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Lunch: Andre Leon Talley Stops By — and Hugh Jackman is Coming Tonight!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Our invitation to tonight’s party for Joel Grey hosted by Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborah Lee Furness, must have gotten lost in the mail. Oh well. The dining room was jam-packed with the Wednesday regulars in action, so there was plenty to keep us entertained. I was also happy to catch up with some pals I hadn’t seen in a while. When my friend Andre Leon Talley swept through the door resplendent in a rose-hued Prada coat and “raspberry velvet” custom-made Manolo Blahnik sandals, I was thrilled that he had time for a chat before joining George Malkemus for lunch.

I just had to ask him what he thought about Morley Safer‘s segment on Anna Wintour that aired on 60 Minutes a few weeks back. “I was really impressed with their research,” said Andre, who reported that the show spent weeks at Vogue‘s offices and trekked to Europe for the collections to cover Anna in action and get many of fashion’s most famous faces to weigh in on her decades-long reign at the style bible. We both agreed that Morley sounded a wee bit contemptuous of the players and the game. The newsman’s occasional barbs thrown into the piece — including an observation that Karl Lagerfeld dressed like Count Dracula (“He’s had that look for eight years!”) and that all Vogue‘s young staffers have to be skinny — were “a bit dismissive,” said Andre. (I did love when Anna said that on a recent trip to Minnesota she found most of the folks resembled “little houses.”) Andre reports Anna was “thrilled” with the piece. “It’s 60 Minutes — she was on the same show as Secretary Gates. It was fabulous,” proclaimed Andre.

Today, he was taking a break between the resort presentations that designers were hosting around town in their showrooms this week. “The resort shows are fabulous,” he reports. “It’s become a much more interesting season where people are really doing some fabulous things.” Among the highlights so far: Diane von Furstenberg‘s “Going to Rio”-inspired collection with everything a girl needs all packed into one bag (“It’s her best collection in three years”), Zac Posen‘s ruched silk lame jeans and “major” shoes — especially the sexy lace d’Orsay numbers. Andre also gave high marks to Michael Kors‘ batik prints. “There are a lot of great clothes and great items that women will want to buy.” Music to a lot of retailers’ ears, no doubt.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Conde Nast’s Lou Cona and the dashing Daniel Lalonde, president and CEO of Louis Vuitton, presiding over a table full of movers and shakers.

2. Peter Brown

3. Judith Verno

4. Stephen Swid and a blonde gal we didn’t recognize


5. Stan Shuman with another distinguished gent …

6. ‘The Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer and Andy Bergman.

7. Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley and George Malkemus.

8. Harper Collins’ David Hirshey and The New York Post‘s Richard Johnson. Since ‘Page Six’s gossip king mentioned that he thought it might be time to write his own book when we spoke for his So What Do You Do? interview recently, I asked him if that was, in fact, on the menu for today’s chat. “I’m just hoping I get an item for tomorrow’s column,” joked Richard, who always manages to keep things light. Perhaps there’s something in Craig Ferguson‘s new book, Between the Bridge and the River, since David arrived with the tome tucked under his arm. Word is the debut novel of the host of The Late, Late Show is pretty good.

9. Hearst high priestess Ellen Levine

11. Harold Ford and Chris Potterfield

12. Nick Simunek

14. CBS spinmeister Gil Schwartz and a blonde mystery gal …

15. Rob Weisbach and Norman Allsted

16. My good pal Joan Gelman with her handsome sons Josh and Gregg

17. Micki Ateyeh

18. Linda Wachner and Marcia Heinbach

81. Fashionista Jaqui Lividini and John Orchulli

20. Euan Rellie (Loved the suit!)

21. Henry Schleiff

22. Steven Haft, Pamela Keogh and money man David Hinson, who I got to meet at the bar while he was waiting for Pamela to arrive. I had a great conversation with David about President Barack Obama — turns out he and Pamela met at an Obama rally and have been pals ever since. When the conversation turned to the market, David tried to allay my fears about the market explaining that the smart investors are “reallocating” their money (and he wasn’t talking about hiding it in the mattress). Now that it’s only down 27 percent for the year, David is cautiously optimistic about things. Over the “long term,” he says, it’s still the place to be. Just thought you’d like to know.

23. Carol Weisman

24. John Morgan

25. John Patrick Shanley. I wanted to tell the celebrated scribe how much I loved Doubt, but he slipped out before I could get to him.

26. Parade‘s Ira Yoffe

27. Judy Licht — looking tanned and fabulous.

28. Rich Bressler

29. Joe Versace

30. Michael Elliot

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

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