Valentino wasn’t sure if he’d get Anna Wintour a birthday present last night at the party for the DVD release of Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, held the same day as the Vogue editor’s 60th birthday. “I don’t know if I will. I am leaving here in one week,” he told us. “I don’t think so. I will just send her these flowers.” She can’t be easy to shop for, which is partly why Erin Fetherston didn’t have plans to send a gift, either. “I don’t think I have the power to give that woman anything she’d need,” Fetherston said. “She’s an incredible lady, she deserves the utmost respect and admiration from all of us. And I would make Anna an ‘Anna Rocks!’ T-shirt.” Fetherston wouldn’t expect her to wear it. “But I think she would enjoy other people wearing it.”
Daphne Guinness — tottering around expertly in fall 2009 Nina Ricci heels — said she didn’t know Anna well enough to send anything. “I don’t think she needs anything, really. I’d give her what I’d give anybody — love,” Guinness said. “I’m a Scorpio, too. My birthday is Monday.”
Does she have birthday plans? “I’m going to eat a sandwich and then do Bikram yoga. That sounds nice, right?” Sure, kind of! “And then I’m crawling under the covers and saying, ‘Poor me!’ It’s a very strange month to have a birthday. But I had a midlife crisis when I was 9, so I’m not worried about that.” She’s also as confused about her apparent agelessness as we are: “I forget [how old I’m turning]. 41, I think.” (According to Wikipedia, she’s turning 42.) “You know, I really don’t care, because I don’t expect to live for very much longer.” What does that mean? “Oh boy, this is turning into a heavy conversation,” she continued. “But it isn’t about age — it’s about experience. The only thing worth aiming for is love. As you long as you have that, it’s okay, and then you have some issues you just need to work out during this lifetime, not that I’m religious in any shape or form. But I don’t fear death. Love is the only thing that matters. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.” So, is fashion smoke and mirrors, too? “That’s the best smoke and the best mirror. You’ve gotta go out, so you should go out in style.”
View more in our Party Lines slideshow.