It took Oprah Winfrey 25 years to land an interview with notoriously private designer Ralph Lauren, she says Monday when she hosts An Evening with Ralph Lauren at NYC’s Lincoln Center.
Does she still get nervous?
“Oh my God, no,” her BFF Gayle King tells me. “No, no, no. Number one, she adores Ralph Lauren. They are actually friends. People think that because you’re a celebrity, you’re friends, but she and Ralph are actually friends. She was very excited to do this for him. Listen, you don’t get Oprah out on a school night. She’s very busy doing 50 million things, but when she was asked by the Ralph Lauren Foundation, it wasn’t even a question that she would be here. She’s not nervous — she’s thrilled to do it.”
Of reports that Gayle may be starring on the CBS Early Show?
“It’s a good rumor, but you can’t believe everything that you read,” she says.
Among stars who witness the conversation and pastel-themed Spring 2012 fashion show are Jessica Alba, who greets Kerry Washington with a hug; Naomi Watts, who scowls when asked to do a second round of print interviews; Martha Stewart (“Look at this party!” she exclaims happily.), Uma Thurman (who has mastered the art of the jacket cover-up post-photos – hey, it’s cold!), Barbara Walters, Michael J. Fox, Seth Meyers, Piers Morgan and Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld.
For Jessica Alba, the week also included a business lunch with fashion designer Tory Burch. (Hm, is she pulling a Victoria Beckham?)
“I’m excited,” Tory says.”Whatever advice I can give her just from a start-up, I’m happy to share. The biggest piece of advice was to just be smart, and what she’s doing is a very smart concept, so protecting yourself. As a woman, it’s harder in business. Know that.”
What is she like as a mom?
“Listen, she’s a new friend, so she seems like an incredible mom,” Tory tells me.
Meanwhile, “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen confirms that Jacqueline Laurita is set for season four of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
As for the story behind the feud with Jacqueline and co-star Teresa Giudice?
“Oh my God, there’s not enough tape in your thing,” he says. “You’d have to ask Jacqueline that question. You have to watch season four.”
Slightly chattier is Joe Jonas ex Camilla Belle, who calls “a blazer” her fall must-have fashion item. “It goes with everything,” she says. When it comes to her beauty indulgence, she can’t get enough of a “simple massage.” She tells me, ‘It’s relaxing.”
Bringing the evening’s message back home is Ralph’s family.
Daughter Dylan Lauren, creator of Dylan’s Candy Bar, feels his influence every day.
“He has built a whole lifestyle brand, starting with the ties, and I am trying to do that,” she tells me. “I started with candy, and we now have clothing that has candy patterns, we have a cocktail candy bar, candy parties, activities and events, candy gift baskets, candy accessories. It’s all candy everything. It’s not just about eating candy, but living the life of a candy girl or boy. There are men and women who love the designs, colors and patterns that we put on our packaging. It’s more elegant.”
What has she learned from him?
“The biggest lesson is follow your gut. We’re both very gut-focused. If something doesn’t feel right – if there’s a product you feel like it doesn’t look right – don’t put it on the sales floor and don’t make it.”
Not only have Oprah and Kim Kardashian visited the candy store, but soon she’ll see the Simpson sisters in the shop.
“Jessica probably likes Southern, chewy things. She’ll probably like our candy rain boots — some fashion shoes that we’re selling.”
For Ralph’s daughter-in-law, Lauren Bush Lauren, who joined the family in September by marrying his son David Lauren, his classic style matches her motif.
“Just being around him, you pick up tips here and there,” she tells me. “He doesn’t wear exclusively his own clothes. He’s open and inspired by traveling and other different pieces. It’s fun to see what he gravitates towards. He has an amazing eye.”
Afterwards, the stars saunter across the street for dinner. Fun times!