On Sunday night in New York, the tables that usually populate iconic restaurant La Grenouille had been cleared out for Town & Country’s party celebrating its fall “Modern Swans” issue. But there were the restaurant’s signature gigantic floral arrangements, the colors of which reflected the palette of the cover, which features a photo of cheesing Catherine Zeta-Jones with her daughter Carys Zeta Douglas. Husband and father Michael Douglas joined his two girls for the evening, along with others included in the ‘swan’ classification — among them, Kit Keenan and Lori Harvey — for a night of Champagne and tunes spun by Harley Viera Newton. (One guest was overheard saying, “The DJ’s pretty hot.”)
Before hitting the floor to mingle and take photos, Zeta-Jones and Carys paused to chat with reporters. Carys, who is 15, was clearly nervous, clutching one hand with the other, knuckles showing white. And why shouldn’t she be? She’s coming into the limelight at a tough age — her parents, clearly aware of this, helped her answer questions and hugged her through the interviews.
“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” Zeta-Jones sang into Carys’ ear to make her laugh.
In true familial fashion, they finish each other’s sentences, too. When asked how she prepares for back-to-school season, Zeta-Jones explained her two kids are quite different.
“First of all, Carys is one of those uber-organized people,” Zeta-Jones said.
Carys cut in: “Yes, I get all my folders—”
“—To be, like, perfect and color-coordinated,” Zeta-Jones finished for her. “All her pencils are sharpened the right way, so I never have to worry about her. As opposed to my son, I do have to remind him: do you have a pencil or pen in your backpack? He didn’t turn out so bad, he’s at a very good school, but it couldn’t be more polar opposite. With her, it’s like, do you really need seven rose gold folders with a matching purse?”
“Yes, I do,” Carys said.
The teen has expressed an interest in fashion, and said she takes inspiration from people she sees on the street and at her liberal arts school, where “so many kids are decked out in these amazing pieces.”
“I look up to my mom,” she added. “I love her fashion sense, so I’m always like, ‘Can I borrow that? Can I see what that looks like?’ I live in her closet.”
“And what’s the rule, Carys?” Zeta-Jones asked.
“I have to ask you first,” Carys responded in a sing-songy voice.
“And what do you have to do after you take it?”
“Put it back in its place.”
Downstairs in the main area, guests streamed in. Pierce Brosnan’s son Paris, fresh from the Ralph Lauren runway, grabbed two drinks and double fisted for the rest of the evening. Sophie and Warren Elgort hung out with Sophie’s husband, Eric Von Stroh. Steve Harvey’s daughter Lori had spent Friday night partying at 1 Oak with Tiffany Haddish and Winnie Harlow at the Bazaar Icons after party hosted by Genesis — but she didn’t catch sight of the Cardi B and Nicki drama.
“I didn’t see the fight,” Lori said. “I actually had just walked out, so I completely missed all of that.”
It’s Lori’s third time at fashion week, and she said this year has a different feel to it.
“A lot of designers aren’t showing here this season,” she remarked. “They’re doing presentations instead of full shows, and some are even only doing after parties. I’ve definitely done more events this season than I have in the past.”
Michael Kors, an old friend of the Zeta-Jones/Douglases and the cohost and partner for this event, said he was in the middle of a hair and makeup test for his Wednesday morning runway show when he cruised over to La Grenouille to say what’s up to the family.
“There are, like, 15 models sitting at our office right now,” he said. “I’m going back right after this. I have a feeling my team is texting me pictures right now.”
But back to Carys, who Kors said he’s watched grow up. Last year’s Michael Kors show was the first she’d ever attended.
“I think I told her, my first fashion show, I was 15,” Kors said. “I went to this designer named John Anthony and I just looked around and thought, this is for me. I got bitten by the bug, and that’s it. So, I said maybe you’ll do both show business and fashion — why not?”
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