NEW YORK — Teri Hatcher wasn’t hinting at what’s in store for her character, Susan, on the final episode of this season’s “Desperate Housewives” during her Bergdorf Goodman book party Thursday night, but she was willing to chat about herself.

In honor of the evening’s host, Gilles Mendel, who suited her up for last year’s Emmys, Hatcher wore a burgundy hand-pleated silk chiffon dress with a steel gray broadtail coat from his fall collection. The actress, at what she described as her “first New York elite ladies’ party,” said that visiting Manhattan has always had “an element of coming home.” She lived in Chelsea for five years and loves the city, especially being able to walk everywhere and enjoy the culture. Even the sage wallpaper Kelly Wearstler selected for BG’s interior reminded Hatcher of her actual home.

Days after shooting the final episode, Hatcher learned her book, “Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life” (Hyperion), was fourth on The New York Times best-seller list, and she had reason to kick back a bit. But inquisitive partygoers didn’t get far with her.

“I can’t say anything that gives it [the episode] away, so instead I recap what’s happened to Susan this year: She’s had a gun held to her head, she wound up meeting the father she thought was dead, she had a spleen emergency, she remarried her ex-husband for insurance, she slept with her ex, then she slept with her ex again — making Edie so mad, she burned her house down.”

To help Hatcher break out of character, WWD threw a few questions her way.

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

  • What was the last thing you bought for yourself?

    “That’s a good distinction because I buy a lot of things for other people. (Considerable pause.) A saddle for my horse, which is a big commitment. It’s about $3,000. I’m a pretty serious rider. But I bought one for my daughter before me.”

  • What’s been your best freebie?

    “For me, being a single mom, it’s the free jewelry. There’s no man at this time buying it for me. I have no qualms about buying fine jewelry for myself, but I prefer to be given it. I’m not much of a materialistic person. Whenever I go to buy something, I think, ‘Do I really need one more thing? It doesn’t really make you happy,’ so then I don’t buy it.”

  • Who are your favorite designers?

    “I do a lot with Donna Karan. Of course, Gilles Mendel, Valentino, Donatella Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.”

  • Which designers do you wish would call you?

    “I’m not up enough on fashion to know how to answer that. I pretty much leave that to my stylist. But I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t. No one has to tell me that. But I’m not the one to tell you what the hottest bag is.”

  • What did you wear a lot of in high school?

    “Levi’s 501s and a T-shirt — but I still wear a lot of jeans.”

  • What’s the one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?

    “For that one, they’ll have to read the book.”