Party Report: Betty Halbreich Drinks to Memoirs and Joan Rivers at Bergdorf Goodman


THE PARTY: Book signing soirée for Betty Halbreich’s memoir, I’ll Drink to That

THE PLACE: Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue, New York City

THE FARE: Fried bites, champagne, and Halbreich’s beverage of choice, vodka.

THE DEETSWhat was supposed to be an evening celebrating “New York’s preeminent shopper” turned out to be a bittersweet affair. Halbreich’s Thursday night memoir launch was to be hosted by her dear friend Joan Rivers, whose death was announced hours before, on day one of New York Fashion Week.

“We had a different relationship,” Halbreich told Glam of the late entertainer. “We had a very close, honest relationship. Not always about clothes, but about people. Human beings. And we were both, very, from-the-heart people.”

It’s a characteristic that Halbreich, who knows best, still exudes today—being about the people. She made sure to snap photos with partygoers, whether VIPs like Lena Dunham and Linda Fargo, or fans of her Bergdorf’s legacy. She obliged paparazzi, posing for photo-agency pics with unfiltered gags: “I’ve never smiled for a picture in my whole life,” she said. When signing books, she complimented best-dressed guests, and offered drinks from her table side bottle of Belvedere. Her flashy jacket, emblazoned with initials and unabashed self-promotion (“Hi! Buy!” it read from behind), was her unofficial plus one.

As the night went on, air kisses fluttered from Isaac Mizrahi, DJ Brendan Fallis soundtracked the soirée, and Glam got one last word with Halbreich. What’s the one thing you’d say Joan left with the world?

“Her generosity.”