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Night and Day

NEW YORK — Who says gift bags are over? As an added bonus to a delicious lunch of butternut squash soup and lobster salad at the Escada store on Wednesday, more than 90 ladies, such as Dori Cooperman, Marjorie Raein (who promised to take Muffie Potter Aston shopping at Buy Buy Baby), a pregnant Adelina Wong Ettelson and Kalliope Karella were rewarded with the company’s modified hobo-shaped Eluna bag in their color of choice.

If they played their cards right — and many, including Zani Gugelmann, Marisa Noel Brown, Bettina Zilkha, Debbie Bancroft and Hilary Geary Ross did — by attending a series of lunches last week, the ladies went home with even more graft. An Election Day lunch at Mix for Dennis Basso’s spring collection provided them with a new fur tippet, which Jackie Astier was already sporting the following evening at Saks Fifth Avenue’s bash for Carlos Miele’s new in-store boutique. Thursday afternoon, at the Alberta Ferretti showroom, guests such as Lillian von Stauffenberg, who is about to relocate to London with her family, washed down a cobb salad with a little white wine in honor of the junior chairs of the Botanical Garden’s Winter Wonderland Ball in December. Perfect attendance led to a flawlessly boxed bejewled collar by the designer.

Goodies were less in order at Wednesday’s multiple evening events, from a party for Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s new book, “American Style,” thrown by Zac Posen and Harold Koda at the Cartier mansion to a dinner for Luisa Beccaria at the Hotel Plaza Athénée that brought out host Miranda Brooks, actress Lynn Collins and good friend Cathy Graham. “I love the warmth and enthusiasm that all the Americans feel when they see something they like,” said Beccaria, who had her 20-year-old daughter, Lucilla Bonaccorsi, by her side.

This story first appeared in the November 9, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

At Saks, it was with some enjoyment that the young social set, including Beth Blake and Charlotte Ronson, traded their buttoned-up lunch attire for the bodice-hugging Carlos Miele looks. “It’s nice to be sexy,” said Alex Kramer. “Everything is about being so-o-o elegant, but why not sexy? My husband asked me why I don’t wear dresses like this more often.”

For that same reason, Donald Trump Jr. kept his fiancée, Vanessa Haydon, who was wearing a tiered purple frock that accentuated her curves, close to his side. “Carlos’ clothes are sexy and comfortable — they’re like lingerie,” explained Haydon conspiratorially.

BELLY LAUGHS: The Parker Bowles family — including momma Camilla — were out in force on Wednesday night at the ultracool London eatery Kensington Place to celebrate the launch of “E Is for Eating: An Alphabet of Greed,” a collection of humorous essays by food writer Tom Parker Bowles. (Chapters include D for Deep South, G for Grouse and J for Jewish Food.) “He’s absolutely manic when he cooks. Every step has to be discussed in detail,” said Tom’s sister, Laura. “And it’s all very theatrical.”

Guests, including Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, Major Bruce Shand, Ben Goldsmith, Santa Montefiore, Eloise Anson and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson snacked on deep fried oysters and salmon cream puffs with caviar as they lined up to get their books signed by the author. “Ooooooo Tom, you’re so popular,” chided first cousin Ben Elliot cheekily.

FAMILY TIES: The only thing missing from the dinner celebrating Paul Jasmin’s latest photography book “Lost Angeles” Thursday night at the Chateau Marmont’s penthouse in Hollywood were copies of the book, which were still stuck in Germany. No matter. Longtime friend Lisa Love (who is also West Coast editor of Vogue) and her co-hosts Lisa Eisner and Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa made sure no one was the wiser having gathered Jazzy’s pals Tom Ford, Robert Graham and Anjelica Huston, Roman Alonso, Daryl Hannah, Mario Testino and Mitch Glazer.

“We wanted it to be a relaxed, intimate dinner for friends and family,” said Costa. The emphasis seemed to be on the latter. Carine Roitfeld brought son Vladimir; Peter and Jacqui Getty arrived with daughter Gia Coppola, and model Cordula Reyer’s date was her son, Ben. Bryce Dallas Howard came without pop, Ron, but was right at home with actress Virginia Madsen, whose performance in “Sideways” was a hot topic. Even newbies to the circle, such as hunky actor Olivier Martinez, who dropped in on the spirited after-dinner party on the balcony, were welcomed into the fold fast.

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