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Candace Bushnell, in a smart tweed jacket, was certainly dressed for a tea hosted by J. Mendel’s Gilles Mendel and Helen Schifter at Tracey Stern’s tea salon in the City Club hotel last week. But she wasn’t quite ready to drink anything so weak. While ladies such as Rena Sindi and Alex Kramer chose hibiscus or chai, Bushnell washed down her cucumber sandwiches and scones with champagne — perhaps in celebration of selling her book, “Trading Up,” to ABC for an ongoing series. “It could be sort of like ‘Dynasty’ or ‘Knots Landing,’” Bushnell said. “But one never knows with these things.”

Meanwhile, Blaine Trump was reminiscing about how high tea changed her life. “I took my first job at Christie’s because they had a tea break at 4 o’clock,” Trump recalled. “It seemed so civilized.”

This story first appeared in the November 24, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

At the Calvin Klein boutique that night, Kelly Klein stocked up on Jeff Koons designed T-shirts at a party hosted by the artist and Calvin Klein to benefit the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. While Koons turned designer to create the pop-inspired top, lately Calvin Klein has pursued his interest in photography. “The part I love best is the editing,” Klein said. “You can do it right there on the digital camera and crop anything you want.”