FACE OFF: Deborah Needleman and Kristina O’Neill both feted their debuts, at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, respectively, with parties on Thursday night. Presumably it was all a coincidence, but the two already both proclaimed “Elegance” on their magazine headlines, so maybe not. Still, it put many in the harrowing “Sophie’s Choice” position of having to choose whom they’d rather air-kiss. It was not unlike the choice many advertisers will have to make with their ad budgets. Some nightlife all-stars — the Proenza boys, Hannah Bronfman, Emanuele Della Valle — made it to both. Drew Barrymore went to just one: “I got to know Deborah years ago, when she was doing Domino. We just stayed in touch and always write handwritten notes to each other.” Says Della Valle of the difference between the two editors: “One’s a blonde, the other’s a brunette.” Here, the two parties compared:

Needleman: Grand Central Oyster Bar
O’Neill: Wallsé in the West Village

This story first appeared in the February 9, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Needleman: Media intelligentsia (Jacob Weisberg, Arianna Huffington); designers (Kate Mulleavy; Nicholas Kirkwood); and lots of publicists
O’Neill: Fashion’s young pretty things (Kati Nescher, Elin Kling, the Brant brothers); designers (Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, Reed Krakoff); and lots of publicists

Party hopping: the Proenza boys, Prabal Gurung, Hannah Bronfman, Emanuele Della Valle

Media gadflies in attendance
Needleman: Kurt Andersen, Katie Roiphe
O’Neill: Derek Blasberg, Stephen Gan

Mini moguls in the house
Needleman: Chris Hughes
O’Neill: Wendi Murdoch

Celebrity beneficiaries of nepotism
Needleman: Sofia Coppola
O’Neill: Terry Richardson

The bosses slumming it with the staff
Needleman: Mark Thompson, Dean Baquet, in a salmon-colored shirt
O’Neill: Robert Thomson, Gerard Baker, in open collar, blue pinstripes

Food for thought
Needleman: jumbo-size crab cakes, bacon-wrapped scallops
O’Neill: dainty canapés, marinated scallops

Needleman: four-week digital subscription to the Times, and her first issue
O’Neill: A copy of her first issue

Notable quotables
How do you know Needleman? Drew Barrymore: “I got to know her years ago when she was doing Domino. We remained friends. She would always send me issues of WSJ. When I made my wine, I sent it to her. We just stayed in touch, and we’d always write handwritten notes to each other.”

Emanuele Della Valle on the difference between Needleman and O’Neill: “One’s a blonde, the other’s a brunette.”

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