The stars turned out yesterday for Tod’s, which introduced its limited-edition tome Italian Touch at its Beverly Hills store. Its subject: la dolce vita, Italian-style. “To be Italian is to be so full of life, joy, passion, and family and to have an exquisite aesthetic,” said hostess Debra Messing, who was channeling good taste via a zip-front Alaïa (French, but who’s counting) and chatting with guests such as Mandy Moore, Camila Alves, Nicky Hilton, and Crystal Lourd. Those looking to get a little Italian touch of their own could browse a preview of the Spring 2010 collection, but unlike the book’s celebration in Milan, this party had lemonade, cupcakes, and do-it-yourself herb gardens to keep the kiddies amused and renowned photog Roxanne Lowit on hand to snap attendees’ portraits for take-home souvenirs, see above. An on-site paparazza? Well, call it the L.A. touch.
Robert De Niro, Kanye West, Bono, Edie Falco, and Debra Messing may have been downtown last night at Vanity Fair‘s Eighth Annual Tribeca Film Festival party, but there were plenty of boldface table-hoppers at Graydon Carter’s newly reopened Monkey Bar in midtown. We spotted Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Dr. Lisa Airan, Billy Norwich, Lady Liliana Cavendish, and Michael Gross, whose upcoming book Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum, has all of New York talking.
Tamara Mellon brought some extra buzz to Cecconi’s, the new Italian restaurant on Melrose at the old Morton’s address. Her pre-Oscars luncheon on Thursday, co-hosted by fellow Brit Diana Jenkins, had the place packed. “A lot of ladies! Tamara attracts the best,” Elizabeth Banks concluded after a quick scan of the room. Debra Messing, Jamie Tisch and other done-up Angelenos chit-chatted over Champagne and lobster salad; with so many girls in the room, the burden of masculinity was left almost entirely to bear by Valentino and Elton John. During dessert, Mellon, who has temporarily set up shop at the Peninsula, mused over which proven Jimmy Choo fans might swing by for some Oscars footwear (Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, newcomer Freida Pinto?). Mainly, though, the London-based entrepreneur was taking a break from her busy schedule to catch up with LA friends. “I love to do things that are intimate, where I can see everybody,” she explained. The paparazzi swarming outside Cecconi’s by the end of the three-hour get-together couldn’t have agreed more.