Uptown, Samantha Rosen and Alex Kramer celebrated the new Jay Ahr atelier with designer Jonathan Riss, and Christie’s hosted a party for interior designer Michael Smith, who just released his first book, “Houses.” With the stock market crashing and unemployment on the rise, it was a little surreal. “I’ve always tried to be sensible,” said the guest of honor. “People have never hired me to do a solid-gold bathroom. My work isn’t flashy or showy, so it stays current whether times are good or bad.” Among those at the dinner afterward at La Grenouille were Casey Ribicoff, Ralph Rucci and power agent Kevin Huvane.

John Thain, chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch (which had to sell itself to Bank of America last month because of the subprime mortgage crisis), saw no problem with showing up for the party while his whole industry was tanking and employees at his company were seeing their portfolios go up in smoke. “This, at least, is fun,” he said, “as opposed to the rest of the day.”

This story first appeared in the October 20, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The next evening, Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, Muffie Potter Aston, Joanne de Guardiola and Martha Stewart attended the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s preview party for the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers show at the Park Avenue Armory.

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