His book is called “Learning to Drive” and columnist and first-time novelist William Norwich proved that he was a good student by arriving at Monday night’s book-signing party at West Hollywood’s La Coloniale restaurant in the fanciest Mercedes he could find.
“I got an editorial discount,” explained Norwich, between handshakes with Sandy Gallin, Peter Berg, Bobby Shriver, Mary Corse, Barry Josephson and others at the party co-hosted by Elizabeth Saltzman, Herb Ritts, Bruce Roberts and Hamilton South.
“I don’t know anything about the book,” said Betsy Bloomingdale, “but it’s a nice size for packing, so I bought it.”
Forties music was playing, and supermodel Guinevere Van Seenus sat at the bar draped over Justin Murdoch, both of them dressed in the retro polyester thrift shop style that set the tone for the evening. Norwich roamed the crowd, an advance copy of his rave review from next Sunday’s New York Times Book Review tucked in his trouser pocket, while nearby, Billy Baldwin confessed that he hadn’t read the opus.
“I could have had the galleys, but I didn’t,” he said, reflecting on the jacket blurb he might have written: “‘Bla-bla-bla’ — Billy Baldwin.”
The last one to arrive, pulling up in her own Mercedes, was the formerly blond Evi Quaid, a sometime fashion writer who skipped the vintage look in favor of head-to-toe black HermAs with dyed-to-match hair.
“I bought it,” she said about her outfit. “But if anyone should give me clothes, HermAs should. I did like this whole big story on them and they sent me an ash tray. I don’t smoke. They said I could put candy in it.”