A Night Out: Dowd Hosts A 'Chanel' Celebration

Washingtonians gathered Saturday night to celebrate the new novel by Chicago author Gioia Diliberto.

By: Garrett M. Graff


What: A party celebrating the publication of novelist Gioia Diliberto’s latest, The Collection.

Where: The Georgetown home of Maureen Dowd

When: September 15, 6:30 to 8:30 PM

Who: Gioia Diliberto and her husband, Chicago Magazine editor Dick Babcock, were in town for the party, which was attended by a small but boldfaced crowd, including Bob Schieffer, Gwen Ifill, Howard Kurtz and his wife, Sherri Annis, Linda Douglass and her husband, super-lawyer John Phillips, Franklin Foer, and Ben Bradlee. For many of the guests, the event was a quick neighborhood popover.

Scene: With Politics & Prose selling books in the parlor, the party spilled out of the house into the tiny, well-maintained garden out back. The weather was perfect, and the fashionable set befit the book’s subject (see below). Guests mingled, laughed, and maneuvered through the tight quarters even as the event’s hostess appeared fashionably late to her own fete.

Food: Indoors on Dowd’s dining room table were plentiful snacks, dips, and spreads.

Drink: The backyard bar served drinks so stiff that even Christopher Hitchens asked for more soda in his scotch and soda.

Book Synopsis: The Collection, Diliberto’s second novel, is set in post-World War I Paris and focuses on a fictitious young worker for none other than Gabrielle Coco Chanel herself—think “Devil Wears Prada” with a more serious and literary historical flair.

Ratings (out of 5):
Boldface names: 2
Swankiness: 2
Food and drink: 2.5
Exclusivity
: 4
Total score: 10.5 (out of 20)