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Lunch: Harold Ford, Jr., Ken Starr, and a Slew of Fashionable Folks

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— DIANE CLEHANE

There was definitely something in the air (besides all that pesky pollen) at Michael’s today. The dining room was so jam packed with every conceivable type of boldfaced name I could barely keep track of all the wheeling and dealing that was going on around me. While the fashionistas and socialites traded air kisses and picked at the salads, the media mavens were spinning like there was no tomorrow. The power lunch is back, folks, so break away from your desk and go make something happen.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Jack Myers, presiding over a table of movers and shakers: Huffington Post’s Greg Coleman, Eric Hippeau and Phil Cara; Colgate’s Jack Haber, Pattie Glod of Limited Brands; and E*Trade’s Nick Utton.

2. Peter Brown and Dan Scheffey, who joins Fairchild Fashion Group on May 10 as the new director of communications for the trade and business sector of Conde Nast. Dan tells me he’ll be working on all the titles including WWD and WWD.com. He reports to president Gina Sanders. Congrats!

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with Vanity Fair’s Wayne Lawson and Punch Hutton and a chic blonde gal we didn’t get to me. Joe, fresh off another trip to his home state of Texas was all jazzed up to tell the group about the The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas. (He’s on the board.) Joe reports that the center has acquired an impressive array of archives of literary legends including Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Evelyn Waugh, and even Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Joe also reports that none other than Robert De Niro has given the center his script archive and actually footed the bill for two 18-wheelers to deliver the costumes he’s worn in his films. So, the next time you’re in Austin, you might want to check it out.

4. Sean Cassidy — no, not the eighties pop icon — this fellow works for Dan Klores.


5. Allen & Co.’s Stanley Shuman

6. All members of the ‘Imber Gang’ present and accounted for: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman, Michael Kramer, and Jerry Della Femina, who missed last week’s lunch because of a certain volcanic eruption. Jerry tells me his four-day vacation in London turned into a ten-day sojourn. Not that he, wife Judy Licht, or their daughter Jessie minded one bit. “It was a alot of fun,” said Jerry. “There are plenty of worse things in life than being stuck in Europe.” No doubt.

7. My pal, power publicist Catherine Saxton and art advocate and aficionado Kipton Cronkite. While waiting for Kipton to arrive, Catherine and I chatted about the truly surprising story on People‘s cover this week of Sandra Bullock‘s adoption of a three month-old boy from New Orleans. We both agreed the story depicting a seemingly blissful Bullock on the cover with her new son is the perfect way to leave her cheating husband Jesse James in the dust. “We don’t care what happens to Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and all those girls,” opines Catherine. “But we really care what happens to Sandra. She seems like such a nice woman — someone all can relate to and root for.” Agreed. You go girl!

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia with my good friend and public relations maven Leslie Stevens, Gilt Groupe’s Alexis Maybank and Allison Rockefeller. This group of Manhattan A-listers was talking about the Aububon Society’s upcoming Women in Conservation Awards, which Leslie is handling. This year’s Rachel Carson Award honorees to be feted on May 18 are actress and environmental activist Isabella Rossellini; Suzanne Lewis, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park; Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president of environmental affairs for Disney Worldwide Services; and Tiffany & Co.’s Foundation president Fernanda Kellogg.

9. My new pal Susan Silver (love the new short ‘do!). Susan, who has written for some of television’s most iconic shows including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, tells me she’s hosting a class on May 18 at The Learning Annex on sitcom writing — and she’s taking on-the-spot pitches!

11. Lisa Linden and Linda Hanick, vice president of communications and marketing for Trinity Wall Street.

12. Ken Starr (Yes, that Ken Starr.)

14. Politico Robert Zimmerman with Gary Bradhering, president of MapEasy. These two dashing gents (who tie for today’s best dressed honors) were enjoying their ‘Zimmerman omelettes’ when I stopped by to chat. Great dishing with you!

15. Hearst’s former president George Green

16. Warner Brother’s Ed Blier

17. Literary agent Frederica Friedman

18. Steve Geller

19. Vera Wang’s Elizabeth Musmanno

20. My good friend, producer Joan Gelman and her close pal, producer Sandy Pearl

21. Harold Ford, Jr. The former congressman turned banker slipped by us before we could get his take on the Goldman Sachs mess, but we won’t take it personally.

22. Senior vice president and chief brand officer, Woman’s Day Brand Group, Carlos Lamadrid

23. Mort Hamburg (Joan’s hubby) with, we’re told, a Mr. Obromovitz.

24. PMK-HBH co-CEO Cindy Berger

25. Al Angrisani

26. Lisa Roumell (Marc Rosenthal‘s better half)

27. A table of ten social swans including Gail Atkins, Somers Farkas (all in white) and fashion scribe Amy Fine Collins.

28. Harry Winston’s Frederick De Narp

29. N.S. Bienstock’s Paul Fedorko

30. The Museum of Radio & Television’s Christy Carpenter

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

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