Of Book Groups and Celebrity Groupies
Prada's reading night and Topshop's dinner for Kate Bosworth
Is there anything Miuccia Prada doesn't do? The designer is an undisputed force in not just fashion, but all aspects of contemporary creative culture, from art to filmmaking to—as was evidenced at last night's Prada Journal reading—literature. Hosted at Prada's Soho store, with Oliver Platt as MC, the event celebrated five writers (Mattia Conti, Leisl Egan, Angel Mario Fernández, Sarah Harris Wallman, and Peng Yang) from around the globe whose short stories (all of which had to include something about glasses, as the occasion was sponsored by Prada Eyewear) were deemed outstanding. Actors and authors Jonathan Ames, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, Jay McInerney, and Gary Shteyngart read the winners' work aloud to a crowd that included Mamie Gummer and Helena Christensen. Of course, there were the requisite starving-writer jokes—Shteyngart said that as a writer, he can't afford clothes so he makes his from mail sacks he finds in the trash. "I believe these are called pants in the industry," he said, looking down at his Prada threads.
The authors—four of whom were in attendance—were thrilled with the soirée. "It was surreal. I was so honored to hear someone else reading my story—normally it's just a voice in my head," said Egan. "It was very emotional for me. I'm Italian, so this is very exciting. And it's my first time in New York!" added Conti. Shteyngart, for his part, offered some comical words of wisdom: "Writing is awful. I want to be an actor, or a comedian, or an air-conditioning repairman." Mackie, best known for his starring role in The Hurt Locker, concurred: "Yeah, they always have work. The only other people who have nonstop work are plumbers." We doubt that the actor will give up his part in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier film to fix sinks, but there's something to be said for a steady gig.
Further east at Schapiro's, Topshop hosted a dinner to celebrate the launch of Kate Bosworth's luxe winter line for the retailer. In stores today, the range comprises smartly cut, monochromatic, mostly leather wares, and is presented in a punk-meets-New-Wave-inspired campaign film directed by Bosworth's new hubby, Michael Polish. "There isn't enough time in this life for me to work with him," said Bosworth, who was decked out in red leather pants and a matching knit top from her collection. "She teaches me things I never knew," added Polish. But would the director, who met Bosworth on the set of their latest film, Big Sur, let his wife design his next ensemble? "Oh, my God," he said, "I'd love it."