Dominique Strauss-Kahn Likes All-American Girls, According to Madam

That title is not entirely true. We can’t forget that the only reason I’m writing this is because the former IMF chief attacked an African woman. So really, Strauss-Kahn likes all women, even if he has a weird way of showing it. The reason I bring up DSK’s boner for all-American gals, is because of the fun claim made by celebrity snitch and New York Post cover girl Kristin Davis, in an affidavit seen by The Times of London.

You might remember Davis as the New York madam who gained attention as a proud member of the Eliot Spitzer scandal, and who also name-dropped Alex Rodriguez as a client. Apparently, Davis said that Strauss-Kahn forked over $1,200 in cash for two hours with an “All-American girl.” Did they toss the old football around, or did they bake some mean apple pies? Whatever they did, it was rough. Says Davis: “The first girl I sent to him said he was aggressive and didn’t want to be back with him again.”

As for DSK, he was just indicted by a grand jury, and is still in Rikers Island, awaiting the possibility of bail. I’m thinking he might want to stay put.

True Lies: What I Learned on the Set of ‘Sex and the City 2’

Yesterday, I fulfilled a goal of performing as an extra in a movie filmed in New York. The only way I was getting out of bed at 5am for a 6:30am call time was the idea that I was going to be a part of one of the most popular empires of my generation: the Sex and the City dynasty. Consequently, I was also ready to look like someone straight from the cast of Dynasty because I was scheduled to be ‘background’ in the 80s flashback scenes for the SATC sequel. When I arrived to the set at 6:30am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was met with a group of disgruntled extras who had been dealing with the busy set, and long hours for a few days. I hit up wardrobe for my colorful costume: a calf-length ruffled dress in a bright pattern, finished with huge gold bracelets and big square earrings, an Hermes clutch, and an authentic reproduction of an Yves Saint Laurent shopping bag (I was listed as a ‘Wealthy Shopper’).

My makeup was atrocious, but it all came together on set as a thing of kitschy 80s beauty. What do extras do? They sit around for a long time waiting for their scene to be filmed. They read magazines, they freeze on early morning sets, they walk repetitively in the background of scenes trying to think of a different way to make the walking look better each time, they hobble around in uncomfortable shoes — and if they’re like me, they listen like a fly on the wall. Here are some of the tidbits I learned about everyone’s favorite sequel, all pretty much hearsay, but interesting notions nonetheless.

● It was a rockstar experience. As we walked out of the “Extra Holding Pen” onto set, it was astounding to see thousands of fans crammed behind barricades down 5th Avenue at 9am. It was utter hysteria in some aspects … bystanders pulled my clothes as I walked onto set, begging for photos, asking us, merely extras dolled up in 80s gear, if we were famous. I must have taken 20 pictures with crazed fans. ● The Sex and the City crew really does try to respect the habitat; midway through filming a scene where a bookish Miranda struggles in a careless crowd in front of Bergdorf’s, a confused elderly shopper was escorted through the scene to the front doors. Unfortunately, it seems as though rude pedestrians are at fault for clogging up the walkways. I saw a number of people stopping to make rude comments to people on set, purposefully walking slowly to keep others making through makeshift walkways with ease. ● Most of the extras on set weren’t there for their love of SATC; they just want to get through the day and get their paycheck. Many of the extras were annoyed with the huge crowds. “These bitches must be doing something right,” a veteran extra said, “but the crowds make a long day even longer.” ● SPOILER: Someone on set told me the reason they filmed all around Bergdorf’s was because this is ground zero for where Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda all met. Whether or not this is true is questionable, I’m not sure if on-set gossip can be trusted. ● Even former Governor Spitzer likes SATC. As the crew shooed away gawkers and pedestrians, they were confused as to how to ask the scandalous politician to walk away. “Keep it movin’ Mr. Governor,” was how they went about it. ● Craft services: Chickpea salad, loaves of bread, granola bars, chicken wings, fruit, Asian trail mix, and a lot of candy. ● Steve Sands seems to have the run over the entire production. One of the assistants on set was telling me the reason why he so freely skulked around was because he has so much dirt on the cast and crew that it would be a dumb move not to let him in — and everyone on set knows it. They all know him and seemed to make sure they spoke to him in a respectful way. “He has photos of actors partying with directors, some of them doing drugs — apparently Sharon Stone has the worst of it. He has a lot of information on her … if it were to get out, it would be a huge scandal.” So, naturally the pap has free reign over film sets and access to “exclusive parties.” When the crew was screaming at photographers brandishing official press passes to get out of the way, they asked Sands nicely to stop shooting, though he basically wandered around the set as he pleased. “Come on, Steve,” a NYPD officer said, “let’s get out of the way now.” ● Sarah Jessica Parker is basically a Beatle. When she first walked out from her trailer to film part of the 80s flashback, hysterical screams and cries emerged from the masses behind the barricades, moving in a wave that started from the side of the plaza and washed over the thousands of fans along 5th Avenue. It echoed all the way to Central Park. It was one of the most amazing things to see, this tiny superstar in cheesy 80’s garb elicit such a dramatic response. ● I think the actresses really do get along. As Cynthia Nixon was filming her scene with braces and books, SJP pulled up to the set in a black SUV, rolled down the window, and shouted: “Hey Cynthia!” It was a good show, and almost funny, as if she was playing a joke on Nixon. ● Being an extra is not the easiest thing. With a 6:30am call time, freezing morning temperatures in thin costumes, and repetitive movements in heels that barely fit, I was beginning to get worn down. That is, until SJP rolled onto set. Seeing the crowds respond to her as she bounced along in 6-inch heels served as a reminder of what a historical production this was. ● The girls care about their fans. As soon as Kim Cattrall wrapped her scene, she rushed over to a mob of fans and signed autographs, posed for pictures, and just chatted them up. ● Kristin Davis wears a wig in the sequel. Between bites at the craft table, I overheard one of the hair dressers talk about how he makes the best wigs (he said he was responsible for Michelle Pfeiffer’s rug in a film). ● Bette Midler is in the 80s flashback. ● There will be a Sex and the City 3. They are currently filming both SATC 2 and SATC 3, as told to me by a few other extras who overheard it from crew members. ● The people in that crew are geniuses. Not knowing what we look like on film, nor if we could be trusted with walking with a normal gait, they pointed to random bodies, yelled cues to us, and when the cameras rolled, it turned into cinematic magic. ● Patricia Field is a genius. I was wearing authentic 80s gear down to my buttons. I have no idea how they were able to know what kinds of characters they would need, but they had the most beautiful wardrobe details; “wealthy 80s shoppers,” “gay rights campaigners,” even schoolgirls and hot dog stand hawkers. ● Extras don’t have much interaction with the talent. Kim Cattrall said she liked my dance to keep warm. She apologized to us for ruining a scene by dropping her Walkman (though she didn’t see me trip and fall in the background minutes earlier). I commented on Pat Field’s busted iPhone at the craft table, and she sighed at her misfortune. Cynthia Nixon asked an extra to run into her a little bit harder. Yeah, that’s about it. But it was totally worth it.

See also: 5 Rules for 80s Makeup from ‘Sex and the City 2’

Lindsay Lohan Gets a Job, Kristin Davis Loses Hers

Earlier this summer, rumors began surfacing that unrest had taken hold of fashion house Ungaro as a result of certain executives’ interest in hiring Lindsay Lohan as a consultant. Wunderkind designer Esteban Cortazar promptly left (he supposedly refused to work with the actress-turned-leggings designer); today comes news that Lohan’s appointment has in fact become official. The purveyor of self-tanner will now also moonlight as Emanuel Ungaro’s “artistic adviser.” Also new to the masthead: “almost unknown chief designer Estrella Archs,” says Women’s Wear Daily.

The pair will present their debut collection in Paris on October 4, “likely coming out together at the end of the runway show,” adds WWD (a move sure to upset the stomachs of more than a few fashion aficionados). After all, at one point Ungaro was a name synonymous with the height of French fashion (the house’s namesake cut his teeth at Balenciaga and Corrèges before branching out on his own). A controversial actress whose only design credits include knee-padded and wet look leggings doesn’t exactly translate easily to haute couture. In other celeb-turned-designer news, Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis, whose namesake line was scheduled to debut this week at New York Fashion Week, hasn’t fared as well as Lohan. Her show has been canceled and the line discontinued in a reportedly “mutual decision” between Davis and retailer Belk.

Once in a Lifetime: Tony Bennett at Chocolat Au Vin

Last night, the guests of Chocolat Au Vin — a decadent evening of dancing, dessert and dreams benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — were fortunate enough to experience a once-in-a-lifetime performance by 15-time Grammy-winning legend Tony Bennett. Indeed, extravagance was abundant; with Kristin Davis, smartly dressed in Oscar De La Renta, working the red carpet as the Honorary Chair, guests enjoyed a tasting menu prepared by Daniel Boulud, Godiva Chocolatier truffles, and Artisanal premium cheeses to pair with the Napa Valley Vinters. Gossip Girl’s Connor Paolo, The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli and Tony Siricio, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Jessica Hart, Eric Trump, and Cuba Gooding Sr. (who also performed) were on hand to show support as well. But extravagance aside, the work that St Jude does was apparent as young cancer survivors took the stage to share their stories, and I assumed the role of humbled journalist, shocked to have been invited to such a momentous event, and feeling extremely honored to be in the presence of so many who were supporting an incredible cause.

It’s no secret that we writer kids get invited to beautiful affairs — galas, black tie benefits, insanely decadent dinners, selling our ink for a night in which we can put on our own Oscar De La Renta and have drinks for a comp ticket price. I am always in awe of such exorbitant affairs, spending the evening wavering between pondering my lucky star and trying to get a couple of casual quotes from boldface names. Most of the time the level of cheesiness radiating from some of the guests, socialites, social lowers, and demi-celebrities who attend such events outshines the artisanal cheeses and hors d’oeuvres. These social climbers were wholly absent from this event. The people perusing the silent auction items (tennis lesson with Andy Roddick, original signed painting by Tony Bennett himself), participating in wine tastings, and stuffing themselves with the Godiva raspberry chocolates were for the most part invested in raising money for St Jude’s. The outcome of this kind of support was apparent, as Michael Swart, who at one was time told he had only three months to live, told his story years after he was first diagnosed with cancer, reporting total remission. Little Jake Marshall came to the podium and read a laundry list of things he was now able to do, long after his family was told Jake was not going to live past his third birthday. He finished his list with an emphatic “I will survive.” Reader, there were tears.

Then of course there was Tony. Expecting him to do a single song set, my jaw dropped when he played for what seemed like an hour. At 82 he was still as emphatic and sharp as he was years ago, eliciting impromptu slow and swing dancing from couples in the crowd, and giving us a night that should go down in our own personal history books.

There are events that people buy tickets to because they want to be and be seen — to bask in the glory of their money in a showy way, hoping to make it to the pages of New York Social Diary; then there are events of this caliber, where the people involved have no ulterior motive other than a stringent belief in the work — in this case the work that St. Jude’s does, giving these kids a life, a chance — a once-in-a-lifetime experience that outshines this one simple evening.

image Tony Bennett

Fingerpainting the Town Red!

I love the promise of a night in New York. May has ushered in warm weather, outdoor parties, late nights with little clothing, weekend retreats, and more recently, the premiere of Sex and the City (more on that later). Escaping from work last night, with what feels like miles of hours to play before me, I step out of the cab into the cool spring evening on 22nd Street. Before me is the historic Dia Gallery where Lola New York, SelfPortrait.net, and BlackBook are feting emerging artists at Fingerpaint, a silent auction event, the proceeds of which go to Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation.

It’s no secret that the New York art scene has the capacity to calcify Manhattan social order. Art seems to pair well with air kisses, posing gallerinas, and rousing games of name-dropping. It’s a cause for concern as I climb the cement staircase to the second floor. But, upon entering the yawning gallery space, all said stereotypes evaporate, along with the Svedka drinks attendees are perilously trying to down before their ice melts. The enormous space is sweltering hot, but the energetic crowd doesn’t seem to notice. Air kisses are replaced with sloppy hugs, gallerinas forego posing for playing, and the name-dropping is swapped with pointing, as Scott Buccheit, Timo Weiland, Leven Rambin, Erika Christensen, Kristian Laliberte, Eva Amurri, and Daniel Merriweather excitedly peruse the art, hug, and lounge on a large car installation while talking animatedly despite the uncomfortable heat.

The luminous Patti Hansen emerges to support daughter Alexandra Richards’s first art showing. “I’m proud of her,” she says simply, as a glowing Alexandra looks on. Behind the pair, Eva Amurri inspects the installations and hanging art, looking fresh in a white eyelet dress. Socialites mingle with NYU students, actresses, artists, the famous and the infamous, the epitome of uptown meets downtown, all the while dashing every preconceived notion I had regarding the snobbery of the art world. Photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya agrees, as we contemplate the state of photography in the industry. I ponder how commercialism and recession has affected the art world. Wijesooriya doesn’t miss a beat. “I think it produces a real challenge for artists. Not only do they have to portray advertisers and brands in editorials, but they have to do it creatively. Art is always changing, the challenges are always different and that is what is so exciting about seeing young artists interpreting these changes,” he says.

As attendees begin to dissipate, I stand alone in the center of the space soaking in the “scene” or lack thereof. Just as I turn on a heel to leave, I see her. Charlotte, er, Kristin Davis is just north of me, beautiful, petite, and radiant in a gorgeous Grecian style dress. With the week’s frenzied Sex and the City premiere, I think for a second that the heat has caused a serious hallucination. I move closer to hear her fawning over artist Trevor Owsley’s work. “I’m so glad you are here,” I say instinctively. She turns to me, smiling demurely, “Of course!” I ask her what she thinks of the collection—at least, I think I manage to squeak out something akin to that. “I think it’s so important to support young artists, and I think the cause is so respectable. I really admire what you guys are doing here,” she says brightly. She poses for pictures, humors admirers, and then she’s off, absorbed in the art, speaking genuinely to the artists, devoid of air kisses, posing and name-dropping.