Dozens of DC fashionistas swarmed the French ambassador's residence Tuesday evening for a party to honor fashion writer Robin Givhan, and her book "The Battle of Versailles." It would seem the party might be postponed because of the plane crash on French soil but no, said Ambassador Gerard Araud, postponement did not come under consideration. There were some comments about the catastrophe in the French Alps, but subdued beneath air kisses, laughter and the shutter click of party cameras.
It was a gathering of the beautiful people, accompanied by Champagne, foie gras, smoked salmon and a late-arriving André Leon Talley, editor-at-large of Vogue, who was delivered from New York City to Washington DC by a black town car. The party began at 6. He rolled up at 7:20, but very ready to party - once dressed. "Oh, no, don't take my picture," he said from the car. "I'm not dressed yet."
Those who were there, and dressed, included possibly, maybe, very likely Maryland Congressional candidate Kathleen Matthews, who was greeted at the door by Ambassador Araud. They talked together for a French minute, which is longer than a New York minute or a Seinfeld stop-n-chat. The exuberant Aba Kwawu, who was the impresario, cheerfully greeted many friends. We got to spend time with Lisa Crawford of Saks Fifth Avenue, Diane Rehm of her own show, Maria Trabocchi of her many restaurants (the woman of the day with a Style section front page story) Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and Nick Schmitt of the State Department, Joann and John Mason, David Hagedorn and husband Michael Widomski, Morgan Treqouet, who is the Residence Manager. Kevin Chaffee and Tony Powell and Paul Morigi. There were many others there, too many to mention.
The models, all lanky, some bored, struck various poses in beautiful gowns. Occasionally, they betrayed a grin. As a group, they towered over the people in the room. But note: they were matched in looks by the wait staff. The French residence has the best looking people in Washington working as their servers.
My guest was Maria Ory, who works with me in the communications office of Foreign Policy. We had fun, and she seemed to enjoy meeting this very high concept Washington guest list.
As we left it was pretty to look back at the newly renovated residence, the evening light still quite bright, and appreciate the silhouettes through the lovely window.
I expect there was a moment of silence, but I don't know, as we left before the final curtain. Home, and dinner, called.