Tell us: what’s the biggest faux pas you ever made?
Joni Evans: I was 30 and invited to the most glamorous party I had ever attended at Diane Von Furstenberg’s home when she lived on Park Avenue in the low 60s. The elevator opened into her huge apartment (I can still see dark red and leopard-skinned walls) — and before me, in one glance, I saw a sea of recognizable faces: Andy Warhol, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, Salvatore Dali, Bianca Jagger. You name it: he/she-was there. I knew no one.
Finally, I found a friend who told me even Calvin Klein was present; she pointed to a handsome man sitting alone on a couch. Just then Calvin couture was becoming THE fashion statement, and so I got up my nerve to talk with him, since I admired his clothes so much. I told him how I’d never found a designer who so gracefully served both everyday work needs and the after-hours evening with one simple dress. He seemed surprised and pleased: “No one has ever said that to me before!” I was taken aback, for this seemed the main point of his designs. We chatted a bit more and I pressed that I was so enamored with him that I had even named my dog after him. “Really?” he asked … soooo pleased. I pushed on: “Yes. My giant schnauzer is named Calvin.”
All at once I realized I was NOT talking to Calvin Klein. This man was staring at me as if I had just slapped him. He got up and excused himself. I found out in about ten seconds that all along I had been talking to Halston.
Once I took my daughter backpacking in Colorado and our outfitters name was Matt and his wife was Pam, but I insisted on calling them Rusty and Susan the entire week. I gave my brother a Watchman TV that was a gift for me from the network and I didn’t notice it had my name engraved on the side. Then, the next year, I gave him the exact same thing. And again, two years after that.
There are many and better, more humiliating stories but I can’t remember them.