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Stan by Me

Breaking up is hard to do, but a little Champagne always helps.

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NEW YORK — Breaking up is hard to do, but a little Champagne always helps. And there was much to be had as designers and their hangers-on piled into 583 Park Avenue on Tuesday night to bid adieu to CFDA president Stan Herman. Even after 16 years, he was not ready for his curtain call. “I’m not retiring to Boca Raton, and why would I? It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Francisco Costa, Derek Lam, Cynthia Rowley, Mark Badgley and James Mischka were among the many who made their way to the Delano & Aldrich-designed building. Wang told the crowd Herman’s tenure is nothing to sniff at. “As we all know, in fashion, as in dog years, that’s equivalent to 10 lifetimes — 20 even.” Of course, the CFDA’s steersman nearly missed the chance to thank his still-gainfully employed 102-year-old father, Sidney, or anyone else. After waxing poetic about her predecessor, Diane von Furstenberg almost left the stage without introducing him. “This just explains who I am,” she said with a laugh.

Across town, a smattering of anchormen and celebs, including Emilio Estevez and Joshua Jackson, traded hellos at a “Bobby” screening, followed by dinner at Le Cirque. “Oh, no, she’s in the scrum,” said a bashful Brian Williams as he was being led to meet a mobbed Sharon Stone. Indeed, doing press for movies these days is not unlike being on the campaign trail. “I travel with three huge luggages,” said Russian actress Svetlana Metkina. “You never know what it’s going to be — red carpet, photo call, lunch, tea.”

Downtown at the Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique, Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy hosted a book signing for Grace Coddington, whose “Catwalk Cats” is all about fashionable felines, followed by an intimate dinner at Sant Ambroeus. The stylist admitted cats don’t hold up to the Christys, Naomis, Cindys and Giseles of the world. “They focus on all sorts of things, just not on the moment,” she whispered. When the notoriously shy Coddington stood up to speak, the crowd broke out into a chorus of meows, led by Jacobs. “We have this ongoing thing,” Jacobs explained. “We meet for dinner every once in a while, and she talks about my cats and I talk about my dogs.”

On Monday night at the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions gala, grand dames such as Lally Weymouth and Louise Grunwald mingled with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Henry Kissinger, Elie Wiesel, Toni Morrison, Marina Rust and Oprah Winfrey. Kissinger said he had just finished Donald Kagan‘s “The Peloponnesian War,” while Winfrey said she had no time to read a book recently, much less pick a book selection for her show, because she’s been too busy with a school she’s starting in South Africa. “The last thing I read was about curriculums for girls.”

The same night, a young, artsy bunch flooded into Prada’s SoHo store to fete sculptor Tom Sachs‘ new tome, published by Fondazione Prada. While many of the guests, including Brooke de Ocampo, John McEnroe and Helena Christensen, may have been more interested in the fashion the Italian house puts out rather than in its reading material, Sachs made it clear his interests lie in art, not commerce. “I’m fairly indifferent to the brand,” he said. A dapper Alexander McQueen made an unexpected and brief appearance before heading back out into the rainy eve. “He was shopping in the store earlier,” explained Miuccia Prada blithely. “So I told him to come tonight.”

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