On the festival’s penultimate night, Shinan Govani and Barry Avrich held a fête for Boldface Names
“Another book launch party?” we asked.
“This is number three—officially,” said the paperback writer in Prada.
Third time’s for the charmed circle, apparently. Gathered in Harbour Sixty’s glittering cellar were publishing magnates and paparazzi magnets, fashion editors and filmmakers, social queen bees and an MTV princess. Somehow, we were there, too, allured and bewildered, suddenly privy to the extraordinary problems of the ruling class.
“I walked in, and the first thing Shinan said to me was, ‘There won’t be enough red!’” said Mary Symons, effervescent patroness to social boozers—she’d donated caseloads from her winery, Thomas George Estates. “And I said, ‘Well, how many people are coming? You told me 40, and what now, 50?’” Her gemmy earrings shook helplessly. We vowed to drink only white. She laughed a generous laugh.
Later, at champagne time, she introduced us to close companions: “Have you met the amazing Bruce?” We nodded at Bruce LaBruce, the hardcore provocateur in a Herzog tee. She meant Bruce Bailey, though. The major art man was lamenting the shopping habits of his 19-year-old daughter. “First she called to tell me she bought Louboutins, for $700, and was that OK? And then she bought a $6,000 Lanvin dress and wanted a $4,000 coat, too. I told her, ‘No, darling, it’s about the mix-and-match. High and low.’ And what kind of 19-year-old wears Lanvin dresses anyway?”
“Are people really staying out until 4 a.m. these days?” wondered Kim Newport-Mimran, the Pink Tartan powerhouse. “I haven’t been out that late in 10 years! Maybe it’s because I work 12 hours more a day than most. Really, I do. It’s crazy.” If her push to make Pink Tartan beloved everywhere is exhausting her, who could tell? Impeccable in a PT pantsuit and black velvety-suede Balmain boots, she was (as ever) her own best advertisement.
Flitting out to the patio, we were caught by Elvis Costello, who confessed his struggles with the TIFF circuit. “I don’t know how to do it,” he rumbled. “I spent two and a half hours lost, looking for the Get Low party the other night. There were six parties in a two-block radius on King Street. Too much.” When he lit up a cigar, we couldn’t help but be taken aback.
“That’s huge!” we said.
“No,” he replied. “I’m just happy to see you.”