COCKTAIL OF COOL
The lost-and-found caper of the crystal sheath -- a dress valued at $150,000 and promised to the Smithsonian Institution -- could’ve spelled disaster for any upstart diva. But when the Bob Mackie gown was stolen off a hotel luggage trolley a day before opening night at the Hollywood Bowl, its owner, Carol Channing, conveyed how a true star acts -- with oodles of grace and cool.
No wonder the kids are embracing her, again. “She’s so amazing, so hilarious, and her voice is so unforgettable,” gushed China Forbes, chanteuse of the stylish, 14-piece band Pink Martini. Seen here (at far right) backstage before the show with Channing, Pink Martini founder Thomas Lauderdale and Kim Hastreiter, editor of the indie-style bible Paper magazine.
Far from the picture-perfect expectation of what a fashion influencer looks like, the red spectacled Hastreiter is a giddy champion of new talent nonetheless, a kind of anti-Anna Wintour, the powerfully lithe editrix of Vogue. “I thought to myself, ‘Relax, Kim. It’s not like you’re at the Hollywood Bowl with the amazing Carol Channing and 18,000 people watching you or anything.’ ”
As for the 86-year-old icon, the second-skin dress -- created for her Broadway turn in “Lorelei” when she sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” -- was eventually returned after a homeless gentleman found it at a nearby park. Even without it that night, the show would go on. A performer like Channing has more than a few sparkling get-ups at the ready, and on this night, under the twinkling sky, she pulled out a dazzling white tux.