By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week took over New York City from September 8-15, with a line-up of 99 designers showing their spring 2012 collections in Lincoln Center and various other venues throughout Manhattan. Amid the silks, chiffons, organza, floral prints, neon colors, geometrical shapes, and pastel prints that graced the runways, Mercedes-Benz showcased its latest fashion statement, the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster (think Barbie DREAM CAR on steroids) and C63 AMG Coupe, two all new models available later this year. Our favorite designers this season included Mercedes-Benz presents designer, Derek Lam; Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore, Pamela Rolland, Milly by Michelle Smith and Diesel Black Gold (especially since Gerard Butler! was sitting front row). Enjoy our stories about a few of the stellar parties we attended and a little bit about the lounges- the other side of Fashion Week.
Stefano Tonchi Presents Time Capsule at the Armory
The “it” party of Fashion Week for star-gazing and the strange fabulocity that can only be found in New York had to be Stefano Tonchi’s “Time Capsule” release party at the dark, cavernous Park Avenue Armory, which had been stripped bare to resemble an airplane hangar. W magazine’s Editor in Chief hosted the party in honor of Steven Klein’s video installation “Time Capsule,” a 3-D extension of the editorial “One for the Ages,” for which the photographer shot Amber Valletta for the September issue. The video clips were played on ten giant television screens which portrayed clips of Amber Valletta at different stages of aging- the final one at age 120 to a soundtrack that can best be described as “Ohhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm.”
The guest list consisted of New York’s A+ list roster, including: Stefano Tonchi, Steven Klein; Amber Valletta; Karolina Kurkova; Alex de Betak; Alex Gonzalez; Martha Stewart; Naomi Campbell; Andre Balazs; Anna Dello Russo; Arden Wohl; Caroline Sieber; Carine Roitfeld; Cecilia Dean; Chanel Iman; Claire Courtin-Clarins; Courtney Love; Daniella Vitale; Daphne Guinness; Diana Picasso; Giovanna Battaglia; Helen Lee Schifter; Jamie Tisch; Jason Wu; Jeffrey Costello; Jenna Courtin; John Demsey; Johnny Weir; Julia Restoin-Roitfeld; Kelly Klein; Lauren Remington Platt; Leigh Lezark; Dr. Lisa Airan and Dr. Trevor Born; Lori Goldstein; Lydia Hearst; Marjorie Gubelmann; Martha Stewart; Max Vadukul and Nicoletta Santoro; Michele Gerber-Klein; Michelle Harper; Nicole Trunfio; Nina Lawrence; Olivier Zahm; Prisca Courtin; Renzo Rosso; Richard Chai; Robert Tagliapietra; Rose McGowan; Shala Monroque; Shalom Harlow; Solange Knowles; Terry Richardson; Vera Wang; Virginie Courtin-Clarins; Patrick McMullan; Vladimir Roitfeld; Will Cotton and Rose Dergan; Yigal Azrouel; Yvonne Force Villareal, and probably a few hundred others which were hard to make-out in the nearly pitch-black room. Nevertheless, guests navigated around in the darkness, noshing on macaroons and sipping champagne and/or vodka, copious amounts of which actually helped to make sense of the installation and “soundtrack.”
PAPER Magazine and Nine West
East Village hotspot, Beauty & Essex was THE place to be on Tuesday night for a party hosted by Nine West and PAPER to fete the launch of Karen Elson‘s new Vintage America shoe and accessories collection. Famous faces milling about the gorgeous two-story pawn-shop-turned-resto-bar included: a barely recognizable, Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Jared Folllowill, June Ambrose, Gia Coppolla, Dame Dash, Mia Morretti, Theophilus London, Carlos Quirarte, Sean Macpherson, Rachelle Hruska and Lynn Yaeger to name few. Guests enjoyed gourmet burgers, shrimp cocktails, signature drinks and champagne (Beauty & Essex even has a champagne bar in the ladies’ room) and enjoyed a performance by model/singer, Karen Elson, and her band, Citizens Band, who played five songs from their first album, The Ghost Who Walks.
Richie Rich at LAVO
Designer and boy-about-town, Richie Rich and his partner, actor/model, Ross Higgins, presented their Popluxe line at Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss’ restaurant/nightclub, LAVO with an explosive show that was equal parts wild party and runway sensation. When Rich and Higgins are asked to describe the collection, it sounds like something SNL’s Stefon would say, “There were influences from Native Americans, Aztecs to Angels and NY/Japanese Neon Club Kids. This show tells of the evolution of Hell, the end of the world and then beginning of a new kinder gentler world.” We are not making this up! (Can’t you picture Seth Meyers cracking up right now?) But the result was great fun. The models’ hair was styled by Rose Fraser, owner of Hair Reflections Salon & Studio, and included looks to match the story line of the show- from flowing locks, to distressed braids and neon. Fraser also created the unique VIP bag- a neon briefcase with built in handcuffs filled with her custom hair products from Hair Reflections. Celebs seen enjoying the show included Kirstie Alley, Kris Humphries, Jonathan Knight, Ericka Jayne; America’s Next Top Model winner, CariDee; and Ice T. Ice T’s wife Coco, who suffered a “wardrobe malfunction” and Kaela Humphries, Kris’ sister strutted their stuff on the catwalk.
photo credit: Seth Browarnick World Red Eye
After the Show- PhD
After the show, we met up with Noah Tepperberg at the Dream Hotel Downtown, who escorted us upstairs to his latest club-of-the-moment, PhD, an elegant 4, 000 square foot, penthouse club which provides sweeping views of the city. An added bonus is that PhD has one sliding glass wall that opens completely, allowing access to expansive 2,200-square-foot terrace. We ran into WALL and Quattro co-owner Nicola Siervo and the Fontainebleau’s Jeffrey Soffer while we were up there. The energy in the room at PhD was so contagious and the music so good, we just about gave up all hope of making it to our early morning fashion shows the next day.
Bon Appétit’s Feast or Fashion
Bon Appétit magazine presented Feast or Fashion during Fashion Week, teaming up with celebrated chefs who prepared their fall menu “collections” at some of the city’s most coveted locales. We were fortunate to be invited to the Feast or Fashion party at the Gramercy Hotel’s rooftop where we indulged in gourmet nibbles by Chef Fabio Viviani (Bellisimo!) to celebrate Whit’s spring collection and the launch of Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva while enjoying one glorious New York sunset. Designer Whitney Pozgay, writer Ashely Baker, Bon Appétit Editor in Chief Adam Rapoport, and writer Glenn O’Brien were on-hand to delight in grilled cuttlefish, fig risotto, skirt steak, truffle popcorn and some of the best pizza we’ve ever had. The crowd stayed well beyond the party’s scheduled ending time, enjoying classic tunes such as Danke Schoen, Stand by Me, the theme from Ducktails, and many other blasts from the past, which turned the otherwise sophisticated affair into an impromptu Karaoke party, to rival the one thrown by Barneys and Carine Roitfeld just two days earlier.
Duane McLaughlin’s Ready to Live
The beautiful, Amber Ridinger and Market America hosted a party for the release of musician, Duane McLaughlin’s first album, Ready To Live at Chelsea Piers. Proceeds from the exclusive event benefitted the New York Police and Fire Widow and Children’s Fund. Notable guests such as Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Humphries, Scott Disick, Jacob the Jeweler, Russell Simmons, Omarion, Kylie Jenner, Jonathan Cheban, Simon Huck, Angie Martinez, Benny Medina and Omarion enjoyed a performance by McLaughlin, who entitled his album “Ready to Live” because he wants people to know that no matter what obstacles each must face, life is not over. “My passion is to help others. The New York City Police and Fire Widows and Children Benefit fund relates not only to my album, but gives a message of hope and enhances the call for help,” McLaughlin told us. When asked about his album release party he says, “Prayer works! I know this because my prayer has been answered.” You can download Ready to Live at www.readytolivealbum.com, http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ready-to-live-single/id405441703, and marketamerica.com, http://www.marketamerica.com/. A portion of the proceeds will help support the Foundation.
Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge
The Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge which we like to think of as the “happiest place in New York” (sometimes on Earth) provided a much needed respite for celebs and VIPs in between the hectic show schedule. The elegant lounge was designed by Wesley Cadle and resembled a stylish boudoir in hues of violet and lilac, with comfy couches and banquets and lots of fresh flowers. Cadle decorated the walls with over scaled fashion illustrations by Gladys Perint Palmer, Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University. An array of stylists, models, designers and entertainers were seen relaxing in the Star Lounge. The fabulous list included: Beyonce, Mandy Moore, LeAnn Rimes, Eddie Cibrian, Susan Sarandon, Jamie King, Emma Roberts, Julianne Hough, Kelly Osbourne, Russell Simmons, Rose McGowan, Tim Gunn, Bam Margera, Mariska Hargitay, Nigel Barker, Carrie Preston, Brad Goreski, Annabel Tollman, Eva Amurri, Derek Lam, Leven Rambin, Caroline Winberg, Matthew Settle, Erika Christensen, Malin Akerman, and Nacho Figueras.
Verdi’s Luxe Lounge
A slew of famous faces were at celebrity stylist, Robert Verdi’s posh, Luxe Lounge, enjoying tasty treats from the Fresh Diet, Perrier-Jouet champagne, Maybelline makeovers, Remington hair treatments and gifts such as a pair of spring/summer 12 Kimmie Smith Sebago shoes, Hanes, and Robins jeans. Kelly Choi, Jill Zarin, Simon Van Kempen, and Alex McCord from the Real Housewives of NYC, Nigel Barker, Miss J. Alexander, Deanna Lowe, and Tinsley Mortimer among those spotted.
Victoria’s Secret Lounge
Victoria’s Secret also entertained celebrities with its Victoria’s Secret Fashion Week Suite at the Empire Hotel Rooftop. In between shows guests received massages, manicures, bombshell makeovers, and previewed the new “Gorgeous” fragrance and fall intimates collections. Attendees included: Eva Amurri, Joy Bryant, Katie Cassidy, Taraji P. Henson, JoAnna Garcia, Emma Roberts, Kourtney Kardashian, Rose McGowan, and Giuliana Rancic. Supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Doutzen Kroes was at the VS Suite to reveal her new ELLE magazine cover for the October issue.
GBK Luxury Lifestyle Gift Lounge
GBK, the luxury lifestyle gift lounge and special events company hosted celebrities, stylists, models, buyers, and industry VIPs at the GBK Lounge at the Empire Hotel, where some of the hottest new trends and products for spring and summer 2012 were showcased. Guests were treated to luxury gifts, spa and beauty services, and refreshments, all with an eye on a charitable focus. Attendees included: Lindsay Lohan, Kirstie Alley, Star Jones, Constantine Maroulis, Miss J, Kara DioGuardi, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Phillip Bloch, and Tamara Tunie.
The Daily Beauty Bar
The Daily Beauty Bar hosted celebrities including: Angela Simmons, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Chyna Lane, China Chow, Nora Zehetner, Paula Garces, Shoshana Bush, Raquel Castro, Beverly Mitchell, Cara Santana, Farah Gath, Jessie Malakouti, Julia Jones, Kelly Bensimon, Leven Rambin, Madison Hildebrand, Mila De Wit, and many more. Lucky guests were treated to gifts by Softcup, Jonathan Wu nail polishes, manis, pedis and massages.
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