Sunday night my brother called me and told me that the next night he’d be heading to a Donna Karan party on Monday, and that I should go. And that he was sure Donna would like to see me. For those of you who don’t know, my father was the CFO for Donna in the late 80′s and early 90′s before his death in 1991. I’ve seen Donna 3 or 4 times since late 1991, most of them in the early days following the death of my father so I doubt I was really an afterthought to the point where Donna would like to see me. That being said, I’m not holding it against her I’m just saying that it sounded funny the way my brother phrased it.
As we got ready to go out tonight my brother told me to change the outfit I was wearing because he said I should look slick. If anyone knows me, and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t, I am the antithesis of slick. The last word I would ever use to describe myself is probably slick. However, according to Greg Kessler, I was going to be somewhere in the slick vicinity this evening. If you were to run into me tonight, I doubt you would’ve used that word to describe me, but for all intents and purposes, I was slick enough in my jeans, blue cashmere shirt, and leather jacket.
After slightly slickening my style, my brother and I went up to 68th and Madison where Donna Karan was having a party celebrating her 20th year in the fashion business and her new book. As soon I walked in I knew I was out of my element. Everyone was prettier and taller than me. It’s always a little intimidating to be on one of these events with my brother. I go every so often with my brother to be surrounded by models and introduced to 19 yr olds as his “little brother” who then undoubtedly view me as younger than themselves as result as if I was some 14 yr old getting to see the real world. To Greg’s credit, he did not introduce me as his little brother tonight so I didn’t really have any awkward feelings in that manner. I sort of expected it to be a Page Six sort of scene with tons of celebrities and to some extent it was but not really what I thought. I recognized very few people. Brooke Shields, Iman, and Frederique Van Der Wal were the first people I recognized. Greg went on to introduce me to a bunch of other people who may have been famous but I’m not sure along the way. I didn’t really care, I was just sort of hanging out and observing.
We soon made our way to the back of the room after arriving and Greg introduced me to Angela Lindvall and some of her friends. We loitered around and got drinks and I was introduced to more people whom I had nothing in common with. It’s hard to start conversation with someone you have no frame of reference with. Sure I know Angela Lindvall is a model but where does the conversation start? “Hi, nice to meet you. How’s it going? ( no response) So, how’s being a model?” Not to say that these aren’t people worth talking to. I just don’t know where to start. Therein lies the communication problem. There’s always that awkward moment of post introduction silence.
Most of my time was spent hanging around and watching Greg work his photographer magic, which I have to say is impressive. Most of the photographers there have big cameras and are extremely impersonal and just take shots of people in action. Greg is very personable and he knows everybody and there seems to be a trust and comfort in between him and his subjects. I guess it helps that he has such a good rapport with most of the people there.
Greg also kept introducing me to people that have worked for Donna Karan since our father worked there. Most of the time I had no recollection of who they were with the exception of Patti Cohen, who I think was Donna’s PR person. I’m not positive though. We talked for a little bit. It was nice to catch up but it was a little awkward. It’s strange when you haven’t seen people for 13 years and the last time they saw you, you were waist high on them.
I followed Greg around more as he looked for Donna to take a photo and when we did Greg gave her a kiss on the cheek and he pointed her over to me. She said hello, gave me a kiss and told me I look just like my father, which always makes me smile but also is sort of wrong seeing as though I look mostly like mother. It was nice that she said hello though.
We hung around for awhile longer as Greg got a picture of Donna and her daughter Gabby. Greg also introduced me to Lydia Hearst, Keith Richards’ daughters Theodora and Alexandra as well as their mother Patti, who all were really nice and seemed pretty cool. It sort of seemed apropos but Theodora and Alexandra were also hanging out with Sting’s daughter Mickey Sumner. I guess they all have something in common, eh.
Greg and I left around 11 something and shared a cab with this really tall Czech model Hannah and her friend. I think Hannah was about 6-3 with heels on, which was really intimidating when giving the nice to meet you euro double cheek kiss goodnight and having her bend down about 15 feet for it. We finished the night off at the Belgian Beer bar with a brotherly talk and some alcohol. Good times, if a little out of character.