View Slideshow

NEW YORK — “I like going out in New York better — it’s more free. I don’t really go out in Milan,” admitted Roberto Cavalli last Wednesday night at a Teen Vogue-sponsored affair in honor of his secondary line, Just Cavalli. A mixture of banker types and minidress lovers, including Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Margherita Missoni, Victoria and Vanessa Traina, Zoe Saldana and Lydia Hearst Shaw crowded the new lounge, The Manor, where the decor was given the full Cavalli touch for the evening — replete with animal prints, of course.

The following night featured a more grown-up crowd at the Tribeca Ball at Skylight Studios to benefit artists working with the human form. Fittingly, almost all the female guests had served as artistic muses at one point or another. “I was in Venice for the first time, I was young and I had no money,” recalled Naomi Watts, “so the deal was, I could stay with this guy if I posed for him.” Kim Heirston, who has sat for Francesco Clemente and Alex Katz, had a better experience: “I find it meditative,” she said, “like yoga.”

The social scene remained focused downtown the next night, when Chanel hosted a dinner at Mr. Chow Tribeca for the filmmakers and artists who contributed to the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Robert De Niro, Laurence Fishburne, Julian Schnabel, Jane Rosenthal and Lou Reed were among those who crammed into the brand-new restaurant. Under huge portraits of himself, Christopher Walken happily dug into Mr. Chow classics, while on the other side of the room, Emmy Rossum chatted with Alexis Bryan.

“I feel like Peter Pan in this,” laughed Rossum of her collared Chanel dress. The actress, who headed home early to prep for the Saturday night premiere of “Poseidon,” was joined by co-stars Mia Maestro and Josh Lucas. Lake Bell brought designer Lyn Devon as her date, while Kelly Lynch made it a family affair, showing off her daughter, Shane, and husband, Mitch Glazer.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On Saturday night, Doug Aitken celebrated the publication of his new book, “Broken Screen,” at a Lower East Side party space that was so raw the sponsor — Hermès — compelled guests to sign a waiver, should overcrowding or loose electrical cords lead to a mishap.

As for the program, it was eclectic, to say the least. A woman took to the stage and created a game with the audience in which she’d ask a question, and they would clap if the answer was yes. Then a scraggly folk singer did a song called “Jessica Simpson, You’ve Got It All.” Finally, Aitken and architect Vito Acconci went onstage for a conversation about “moving away from the straight line,” the theme of the artist’s book.

The crowd, filled with Williamsburg hipsters, seemed more interested in the open bar, however. “It’s kind of hard to hear,” said Reed, who hit the happening along with Yvonne Force Villareal. Aitken wasn’t free to explain what he’d been trying to do that evening. “It’s a long story,” he said. “I’ve got a band to bring in.”