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For those in a social frame of mind, last Wednesday night offered not one, but two excuses to party in New York. At the Hotel on Rivington, Lancôme hosted a fete to celebrate the launch of its new fragrance, Hypnôse. But on the roof deck, the smell of cigarettes was far more pronounced than perfume. “I don’t wear cologne,” said Lazaro Hernandez, who was sucking on a Marlboro Light. “I think I did when I was younger.”

“When was that? Last year,” interjected his smoking buddy Daria Werbowy, the face of the fragrance. Others in the crowd included Ashanti and Jacquetta Wheeler and Alexi Lubomirski, her boyfriend. So what sort of cologne does he wear? Lubomirski winced. “Does Lancôme do a men’s fragrance?”

Just a few blocks north at the Tribeca Grand, The Cinema Society and Hugo Boss hosted the New York premiere of Adam Rapp‘s film “Winter Passing,” which drew three of the movie’s stars — Ed Harris, Zooey Deschanel and Amelia Warner. After taking in Rapp’s bleak family drama, guests such as Helena Christensen, Olivia Chantecaille, Allison Sarofim, Bettina Zilkha, Elettra Wiedemann and Rachel Roy repaired to the crowded upstairs Trinity lounge for a buffet dinner.

Things got a bit wilder the next night among the animals at the American Museum of Natural History, where the Versace-sponsored annual Winter Dance attracted such guests as Lou Doillon, Tara Subkoff, Julia Stiles and a few hundred others. Fabiola Beracasa, Shoshanna Gruss, Genevieve Jones and Eleanor Ylvisaker, among others, amused themselves over dinner in the African Mammal hall by passing naughty notes from table to table via specially hired, hunky couriers, who rushed to deliver their missives around the elephant exhibit. “No one knows me here,” teased Doillon, pondering the possibility of climbing onto a stuffed pachyderm. “I think I can do what I want.”

This story first appeared in the February 21, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Hosts Claire Bernard, Tinsley Mortimer, Amanda Hearst, Jacqueline Sackler and Zani Gugelmann had all been given the full Versace makeover a few weeks prior in Milan by la Donatella herself. “She’s such a girly-girl,” said Mortimer, all tumbling curls in a sea foam-green gown. “Not at all what you would expect.”

Out West on Thursday, Los Angeles traffic was at a standstill (when isn’t it?) as fashion fans raced from one event to another. Fred Segal on Melrose, which rarely holds an evening party, hosted two. Upstairs at the Ron Herman boutique, Victor Alfaro presented a capsule collection of daywear and nine red-carpet looks for admirers like Carolyn Murphy. “I want this for Kate Bosworth‘s ‘Superman’ premiere,” stylist Jessica Paster quickly demanded of a corseted black lace cocktail look. “And I’m not just saying this to be nice.”

Downstairs at the empty Mauro’s Cafe, Kate and Andy Spade hosted the opening of an exhibit of 30 Slim Aaron prints that Kate handpicked herself. “I love how he just captured reality in these gorgeous colors,” marveled Courteney Cox Arquette as David Spade walked her through the show.

Out in the wilds of Culver City, New York designer Junko Yoshioka presented her red-carpet looks, while Express held its runway show at Smashbox Studios. After the show, a crowd including Elizabeth Banks, Jordana Brewster, Monet Mazur, Zach Braff and Pharrell Williams stuck around to hear crooner Robin Thicke belt out a few numbers, while his proud father, Alan Thicke — of “Growing Pains” fame — beamed. And even though they’re too young to remember Dr. Jason Seaver, Nicole Richie and Vanessa Traina gushed over the younger Thicke: “He’s so hot!”

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