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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Une Journée à Paris

Cator Sparks reports...

Last night, Fashion Week kicked off with a Louis XIV-worthy fete. To celebrate their 100th year in the bling bizness, Van Cleef & Arpels transformed the dingy Hammerstein Ballroom into a swish Parisian lounge, playing host to an array of fashion folk and jewelry junkies. Though the room evoked Julia Roberts' wedding in Steel Magnolias—i.e. more "blush-and-bashful" than chic boite in the 7th—it was lovely all the same.

I got there at 7pm on the dot because I read that Lee Radziwill would be a host and I didn’t want to miss a second of her regal beanstalk of a presence. I cruised the crowd but saw no sign of her yet. Sigh. After a champagne or two I was escorted into a gerbil-like maze of diamonds and dames, tableaux vivants of what seemed to be underage Russian socialites wearing mounds of Van Cleef gems. My favorite was the Zip Paris Princesse necklace. Doesn’t that sound like a trannie name?

I ran out with milliner Rod Keenan for a smoke when a massive SUV rolled up next to us and a mass of photographers pushed me to the side. This is it! Here comes Lee! The door swung open and a flurry of black lace floated out of the car. Alas, it was an Olsen. Dashed hopes.

Inside I bumped into Patrick McDonald and—omg—he is with Lee! I rushed up to speak to her and she turned around and cooed, “Well Hello!” Hold on, that’s not Lee, its Julie Newmar! I forgot Patrick told me he would be escorting her to all the shows this week. She wore a billowing white dress of her own design and her hair was whipped into a cotton-candy-like updo. We had the most bizarre and amusing conversation that went something like this:

Cator: Having a good time, gorgeous?
Julie: Oh, yes! We don’t have anything this grand in L.A. Well, we do have Universal but they don’t throw parties. Well, at least not anymore.
Cator: I have to say you are a vision tonight. How elegant, glowing and ethereal you look!
Julie: Well, thank you. That compliment could only come from a Southern boy. Where are you from, darling?
Cator: Atlanta, Georgia ma'am. A real Southern Peach!
Julie: Oh, really? Where are your peaches?

With that, I point to my posterior and without missing a beat she give one cheek a firm squeeze and declares, “Nice Peaches, kid!” Julie Newmar squeezed my ass. Heaven!

I then headed to the back to mingle with Brandy Wine and Brenda Go-Go, who had been stuck outside because the space was at capacity. Before I could finish fawning over their getups, the music started blaring again and out trotted ten Lido showgirls! Tatters twirling, boas flying and heels kicking, they did two numbers that left Brandy and Brenda shaking in their heels with excitement. Next up were the Plastiscines, who roared on for too long. Finally, DJ Pedro Winter from Paris bounded up to the turntable and got the crowd swinging and spilling.

During a quick potty break, I ran into Tinsley Mortimer and her adorable sister Dabney, who, curls flying and giggles exploding, were running out to another event. I love them. Then I heard that I missed not only Lee, but also Marisa Berenson, Demi Moore, Eve and a gaggle of other celebs. Not that celeb-sighting is top of my list, but don't we all like to catch a glimpse now and then?

By this time I was fairly schnozzled and a bit blue that I hadn't seen Lee. Where did she go? How did I miss her? But before a tear could well up, Ms. Newmar glided by, gave me a kiss on the cheek and a quick pat on the ass, and bid adieu. Oh Julie, thanks for everything!