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Chris Matthews Stops by Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Now that summer is unofficially over and the glitterati have shuttered their cottages in the Hamptons, the regulars have begun to trickle into Michael’s for catch-up power lunches. Things weren’t exactly operating at full tilt today, but there were enough media mavens and moguls scattered around the dining room to signal that the city’s busy social season is upon us. So, pack up those summer whites and buckle down. It’s back to business.

I was joined today by jewelry designer Lisa Salzer and my good pal Miriam Driot, who is handling international public relations and marketing for Lisa’s line of vintage costume jewelry, Lulu Frost. The gals were all abuzz about Lisa’s first-ever Fashion Week presentation with live models at MAC & Milk Studio next Monday. Lisa says the show will have an “elegant, fifties feel” and feature Mad Men-inspired period clothes from Amarcord. Despite the frenzy going on in showrooms all over town, this afternoon Lisa was the embodiment of Grace Kelly cool. “It’s the calm before the storm,” she joked.

In just six years, Lisa went from being a Dartmouth college student who sold jewelry out of her dorm room to respected talent whose vintage pieces are carried in Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and overseas in Paris and Japan. “It’s my passion,” she said. She also told me she inherited her love of all that glitters from her grandmother who ran an antique estate jewelry firm in England.

When I asked her how her business has been affected by the lingering recession, she said: “We’ve been lucky. Things have been very good. Because the collection is costume, women are still buying the pieces they love. It’s much different than selling apparel.” I’ll say. In fact, Lisa is so optimistic about her clients’ bling obsession that she’s planning to launch a fine jewelry collection next year.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Diana Taylor and Susan Mercandetti

2. Terry Allen Kramer and James Nederlander

3. Women’s Day‘s Carlos Lamadrid

4. Public relations scion Steve Rubenstein


5. Allen & Co.’s Stanley Shuman and another distinguished looking gent.

6. Producer Francine LeFrak and her dapper husband Rick Friedberg with New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “She’s doing amazing things!” said Francine of her pal the Speaker as she sailed out the door.

7. Donna Soloway

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia with Emilia Saint-Amand.

11. e5 Global Media’s honcho Richard Beckman and a well-heeled fellow we didn’t recognize. The guys really seemed to be enjoying their French fries with great gusto.

12. Lisa Salzer, Miriam Driot and yours truly

14. Hearst’s newly minted chairman Cathie Black (loved that Prada bag!) with NBC Universal’s Lauren Zalaznick

15. Early birds Chris Matthews and Doug Band. The MSNBC host slipped out the door before we could ask if President Obama’s oratory skills still sent ‘a thrill’ up his leg. Oh, well.

16. Cartier’s Michael Spezialetti

17. Dennis Ray

18. TIVO’s CEO Tom Rogers

21. Danielle Botros

22. Willard Ahdritz and Dave Johnson

23. Dan Wassong and attorney Suzanne Bracker (long time, no see!)

24. Martin Puris. We still can’t get over how he came up with one of advertising’s most enduring taglines, “The Ultimate Driving Machine” for BMW.

25. Ronald Daniel

27. A colorfully clad Euan Rellie. Wonder what fashionista wife Lucy Sykes would say about his eye-catching ensemble.

Faces in the crowd: Actress and mom-to-be Ali Larter with an equally expectant pal in the Garden Room.

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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