As yesterday’s snowy, icy, blustery day turned inexorably into a slushy, rainy, slippery night, I thought it might derail the best laid plans of mice and men – or at least a book signing party in Lauren Lawrence’s honor at CH Carolina Herrera boutique on Madison Avenue. Although many would-be attendees apparently pooped out when they saw the weather, enough brave souls showed up that by the end of the night the books (only available at Shakespeare & Co. or online) had magically sold out.
Lawrence, famed personality of TV (RHONY Season 7 , and former host of “Celebrity Nightmares Decoded” on the Bio Channel) as well as the dreams columnist for the New York Daily News has written four books on dreams including 2002’s “Private Dreams of Public People,” while her other two books, tonight’s “The Trouble With Words,” and 2017’s “Side Effects” are works of poetry.
When I asked Lauren about her inspiration for the book she responded that around 2002 after watching “Apocalypse Now” she became so moved by the trauma inflicted on our young men who go to war that she started writing several antiwar poems. “I had been reading some of these poems to my dear friend Gore Vidal, who was living in Italy at the time. He loved them so much he encouraged me to write a whole book on the same theme, which was a rather daunting prospect. It took me 15 years to fulfill my promise to him because it’s awfully hard to write over 50 poems on the same theme. But I took my time and tried to make each one different while carrying the theme of how war changes one. How there is so much irrecoverable loss. How one’s selfhood can never fully recover.
The book title comes from the fact that no matter how hard I would try to conceive what these men went through, there are no words for this harsh experience. I wrote THE TROUBLE WITH WORDS hoping to distill some of the trauma of the veterans by repeating the initial experience at a time when they could control the event in a way that would weaken the stimulus. Several veterans have thanked me for the book.” A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Those in attendance ran the gamut from the worlds of art, fashion, music, literature, business, society and philanthropy including author/columnist/cartoonist/poet/social commentator Anthony Haden Guest, Michele Herbert, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Lauren Ezersky, Randi Schatz, Jane Pontarelli, Larry Parks (Director of FAME Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education), Ellyn Harris (singer/songwriter/publicist), Leda Nussbaum and Joycelyn Engle.
The event took place appropriately in a book lined room resembling a study, at the back of the boutique. I didn’t observe any of the guests actually shopping for anything other than the book which was a little surprising. I took a gamble and wore my “apres-ski” fur boots over my leather pants without bothering to bring “nicer” shoes to change into.
While many attendees teetered in their stilettos and cocktail dresses, others seemed to dress a bit more for the weather with some type of lower heeled boot although TBH I only saw one other person go all out in fur mukluks similar to mine. Unfortunately I don’t have a driver and limo waiting outside for me or I might have opted for more glamorous footwear. Lol
Glimpsing a dashing young gentlemen sporting a Versace Medusa-head studded logo shirt, a Chanel logo cashmere scarf, and a Gucci stripe logo man-bag, I boldly asked him which label he was NOT wearing. It turns out that he is Daniel Alexander, a womenswear fashion designer who just showed his DA by Daniel line at NYFW as part of Art Hearts Fashion at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. His crowning touch (in my humble opinion, the best part of his OOTD) was his two-tone fedora which is (thank goodness!) his own label.
I admired a Swarovski crystal necklace woven with gold thread adorning the neck of Ivonne Camacho which came from a trunk show of Joe Vilaiwan Bijoux (his jewelry was a favorite of Joan Rivers). He’s also one of Camacho’s AbsolutModerne.com clients — a “leading-edge online marketing and branding” — DA by Daniel line is another.
Jane Pontarelli of the cotton-candy pink hair (she wears it proudly as a breast cancer survivor) spoke of Dennis Basso’s ability to sell high-end furs on Madison Avenue one minute and hawk shoes on QVC the next. “Sell to the masses and live with the classes, is what they say,” she quipped. Lauren Ezersky arrived in a soaking wet, yet chic black puffer coat. “We went to the wrong store,” she admitted. I was actually wondering if anyone would do that since Carolina Herrera’s primary boutique is located on 72nd Street while CH is on 67th – an easy mistake that I was happy not to have made!