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Diary: A Jaded New Yorker in LA, Wardrobe and Cheesecake at Barry Diller’s Place

February 27, 2011

Gaucho styled friends John Burhnam and photographer Tierney Gearon at Barry Diller’s picnic

(All text and photos by Susan M. Kirschbaum)

Wardrobe. One lucky tip. So glad I packed my black fringed cowboy boots  since I had been warned. “Don’t wear heels to Barry Diller’s house picnic. There’s grass everywhere and it rained last night.”  So when I saw actress Anne Hathaway ( a veritable doe eyed doll) sink into the ground in her red pumps, I felt protected, cool.

The annual picnic, feting Vanity Fair Editor in Chief Graydon Carter proved more of a New York camp than I would have predicted and in many cases we wore more sensible shoes than some of the Angelinos dressed to the nines. One female director in a hugging cobalt blue dress better suited for evening asked me if her make up was adequate, to which I responded that she should replicate that face for the evening of the Oscars but it was a bit heavy for a picnic. Of course Diane Von Furstenberg played lovely continental hostess, her hair perfectly wavy,her big round sunglasses reflecting the glass roof of the eating area perfectly.  And probably the most glam couple award went to David Beckham and his wife Victoria “Posh” Spice.

The sun shone, at least until 5 pm, and  a few children tumbled on the lawn, sloping with flowers. We filled plates with seafood paella, Chinese style spare ribs, poached salmon with dill sauce, broccoli, cauliflower, and  baby potatoes. I drank champagne and then moved to the dessert table: chocolate mousse, cheesecake, peach pie, berries, biscotti, and coconut cake.

There’s nothing like gorging on sweets in the sun. And Graydon seemed right at home, a six-foot Louie the Fourteenth, jovial and greeting guests in the front corner near the bar. I get the feeling that New Yorkers, myself included, like to come out here, put our skinny hyperactive minds away, and pretend we’re fat and happy.

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