Last night, Allure celebrated its twentieth anniversary by barring everyone hoping for a romantic Valentine’s dinner at Minetta Tavern and hosting a private party there instead. Newly single famous people like January Jones and Jennifer Carpenter were gorgeous and friendly and seemed perfectly happy never to leave each other’s sides, while couples in attendance like David and Victoria Beckham (the night’s honoree and this month’s Allure cover girl), Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, and Allure’s Siobhan Bonnouvrier and her boyfriend Kiefer Sutherland looked equally dazzling. As Iman told us, even if her husband, David Bowie, had been in town, they wouldn’t have been able to eat at a place like Minetta unless it had been cleared of prying eyes. “We never do Valentine’s dinner, because everybody, they look,” she said. “On Valentine’s, imagine me and David going to a restaurant! Like everybody’s going to say, ‘Did they talk? Did they hold hands?’ Twenty years. We’ve been married twenty years!”
What a coincidence! It turns out that as Allure was in its nascent stages in 1991, so were Iman and Bowie. She had just retired from modeling and he had asked her out. They were married in 1992, but she said she knew two weeks in that he was The One. “His actions spoke louder [than words],” she said. “We were dating for two weeks and I was coming from Paris and I got to L.A. at the airport and the doors open to the plane and I come out and I see all these people taking a picture of somebody. And he was standing there, flowers in hand, no security. That was when I knew he was a keeper. He didn’t care if anyone saw.” Swoon.
Allure’s founding editor, Linda Wells, meanwhile, was living in considerably less romantic times. She’d come in, young editor, guns blazing, and immediately had her prototype scrapped. “They hated everything about it,” she said. “I mean, it was a happy occasion. They congratulated me. And then two days later they shredded the whole thing and told me to start over.
Fellow party guest Kelly Ripa was living in a dump of a studio apartment, working on All My Children, and trying to get out of debt: “It was great! I loved it! Wouldn’t change a thing!” And Kiefer Sutherland, who was 25 at the time, already had a house and two daughters. “I made the choice to have children at a very early age. I had this wonderful desire to be a dad,” he said. “Otherwise I’d probably still be wandering now.” We didn’t get a chance to ask Victoria Beckham what she was doing back then, but it was pre–Spice Girls and pre-meeting-of-David. We could only tell that she was thrilled about the dinner. She’d been stuck in New York presenting her fashion collection, and had expected to spend Valentine’s with her publicist. Then, at the last minute, David surprised her by popping into town. “He’s so supportive of everything I do,” she gushed, which includes narrating her collection presentations and “talking to people about fashion until people want me to stop,” she said. As for the collection, she was pleased how it went off, and that people liked her move away from super form-fitting dresses. Though, she added, this was not inspired by her pregnancy (sex unknown). “Oh, no, I designed this collection before I was pregnant. I can’t be in any of it now,” she said.