Super Thursday

Paris, Puffy and J. Lo: Super Thursday

You've heard of "Super Tuesday" events like primaries and lotteries, right?

Last night was Super Thursday in New York as Fashion Week unleashed its most brutal evening of party- going and giving. For all I know it's still going on.

There were events last night for P. Diddy/Sean John clothes, Paris Hilton, Maxim, Vogue and Vitals magazines, Tommy Hilfiger, US Weekly, something else called P&G, a book party for author Amy Fine Collins and a launch for Stella McCartney's new deal with Adidas.

Uptown, directors George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola were scheduled to have a screening of Lucas's "THX 1138." Downtown, Hugh Jackman and his wife Debra-Lee Furness screened her new short film while Jennifer Lopez had a dinner to celebrate her new film, "Shall We Dance."

Certainly the centerpiece of the evening was the book party for Internet porno princess Paris Hilton. Her "Confessions of an Heiress," a coffee table-sized pictorial written by Merle Ginsberg, is already a hit on Amazon.com and most likely in stores as well.

Hilton is not the brightest bulb on the planet. On "Oprah" earlier this year, she professed to not knowing what a washing machine was. Last night, when an acquaintance told her he was on his way to Toronto, she responded, "Where's that?"

You get the idea.

Paris and her sister Nicky did not make the book party their first stop, however. That distinction went to the celebration thrown for P Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean Combs for the launch of his first retail Sean John clothing store, on Fifth Avenue.

As a kind of strange meta-joke, the store is exactly across the street from the main branch of the New York Public Library. It replaced a deep-discount Odd Lot store.

The Sean John boutique is long and narrow inside, so when Paris and Nicky arrived they were instantly mobbed by sheer proximity to others. With photographers flashing away, however, Paris entered the store while talking on her diamond-encrusted cell phone and didn't put it down for a good five minutes. By then she was well into the store and had been photographed with actress Vivica A. Fox.

She may still be on the phone now.

Trailing behind Paris and Nicky was a nice-looking young woman who struggled with a heavy, square leather carrying case. She turned out to be Malika, the sisters' makeup person.

"I'm doing emergency touch-ups," Malika told me.

Granted, it was very hot in the store. But this was a first. I picked up her case to test the weight. It was as if she were the loser in a Greek fable, this thing was so heavy.

"I'm also doing Bijou Phillips," she said, pointing to the waiflike daughter of late Mamas and Papas founder John Phillips.

As Paris and Nicky's pal, Bijou — who's been a wild child so long now she should be getting Social Security — benefits from those little perks the rest of us take for granted.

In all, Paris and Nicky spent more time at the Sean John store than they would later at Paris' own book party. They spent less time at Sean John than did Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who arrived with a brisk step, posed for pictures, entered the store and then exited out the back door just as quickly.

Also buzzing about, but staying for Champagne: Wyclef Jean, Russell Simmons and his brother Rev. Joseph "Run" Simmons of Run-DMC fame, Siberian supermodel Irina Pantaeva and her photographer husband Roland Levin, designer Tommy Hilfiger and tennis-playing sisters Serena and Venus Williams.

P. Diddy's mom, Janice Combs, turned up with a new look. She has eschewed her floor-length blonde wig for a shorter, darker, bronze model. It works.

Diddy's protégé, the dandified Fonzworth Bentley, stopped long enough to chat with me about the upcoming line of high-end Italian umbrellas he's going to start selling at Bloomingdale's.

Bentley — his real name is Derek Watkins  — is quite a character. No fool, either. He's an extremely articulate graduate of Morehouse College.

When Paris finally met up with Diddy, she said the first thing that came to mind: "Is there any food here?"

Immediately she was whisked to a back room where she was able to down some snacks out of the sight of her fans.

In the main room, records by Prince and Stevie Wonder filled the air. None of the music was from a P. Diddy album.

There was no rap at all, in fact. In the second room, a clarinetist played along to pre-recorded jazz as if he were listening to a Minus One album. It was a little strange.

Meanwhile, Sean John's new model, Tyson Beckford, started pulling clothes down off the shelves. He put on a jacket, and kept the rest of the items. That's called an employee discount, if you didn't know. If only Winona Ryder had been a model for Saks.

But what, you might ask, of Paris's party? Well, even though it was held at the trendy Lot 61 nightclub, it was something of a dud.

It used to be at book parties you'd see Kurt Vonnegut, William Styron, Robert Caro, maybe even Mary Gordon or Scott Spencer, occasionally Philip Roth or E. L. Doctorow.

A younger crowd might get you an over-aged Brat Packer like Jay McInerney. Curmudgeonly Fran Lebowitz never saw an onion dip or an ash tray she didn't like.

But no such luck for Paris, who drew no writers or even authors, no movie stars and not a single other bold-faced name of note aside from her sister.

The pair arrived late, took some snaps, and exited quickly, too, probably seeing that the party was a bust and doing them no good if they stayed one more minute.

What's next for Paris? I hear she's considering commissioning a couple of "chick lit" novels.

Finally, just to give Paris a run in the heiress department, a moment with Gillian Hearst Shaw, daughter of one-time terrorist and kidnap victim Patricia Hearst.

She's going to star in an independently financed movie musical this fall called "Happy Ending." At the Christie's event, she and her director test-sat a brand-new Bentley parked on the plaza for promotional purposes.

"Work hard and maybe you'll have one," a guest said jokingly to the 22-year-old great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst as she played with the windows.

"My mom already has one," Shaw replied, without missing a beat.