We're over. Let's Party
Dana, Rebecca, Newsweek
Byline: Rebecca Dana
Breaking up isn't always hard to do. Meet the exes making it work.
When designer Douglas Hannant and his partner of 20 years called it quits this winter, they resisted the usual furies of separation. No one lost his temper; screaming was minimal. The only thing anyone threw was a party.
A hundred swells gathered at their Manhattan loft for a "Year of the Dragon"-theme break-up soiree. Dinner was salmon, the theme cocktail rum punch. Before friends and loved ones, the two toasted the dissolution of their romantic union. Hannant, who has dressed Michelle Williams, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, and a slew of adoring socialites, will share custody of a cocker spaniel and a vacation home with his ex, Frederick Anderson. They will remain business partners. "Everyone is just in shock," says Anderson. "They have no idea what to make of us."
The chic former couple are not alone in their quest for a happy, functional split. Exes Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz are making it work, as are Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Ashton's shenanigans notwithstanding. In May, billionaire Charles Bronfman and his wife, Bonnie, held a party to commemorate their divorce, telling guests: "As we change the parameters of our relationship, our mutual admiration and caring is constant." Over the summer, model Karen Elson divorced rocker husband Jack White on their sixth wedding anniversary and marked the occasion with a "positive swing bang humdinger" of a party in Nashville. Their invitation asked guests to "celebrate the making and breaking of the sacred union of marriage."
Can separation really be so blithe? We've been hearing for decades now about America's "marriage crisis," and divorce is usually listed as both a symptom and a cause. We read about the most brutal and watch them play out on reality television. In the last year, we've seen the publication of several worried books--Ralph Richard Banks's Is Marriage for White People? …