NEW YORK — They say that being social is a full-time job, and Thursday evening was a good example of New York’s finest working hard for their money. (Or, if you count profits in graft, working hard for such goodies as a package of Newman’s Own microwave popcorn and a copy of last month’s Vanity Fair, both of which could be found in the gift bag at the Library Lions benefit.)
Elizabeth Hurley kicked the working day off with a lunch for her beachwear line at Saks Fifth Avenue. The presence of Sally Albemarle, Lisa Airan and Iman was overshadowed by Sir Elton John, who had been shopping with La Hurley before her guests arrived. “My swimsuits are for women with bottoms and tummies,” said Hurley, who doesn’t seem to have either one. She’ll be showing off her bikinis and tunics in Saint-Tropez in June, and then she’s off to her homeland for August. “It’s the only time when England is nice,” she said. So much for patriotism.
A few blocks up at Bergdorf Goodman, Andrew Gn, just in from Paris, was being showered with praise by Tiffany Dubin and Allison Sarofim. “I look like a coral reef,” chuckled Nina Griscom of her jacket, which featured a seascape motif. Trish Grady arrived in a three-year-old dress by the designer, which she told him was vintage. “Don’t call it vintage,” Gn responded. “That makes me seem so old.”
Meanwhile, at a benefit in support of Hole in the Wall Camps at Avery Fisher Hall, Julia Roberts came on stage wearing racing gear and a motorcycle helmet, which she proceeded to flip off, complaining, “I am not a happy camper. I was told I was going to make a thunderous appearance with none other than Paul Newman and what do I get?” An engine roared and Newman drove onstage in a blue race car being pushed by a small crowd of children. But at least Roberts ended up fielding proposals. “Can I be your boyfriend?” asked one of the many young emcees.
“I already have a boyfriend,” Roberts told him. “In fact, he’s my husband and he gave me two little presents recently,” in an apparent reference to her twins, Phinnaeus and Hazel.
Roberts wasn’t the only one dressing up in costume. The Whit Stillman set — including Beth Blake, Olivia Chantecaille, Ivanka Trump, Cristina Greeven Cuomo and Julia Stiles — made it to the New York Public Library for “An Affair in Havana.” Cigars (real and candy ones) were passed out, as were hats, fans and French fries; waiters wore guayaberas, and dinner featured a somewhat Americanized version of a Cuban sandwich. The Latin dress was easy for Carlos Souza to pull off — he had his pink shirt unbuttoned with flare — but, from the other side of the pond, Euan Rellie was having trouble loosening up.
“I don’t have quite the mound of chest hair as Carlos,” said Rellie, safely ensconced in a bow tie.
At the Tribeca Ball much further downtown, New York Academy of Art students painted two nude models in a corner while Gigi Mortimer, Samantha and Serena Boardman, Eileen Guggenheim and Liev Schreiber admired their work on display. “I’m a huge art fan,” said Frederique van der Wal. “I just buy whatever strikes my interest.”
Heather Mnuchin’s pale blue Dolce & Gabbana dress also garnered a lot of attention. “It’s not mine,” she exclaimed. “This goes back tomorrow — like Cinderella!”