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Look out, Ladies Who Lunch — you’re on candid camera. WWD has revived its time-honored tradition of staking out fashionable eateries around the globe. In the Sixties, our photographers snapped style icons like Gloria Guinness, Babe Paley and the Duchess of Windsor, perfectly turned out in pumps and pearls, as they shuttled to and from La Côte Basque and La Caravelle. In the Seventies, it was Orsini’s, where Jackie O always had dibs on the best table, while Nancy Reagan and her exclusive coterie ruled the roost — big hair and all — at Le Cirque in the Eighties.
And today’s lunch bunch?
Well, in New York, the social crowd still don their Chanel suits and head to Swifty’s. The power lunchers like Madeleine Albright are ever loyal to the Four Seasons and Michael’s. In Paris, Market attracts international trendies like Lee Radziwill and Barbara Roche, while Le Stresa pulls in fashion fans, like Mouna Ayoub and Oscar de la Renta, and L’Avenue draws the showbiz types: Pink, Madonna and Nicole Kidman. Open since the Thirties, Le Relais at the Hotel Plaza-Athenée counts Lauren Bacall and Firyal of Jordan among its devotees.
And in Hollywood, the Ivy — where studio execs traditionally iron out film deals — has morphed into a bastion for young starlets, too. But the dress code is still super-cazh. On a recent weekday there, Tara Reid, Gabrielle Union and odd couple Robin Tunney and Jason Priestley all turned up.
“I actually had a fashion emergency today,” pleaded Tunney. “I just came from the gym and only had a cropped T, so I went across the street to buy a shirt.”
The sneaker-clad Priestley, meanwhile, puffed up his chest.
“Don’t you want to know what I’m wearing?”