Still Graydon

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Even though Graydon Carter hasn’t been at the helm of Van­ity Fair for more than a year, that doesn’t mean he can’t sup­port its ta­lent.

Such was the case on Tues­day night in New York, where he threw a re­lease party for Lili Ano­lik and her new book “Hol­ly­wood’s Eve,” about the un­der-the-radar writer and one-time West Coast ‘It’ girl Eve Bab­itz. While the event was surely about Ano­lik and her book, it was clear that Carter has not lost his abil­ity to throw a party and work a room.

Guests vied for his at­ten­tion, one af­ter an­other. “The man of the vil­lage,” one said in greet­ing; “I’ll email you,” said an­other as Carter was in­evitably tapped to speak with some­one else. Mean­while, look­ing tan with those sig­na­ture three points of white hair un­changed, he joked that he was “just here to fill the drinks.”

As for what he’s ac­tu­ally up to lately, since he was not even hold­ing a drink much less car­ry­ing a pitcher, he was mum. But there’s def­i­nitely some­thing brewing — he brought his p.r. along to the party, who said he’s not “yet” ready to re­veal what’s com­ing up. He was there to cel­e­brate Ano­lik and her book, which grew out of a 6,000word story she wrote for him and Van­ity Fair in 2014.

As for the party, it was re­ally an in­dus­try af­fair, with just enough celebrity charm to keep it on the right side of solip­sis­tic. There was Christie Brink­ley, blonde and smil­ing as ever; Deb­bie Harry look­ing al­most preppy; Vic­tor Gar­ber, pulled into a con­ver­sa­tion that got him to say the the­ater is “still mag­i­cal.” Andy Warhol fa­vorite Jane Holzer (no more “Baby” in the front) came, too, and there was a man who, if it wasn’t An­to­nio Ban­deras, should en­ter the next looka­like con­test.

But most of the very cozy space at the Waverly Inn (which Carter owns) was taken up by ed­i­tors and au­thors like Ken Auletta of The New Yorker, Dan Halpern, Dan Lipsky and Peter Biskind. Pho­tog­ra­pher Lloyd Ziff also made an ap­pear­ance, as did Annabelle Dunne, whose aunt Joan Did­ion had a hand in dis­cov­er­ing Eve Bab­itz as a writer, not just a party girl, in Los An­ge­les decades ago. There were also plenty of for­mer Condé Nast ed­i­tors who stopped by, like Linda Wells, Rob­bie My­ers, Jane Sarkin and Joan Kron. Sur­pris­ingly, Steven Ne­w­house, chair­man of Condé Nast par­ent com­pany Ad­vance Pub­li­ca­tions, made an ap­pear­ance. And although Ano­lik is still a con­tribut­ing writer for Van­ity Fair, cur­rent ed­i­tor Rad­hika Jones didn’t make it, even with her book­ish pedi­gree.

No mat­ter. Ano­lik seemed gen­uinely awed by the room and that Carter, who was the only mag­a­zine ed­i­tor to ac­cept her pitch for a story on the now reclu­sive Bab­itz years ago, threw it for her. “Dream come true” is how she put it the next day.

“There’s Graydon, Deb­bie Harry, all these pub­lish­ing peo­ple, my fam­ily — I only would have wished Eve could have been there,” Ano­lik said. “If it was 40 years ago, Eve would have been do­ing coke in the bath­room and se­duc­ing a guy. That was the only thing miss­ing.”

— KALI HAYS

Graydon Carter

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