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April 21 2014

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At Waris’ Tea Room, It’s Women Then, Women Way Back Then, And Women Now

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“Women know too much, too young, these days,” said photographer and director Jerry Schatzberg as he scanned the well-heeled crowd huddled under the High Line. “They don’t have the chance to grow into it…to become women.” It’s the ladies of years gone by that fill the pages of his new book, Women Then, fêted at Waris Ahluwalia’s pop-up tearoom last night; during the sixties, Schatzberg shot an A-list daisy chain of sirens, including Catherine Deneuve, Faye Dunaway, and Sharon Tate. And whatever he may think about women these days, they think as highly of him as they ever did. When Jen Brill kissed him goodbye, three stunning girls were waiting in the wings for their own turns.

In fact, the House of Waris Tea Room has played host to a variety of sensual guests this week. On Wednesday, Paz de la Huerta (left) was on hand at a Playboy-sponsored salon, reading aloud selections from Madame Bovary. (Her oration was punctuated by a few non-Flaubertian “Shut the fuck up” ‘s to the chatterers in the back.) That was sexiness of a different era. But perhaps the differences between nineteenth-century France, 1960′s America, and present-day beneath the High Line aren’t that great. As Schatzberg mused, “You know, it’s the same thing, only in a different period.” No disagreement from the evening’s host. “This is a subject matter that I very much support,” Ahluwalia said, looking out over the crowd. “Women Then…and now, as a matter of fact.”

Photo: Neil Rasmus / Billy Farrell Agency

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