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Fame certainly has its privileges, as David Hockney learned at the Wednesday night party for the Burberry-sponsored restrospective of 50 years of his work, “David Hockney Portraits.” The legendary artist — who can’t live without his ciggies — got his own special smoking tent outside London’s National Portrait Gallery, which obviously doesn’t allow smoking.

A parade of big names came to pay their respects to Hockney, including Lord Jacob Rothschild, Lynn Wyatt, Zadie Smith, Thandie Newton, Dita Von Teese, David and Serena Linley, Lady Emily Compton, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Jamie Oliver, Natalia Vodianova and Justin Portman and Tracey Emin.

“I’m almost embarrassed to be in his presence,” said starry-eyed Burberry designer Christopher Bailey of his fellow Yorkshireman. “He’s been my idol for so long.”

Hockney wasn’t letting the praise and attention go to his head. Asked how he felt after seeing a recently rediscovered self-portrait, painted when he was 17, the artist said he was surprised it had survived. “I’d probably given it to someone as a piece of board, so they could paint over it — that’s what you did in those days,” joked Hockney, who came with Celia Birtwell, his longtime sitter, on his arm.

Across the pond on Thursday night, a cadre lined up at Donna Karan‘s Madison Avenue flagship to sing the praises of her new fragrance, Gold. While Michelle Williams, Angie Harmon, Jamie Tisch and Karan’s daughter, Gabby, mingled, Laura Linney took it upon herself to do a little product placement. “It’s really good,” she insisted, holding out her wrists to be smelled.

“You literally can’t turn a corner in New York without finding someone Donna’s helped,” added Uma Thurman. “And she really designs for women, although I will tell you, she has me in a shorter hemline tonight than I’ve been in in quite a few years. That naughty woman.”

This story first appeared in the October 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

She certainly is. For a promotion for the fragrance last month, a magazine shot Karan, slathered with gold paint, which she loved. “I thought it should be the ad,” Karan said. “And on my J-Date.”

Many of the guests were doing the rounds, including Tinsley Mortimer, Fabiola Beracasa, Claire Bernard and Arden Wohl, who hit Valentino’s boutique — though, in this case, the draw was seeing their own faces on the wall, courtesy of artist Eneas Capalbo. Some carped about the results, however. “I told him not to give me WASP-y lips,” opined Jennifer Creel. After cocktails, a smaller group, including Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Zani Gugelmann and Olivia Chantecaille, headed to Daniel for a lavish three-course meal. “Can’t you just bring them all at once?” joked Carlos Mota. “Yeah, like in first class,” giggled Chantecaille. “I’m always like, ‘I just popped an Ambien; bring everything at the same time.'”

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