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Considering Tuesday night’s star-studded Enduring Vision/Elton John Aids Foundation gala was held at the Waldorf-Astoria, where President George W. Bush was staying after speaking at the United Nations, the arrivals and security detail went rather smoothly.
Then again, the Osbournes did go through the wrong entrance.
“Little did we know he was here,” said Sharon Osbourne of the President. “We went down his red carpet. There was all this military with nice shiny badges —”
“Nice guns,” said Ozzy.
“I thought, ‘Oh, this is posh.'”
Fortunately the couple made it to the right side of the hotel, where they, along with Harry Slatkin and Chopard’s Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, were honored for their support of the EJAF (“All we do is buy a table every year and have a f—ing good time,” Sharon said). The rest of the crowd, including Deeda Blair, Vera Wang, Blaine Trump and Steve Schwarzman, was treated to a powerful performance by k.d. lang. John belted out his hit “Levon” in tribute to Uma Thurman’s son of the same name, and the actress sang along from her seat, where she nuzzled new beau Arki Busson.
You do have to love a host who can admit when the evening is not exactly pitch perfect. “I’d like to announce that the first course is on its way to the Federal Drug Administration to figure out what it was,” John said to the crowd in reference to the gelatinous tomato and mozzarella starter. “My sincere apologies. That qualifies as the worst thing I’ve ever eaten at one of these events.”
Further uptown, Rachel Roy, Tory Burch and Lance Armstrong filed into the Metropolitan Museum of Art to fete the opening of the Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography. Olivier Theyskens, the evening’s guest of honor, did not let the impending Paris Fashion Week put a damper on his revelry. “My people must not be very happy that I am here. There’s so much work to do this week,” he said.
On Monday, a red carpet, endless Champagne and Hollywood stars made opening night of the Metropolitan Opera more like a movie premiere than the musty event it once was. Jane Fonda, David Schwimmer and Mary-Louise Parker showed up, as did Mayor Michael Bloomberg, artists Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman, Zac Posen and co-hosts Anthony Minghella and Vera Farmiga.
This story first appeared in the September 27, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
These unlikely opera fans joined uptown society fixtures like Marie-Josée Kravis, Nancy Kissinger and gala chairman Mercedes Bass to see the new “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Mixing things up is all part of general manager Peter Gelb’s master plan, and he armed himself for battle by retaining movie screenings queen Peggy Siegel and society party planner David Monn.
The new approach is working: “I’m here because of Peter Gelb,” attested Bianca Jagger, who arrived with Calvin Klein. “I didn’t come to the Met for many years because I was not happy with the way it was being run.”
Meanwhile, at Bryant Park Grill, Debbie Bancroft, Heather Mnuchin and Jennifer Creel were munching on goat cheese ravioli at The Museum of the City of New York’s annual “New York After Dark Party,” sponsored this year by Milly. But nearly everyone complained about the traffic caused by the U.N. “It’s a good time to stay home,” said Nina Griscom.
Downtown, amfAR held its annual gala at the Puck Building, where event chair Paris Hilton extolled the virtues of safe sex. “It’s important that young people know to protect themselves,” she said.
Which is certainly true, even if a review of her infamous sex tape indicates she doesn’t always take her own advice.
“Hopefully we learn as we get older,” said amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole. “Experience is a wonderful teacher.”