The Most Stylish Party Goers of the Week

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

The temperatures may be dropping in New York City but the party circuit is still hot. Valentino showed couture stateside and it brought about a bundle of stylish avid Valentino wearers. Stephanie Seymour proves she’s the definition of elegance and Carey Mulligan has a major red moment in Switzerland. Who gets your vote for best dressed?

1. Carey Mulligan at Gstaad’s 10th Anniversary Winter Weekend Gala in Gstaad, SwitzerlandMatteo-PrandoniPhoto: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

2. Stephanie Seymour at Children of Armenia Fund Holiday Gala CHILDREN OF ARMENIA FUND 11th Annual Holiday GalaPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

3. Lindsey Calla at WWD 10 of Tomorrow Event WWD x THE SEAPORT DISTRICT Host 10 of Tomorrow EventPhoto: Aria Isadora/BFAnyc.com

4. Coco Rocha at WWD 10 of Tomorrow Event WWD x THE SEAPORT DISTRICT Host 10 of Tomorrow EventPhoto: Aria Isadora/BFAnyc.com

5. Harley Viera-Newton at Valentino Sala Bianca 945 at The Whitney Museum VALENTINO SALA BIANCA 945Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

6. Olivia Palermo at Valentino Sala Bianca 945 at The Whitney MuseumBF-2Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

7. Emma Roberts at Valentino Sala Bianca 945 at The Whitney MuseumBF-3Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com 

8. Padma Lakshmi at Valentino Sala Bianca 945 at The Whitney MuseumVALENTINO SALA BIANCA 945Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

9. Franca Sozzani at Valentino Sala Bianca 945 at The Whitney MuseumVALENTINO SALA BIANCA 945Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com 

10. Katie Holmes at Valentino Sala Bianca 945 at The Whitney MuseumBF-6Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Tonight Fashion Eats and Drinks With You

Tis the season for clothes, style, and a whole lot of pomp, but just because the models aren’t downing cocktails and nibbling on the buffet spreads, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. Start out at Pizza Roma, where not only can you get gluten free pizza, but you can try their special pesche vino, a white wine with fresh peaches chopped up and served over ice. At the Gastro Bar at 35th in Macy’s Herald Square, ten dollars gets you the Donna Karan, a thyme-infused vodka drink with elderflower and cucumber, or you can get the NY Fashion, a bubbly mixture of cava, raspberry liqueur and orange juice. Nearby, you can also try the Pret-a-Martini, an apricot, lime, and tequila beverage made at The Americano.

We know fashion isn’t necessarily about food, unless you’re Lady Gaga, but for full on fashion-cocktail fusion events, check out: BedHead Pajamas for tasty margaritas, C. Wonder for sweet treats and lemonade, and Revlon plans to pump up their party with music, champagne, and various nibbles. At Diane von Furstenberg, they will host DJ Solange Knowles and pass out free cocktails. For more free drinks, hit up RARE by F.S. Charlie Salon. Michael Kors also offers Prosecco to shoppers, and at Madewell in Soho, they have desserts and tipples for customers who purchase $100 or more of their goods. Head over to Bergdorf Goodman for a little Alexander Wang-meets-Padma Lakshmi, as the model and Top Chef host and Cynthia Rowley throw a designer cook-off.  

If running around stores and boutiques isn’t your thing but you still want to celebrate the art of style, the Stone Rose Lounge has become the official spot of Mercedes-Benz, which means after-party after after-party. Tonight it starts at 5pm with DJ Lincoln Madley for the 2012 Supima Design Competition and their specialty drinks like the Fashion Fizz and Sweet Stiletto will be flowing. Of course, at the end of the night The Coffee Shop, the Union Square restaurant famous for model workers and clientele (yes, they make you give them a head shot if you apply to work there), will be hosting its weekly DJ party starting at 7pm and going until whenever. Which tonight, could be a long, stylish time.  

Morning Links: Katy Perry Is Still Not Pregnant, Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Shack Up

●Pippa Middleton’s bridesmaid dress can now be yours for only $3,100. The perfect butt is, however, not included. [People]

● Rumors had it that Katy Perry might be baring a bump, but she assures that she still likes drinking too much to be pregnant. And so, for the mean time, any weight gain should be attributed to fastfood and booze. "I like In-N-Out Burger and Taco Bell, and if you want to make that pregnant, that’s your problem," she says. [Us]

● Whispery couple Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are shacking-up together in a swanky London "love nest" complete with nude curtains, minimalist furniture, and breathtaking rooftop views, while Kristen films Snow White. [Radar]

● Padma Lakshmi’s billionaire boyfriend, Theodore Forstmann, has passed away of brain cancer at the age of 71. [E!]

● Come January, Andy Cohen’s twice weekly talk show Watch What Happens: Live will be extended to five nights, solidifying his position as king of the reality stars. [NYT]

● The New York Times can’t quite figure out why planking is still a thing. [NYT]

Porcetta, Haggis, and Padma at the Fancy Food Show

A day at the Fancy Food Show is kind of like a day spent at Disneyland—the foodie world’s equivalents of Mickey and Minnie are everywhere. Look, there’s Padma Lakshmi and Rick Bayless! With 180,000-plus products on display, anyone who treats food more seriously than, say, their child’s future, might find the event overwhelming. Free food samples and new products designed to empty your wallets are everywhere, while buyers and distributors conduct their gustatory business. Naturally, the convention is packed. My first sample at the show (held from June 27th – 29th) is the frozen, oven-ready turducken from Tony Chachere’s. It comes in a dixie cup and is splendid. Everywhere you go, models, PR temps and the occasional industry employee tries to get your attention. Here is an impossibly tanned, statuesque woman handing you an Austrian-made Octain Brain Bar. There are smiling young things offering guides to Egypt’s food industry.

The Javits Center, where the convention is takes place, is a mess. It’s the last year the event is being held in New York, due to a slew of business issues. Following in the footsteps of Top Chef, the summer show is relocating to Washington D.C. next year. Despite Michel Richard’s best efforts, D.C. is still not a restaurant town. This may help.

Did I just spy a guy dressed in a hot-dog-on-a-stick like outfit playing ukelele to promote some gourmet firm? Sure did.

International foods are big business here. Many countries opt for huge, collective pavilions where everyone can discover new trends at once. Some stereotypes hold true. The German pavilion is impeccably clean and has a foosball table (Germans are great at soccer, get it?). The Israeli vendors are impossibly brusque, the Brazilians are bronzed, and the Italians thumb their noses at U.S. hygiene standards with their near-total lack of toothpicks. Several well-dressed, very Midwestern buyers are very confused at having to pick up their porchetta by hand.

Walking through the foreign stalls, I learn valuable lessons about foreign economies. Tunisia’s food exports? Olive oil and more olive oil. Cyprus loves selling halloumi (grillable cheese) to Americans who love eating it. Indian chocolate chip cookies are unsurprisingly exotic, but surprisingly delicious. But it’s the celebrity chefs who are the stars of the show. Mexican guru Rick Bayless is cooking tacos to promote his Frontera Foods. While his chicken taco is perfectly wonderful, it doesn’t quite match up to the al pastor from my favorite Sunset Park joint. Padma is here promoting her Easy Exotic line. She is impossibly beautiful in person. How Salman Rushdie ever recovered is a mystery to me. Padma makes surprised eye contact with me. It’s less because I’m handsome (I’m not) than because I’m the only person within 20 feet not pretending to text while secretly taking her picture. (I left my phone at home and my camera needs batteries.)

image Meanwhile, no one seems to recognize poor Paul Prudhomme. Maybe it’s because he’s skinny now. I stroll by Florence Fabricant from New York Times and my friend swears she saw Lidia Bastianich in the bathroom. There are the usual, “Did they really think of that?” food moments. Over in the Scottish pavilion, Mackie’s offers Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper potato chips. They taste of haggis which turns out being a good thing. Lazy Dog Cookies has what they call a pup-pie, essentially a pizza for dogs. Oklahoma’s Neighbor’s Coffee has samples of snickerdoodle and coffee cake-flavored coffee that turns out to be caffeine-fueled bliss. It is not just food here, either. The Mexican pavilion seems to be mostly tequila vendors. Meanwhile, a company named McNab’s offers samples of energy pills and drinks directly across from the South African consulate’s television, tuned to the World Cup. It’s the perfect location for an energy pill vendor and a crowd is grabbing free samples with gusto from the overwhelmed yet happy proprietors. Other publicity stunts can be found everywhere. Jelly Belly took the trouble to make a giant Mona Lisa composed entirely out of jelly beans. Peanut Butter & Co. has a hyperactive fellow dressed up as a monkey in soccer cleats.

After a while, one gives into the Fancy Food Show flow. Instead of visiting specific stalls, you wander up and down the aisles. You discover new foods. Here is “nduja,” an Italian hot sausage spread. Here are naan pizzas, with paneer cheese and cilantro chutney on a bread crust. And there are the old classics: Pitch-perfect samples of porchetta, cave-aged cheddar cheese, and snacks of every variety. The entire time, million-dollar food deals are taking place around you. You don’t care though, the prosciutto is delicious.

Top photo courtesy of Gina Pace via CBS News

Padma Lakshmi Likes It Hot

She’s been on the cover of countless fashion magazines, once inspired a novel by her ex-husband Salman Rushdie, and (with a little help from Tom Colicchio) has propelled Top Chef into smash-hit status since becoming the show’s fiery host in 2006. Now, add jewelry designer and ground beef paramour to Padma Lakshmi’s growing resume. Her jewelry line debuts at Bergdorf’s today, and she’ll make an in-store appearance on May 8; here, the culinary bombshell discusses sex, burgers, and why she’d rather go naked.

A recent article suggested that you had dreams to build an empire. Is that the goal? If someone else wants to call it an empire, that’s their business. I think only kings and queens have empires. But I’m lucky to have a new jewelry line. It’s a real labor of love, not at all a licensing deal. I’ve put all of my own money into it.

Tell me about the pieces. I’m launching the line at a very shaky time, but I do think people want things of value, and my jewelry is real rather than costume. I’ve always loved to adorn myself with little trinkets and baubles. I’ve designed pieces for myself for a long time and have amassed a pretty good pirate’s booty of vintage and antique pieces from India. The pieces all have some form of movement — dancing on the wrist, ear, and throat, or creeping down a woman’s back. I think a woman’s back is one of the sexiest parts of her body, yet we seldom see that part adorned.

Have you always felt sexy and beautiful? I guess I always kind of felt awkward. I was really tall, and I had a really long neck. I am 5’ 9’’ now and I was 5’ 9’’ when I was 15, and I just felt really gawky. I always stuck out and was always in the back of class pictures. I started feeling prettier in high school, but I certainly wasn’t the girl that every guy went after in high school. I didn’t have a date for my prom. I had a boyfriend and I broke up with him a week before prom. He went to another high school, and I really couldn’t get a date. I wound up going because I won a limousine in a raffle, and then this guy that I didn’t know from Spanish class came up to me and said, “Well, you did win that limousine.” He knew he’d have a free limousine if he took me to the prom.

I’m sure that’s no longer a problem. Ratings for Top Chef jumped 46% after you started on the show. I hope the ratings have reflected how I’ve done my job. If I still looked the way I do but didn’t know about food or cooking, then I would have been replaced. Food is also inherently sexy, too. Did you know Tom [Colicchio] beat me out for sexiest host by the viewers of the show? I’m serious. Just check!

Where did you learn to cook? I learned to cook from the women in my family. All the action in our home was in the kitchen. Gossip was exchanged there, and all of the decisions were made there. Now, I’ve written two cookbooks and still haven’t gone to culinary school.

It must be tough to kick someone off the show each episode. It’s the worst part of my job, to be honest, especially because I’m with those guys from morning to night every day, and I see what they have to go through. They sacrifice a lot. They are away from their jobs and families and homes. They don’t have television, newspapers, Internet or e-mail. They really are passionate about what they do. As difficult as it looks on TV, it’s harder in real life.

Your Hardees commercial has been getting tons of media attention. What has the reaction been like? A lot of it has been very positive. I think it celebrates food, and it celebrates womanhood, and I actually think it celebrates feminism because if you watch the commercial, the last line is, “It’s not just a piece of meat.” That particular burger is delicious because of the BBQ sauce, the onion rings, and the bacon — it’s not because it’s a big fat burger. And I really did grow up with that burger. I ate that burger the whole time I was in high school. Even my mother loved the commercial. She called me up and said, “Pads, it’s so hot and beautiful. You make me want to eat meat!” And she’s a vegetarian!

What about racy magazine shoots? More often than not, you aren’t wearing much clothing. I am very comfortable with my body. And I absolutely think that I look better nude then with a lot of the clothes. I think it’s important for young women to know that you can have a beautiful body after the age of 30. You can be sexy and sensual, and you don’t have to have an anorexic body.

I’d love to hear you describe your ideal man. Oh, it’s great that you asked because I was planning to take out a singles personal ad, but now, of course, thanks to you guys, I don’t have to: He should be tall or at least not care that I’m taller than him; I don’t intend not to wear my heels because of height issues.He should have a quick wit, a keen, wicked sense of humor, and know how to use it to seduce with precision. A sense of humor gets a man farther with me than anything else — make me laugh and I’m yours, but remember that the same joke only works for so long. I like dancing, so I’d love it if he was smooth on his feet, but a willingness to make a fool of himself on the dancefloor is usually enough. Also, I’d like a man who has read a book or two and has done some traveling. I hate piña coladas and picky eaters, but I do love the rain, especially in the summer and in Central Park. He must enjoy spicy food and eating out of bowls and not look at me strangely when I take down a whole bag of potato chips with hot sauce in bed. Rugged, athletic, and being extra nice to my mom really helps, too. Let me know if any good ones apply.

What’s next? I finish Top Chef’s next season at the end of May, and I’ve decided I very badly need a vacation — a real one, where my assistant locks my BlackBerry, hides my design sketchpad, takes away my computer, and screens calls from the Top Chef producers for three weeks. Is Outer Mongolia nice this time of year?

Name three places you like to go to in New York. La Esquina because I like all the tostadas there, and I love the candlelit room — it’s very cozy. I like The Eldridge because it’s always fun and it’s small, I like the music, and I love that it looks like a bookstore from outside. And, finally, there’s Indochine, because I love the food and I love the room and I love the staff. But the perfect night would involve a midnight picnic in the middle of August in Central Park — with a beautiful blanket and candles everywhere.

Isn’t it kind of dangerous in Central Park at night? Okay, a midnight picnic with a beautiful blanket, candles … and two bodyguards.

Padma Lakshmi’s Burger Love

imageSo, how do you devour a burger like Top Chef-ette Padma Lakshmi? Simple. (1) For starters, find a stoop to coyly perch on, (2) proceed to unhinge your jaw for the first bite, (3) then snap off a piece of bacon, (4) hike up your skirt, (5) lick your wrist, and (6) finally, proceed to ravish the cow-bits like your life depends on it. Which, given the sorry state of recessionomic romance, it sort of does. Even if it’s a Hardee’s slab of meat. Says the gourmand/actress/sometimes-stoner, “As a teenager, [my friends and I] would always go have burgers.” About the advertisement, she further explains, “I think it’s a beautiful love song to food. I think eating in itself is the act of great sensuality, so all you have to do is point the camera in the right direction.” The whole juicy she-bang follows.

Star Crossings: Matching Celebrity Hookups

Professional matchmaker Amy Laurent offers advice for Hollywood’s confirmed bachelors and those recently in the doghouse.

What’s in store for Guy Ritchie? Well, he was always Mr. Madonna, but he has in his own accomplishments. He needs to date someone less famous. He’s been seeing actress Kelly Riley, who is great because she’s not such a superstar. I really like him with Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef. She’s divorced from Salman Rushdie and definitely doesn’t need to be with another writer. And look, I hate to promote adultery, but I kind of like Madonna with A-Rod.

Yeah, it’s pretty hot. They are both huge, but in different industries. Plus physically I always pictured her with a darker guy.

Do you think David Duchovny and Tea Leoni will stay together? I don’t know. If they do, she’s gonna need to support him. Sex addiction is like alcoholism; it’s an everyday struggle. He’s so sexy though, it’s understandable, plus there’s that show he’s on.

Yeah, and apparently he’s got a huge one. If they don’t stay together, and after a while he’s ready to date seriously, I love him with Meg Ryan. He needs a natural beauty, and she’s been through her own stuff.

And she got down in that movie In the Cut. Speaking of getting down, Hugh Hefner is single again. He should just have fun. Holly moved out because he wouldn’t marry her. Now he has 19-year-old twins living at the mansion. I say go for the twins.

Sage advice. What about George Clooney? He says he never wants to marry. Humans are humans, and sometimes they need a partner. A guy like him doesn’t deserve to be 70 and alone. He’s recently gotten back with Krista Allen, and I think he craves that kind of close friendship. But I think he does best with non-celebs. He can have everything he wants and keep his privacy. Of course, I sort of like him with Anne Hathaway …

She could definitely use a good man. They’d be like the cool version of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

Jeremy Piven is in New York right now doing Speed-the-Plow on Broadway … should the girls in the Meatpacking District look out or what? He loves his fame. He worked hard for a long time, and now that he’s big, he wants to enjoy it. And he has enjoyed it. You see him on the circuit in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago with models, hot girls, yet he always brings his mom to the award show. I would like to see him with Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars. She’s hilarious and fun. I think there would be plenty of passion, but humor will keep him coming back.

What can a girl do to get Lance Armstrong coming back? I don’t know. He was great with Sheryl Crow. Obviously he needs someone beautiful but also active. She’s got to keep up with him.

Like Matthew McConaughey? No comment. I like him with Jennifer Aniston, but she is a friend of Sheryl’s, so that might be tough. I could see him with Shania Twain, who’s got that all-American look, or Christina Applegate, who is pretty, sweet, and also a cancer survivor. He should stay off Ashley Olsen. He needs to keep it over 30.

Should Bret Michaels keep it over 30? He’s not gonna find love on a TV show. Those girls are a little rough around the edges. I like him with Katy Perry. She’s sexy, she can hang with the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, but could be more than just a groupie.

Plus she’s kissed a girl. She might be down for a three-way with Brandi C.