub enjoying a family lunch… And Bina Ramani from Mumbai, who stopped by our table to trade tales of world travel with Fern. Bina tells me Fern is “a star” in India. We’re impressed…

Attention all you ‘Lunch’ loyalists: We’re off next week, and will return the following Wednesday, July 8. Here’s hoping your Fourth is full of fireworks!

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.