NEW YORK — Toby Young may have left the Big Apple with his tail between his legs after his career at Condé Nast fizzled out, but he returned to the city for a hero’s — or rather, antihero’s — welcome.

The book party for "How To Lose Friends and Alienate People," held Monday night at Serena, downstairs from Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel, attracted a horde of media figures and socialites including Serena Bass, Michael Gross, Michael Wolff, Richard and Nadine Johnson (together), Kurt Andersen, New York Magazine’s Marc Malkin and Alice and Lucy Sykes. And though the book lampoons Vanity Fair in particular and Condé Nast writ large, a contingent of Nasties nevertheless showed up (so much for the rumor that VF chief Graydon Carter was banning staffers from attending), including Vanity Fair’s Dana Brown, Darryl Brantley, and contributing editor Steve Garbarino, Vogue’s Anne Vincent, GQ’s Lisa Dallos and The New Yorker’s John Cassidy. Young, meanwhile, was busy telling everyone that S.I. Newhouse Jr. [chairman of Advance Publications, parent company of Fairchild Publications and Condé Nast] was coming to the party after he received a faux RSVP from someone pretending to be the publishing magnate. (Perhaps Young himself?) Young spent much of the party flanked by sundry Playboy playmates (Playboy co-sponsored the bash).

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