Thursday marked the first day of true Spring weather and, not surprisingly, that evening brought out the fashion crowd en masse for the first time in… well… a while.
However, it was more than the mere lack of hurricanes or blizzards that coaxed this crowd out of their Netflix and reality-TV addicted cocoons. Indeed, there was much to celebrate this evening: From Jason Wu's studio-warming, to Akris's 20th anniversary with Bergdorf Goodman, to Stacey Bendet's brand new boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue. With Spring officially knocking at everyone's door, the evening could not have been a more appropriate nod to things old and new.
My first stop was at Jason Wu's spiffy new digs on West 35th Street. Upon entering the bright, recently renovated building on what is an otherwise rather dismal block, I knew that Wu's new pad would live to the hype that is now routinely expected of the designer. He did not disappoint. He also has a disarming modesty about him, as he personally greeted all of his guests and close friends and, then, immediately directed them to the Bellini bar, but of course. With their Veuve cocktails firmly in hand, guests, such as Meredith Melling Burke, Jane Keltner, Amanda Hearst, Andrew Bevan, Melissa George, and Sylvana Soto-Ward, proceeded to the chocolate station, courtesy of Maison de Chocolate. They say that strawberries bring out the flavor in the champagne, but I think chocolate does an equally fine job, n'est pas?
It also gave me the energy boost required to make the ensuing rounds of fetes, especially once I discovered that the car service that I had booked for 2 hours had abandoned me. Apparently, I had lingered at the studio a tad too long. But, luckily, the weather was pleasant enough so that it was fairly easy to get a taxi.
Jason Wu and Melissa George
Alina Cho and Robert Burke
So, from there, I moved on "uptown" to 57th Street (although to many 57th Street really IS uptown. Funny how the city's center of gravity has shifted so much over the years.) Once at BG, it was up to the store's 4th floor, where Akris's Albert Kriemler had not one, but two anniversaries: His 15 year collaboration with photographer extraordinaire Stephen Klein and his 20 year partnership with Bergdorf Goodman.
While Steven Klein was unable to attend the festivities, Kriemler was far from shy in singing his praises and, additionally, he offered some insight into the success of their long-standing working relationship: "I knew that we would be a success from the very beginning." He explained. The linchpin, he continued, was that "he had an intuitive understanding of, not only my collection, but also my brand."
Revelers, the likes of Stefano Tonchi, Alina Cho, Daniel Benedict, Andrew Saffir, Linda Fargo, Emilie Rubinfeld, Bergdorf CEO Jim Gold and Daphne Guinness (who is already set to shoot another Kriemler campaign), nibbled on beef tenderloin bruschettas and sipped champagne whilst perusing the gallery of Klein photos on display. The Misshapes held court in the DJ booth.
Emilie Rubinfeld and Daphne Guinness
Jim Gold, Pamela Fiori and Albert Kriemler
Even more poppy tunes were in store at Stacey Bendet's kickoff party for Alice + Olivia's spanking new boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue. DJs Harley-Viera Newton and Casey Coane seamlessly alternated between the pop-tart anthems du jour and the 80s crowd-pleasers, much to the delight of friends and fans, such as Kelly Rutherford, Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina! Where art thou been?), Byrdie Bell, Fabiola Beracasa, and Ali Wise, who, to no one's surprise, held down the fort effortlessly, even when the crowd was bursting at the seams.
To cap off the evening, Caitlin Moe played a violin set that was captivating, to say the least. That is to say that the crowd of hundreds ceased gossiping for a few moments and actually watched the performance. That doesn't happen terribly often. In addition, anyone who has ever graced an alice + olivia bash knows all too well that no event of hers is complete without cupcakes, that one may deem the foodie equivalent of Stacey's clothing: Whimsical, eye-catching, and, of course, very, very sweet.
Becka Diamond, Stacey Bendet, Ali Wise, Dori Cooperman, Tinsley Mortimer and Jessica Meisels