Guests were awestruck at the Frick Collection’s Young Fellows’ Winter Fete. But it wasn’t merely the decor that had them stunned (gardenias floating in the reflecting pool, a red-lit ballroom and girls handing out violet nosegays for the ladies and boutonnieres for the gents). It was the elegance of the party’s honorary chair, Carolina Herrera.
After giving a slew of interviews about her new scent, Chic for Men, Herrera greeted a brand new granddaughter, born to Patricia and Gerrity Lansing, and made her own glamorous entrance at the Frick. “At 1:30 this afternoon, Mrs. Herrera came in for a fitting,” reported the designer’s creative director, Hervé Pierre. “At 2:15, she was out the door, and at 4 o’clock she was calling from the hospital to say the baby was born.”
“You should see her,” said Herrera, “the little eyes, the little mouth!”
Eugenie Niven also traveled the hospital-to-gala route, visiting the Lansings and baby — yet another Carolina — at the maternity ward. “I’ve been waiting for the right time to wear this dress,” she said of a vintage Carolina Herrera creation her mother had worn. “What better night than tonight?”
Like Niven, party co-chairs Nathalie Kaplan, Lauren du Pont and Marina Rust Connor opted for Herrera-made gowns. It was beautiful to see, but a little tricky to navigate.
“They should call this place a train station,” cracked one guest, tip-toeing through a maze of floor-sweeping gowns.
MILD TO WILD: As any connoisseur who hits the fashion week party circuit knows, at a moment’s notice things can go from mild to wild.
On the mild side, André Leon Talley threw a civilized tea for Loulou de la Falaise at La Caravelle to show her fall collection to guests like Anne Bass and Patricia Butts, the wife of Talley’s minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and Elyse Lanier, who arrived by private jet from Texas that afternoon, resplendent in Oscar de la Renta. Lanier said she doesn’t talk to Talley all that often, “unless, of course, you think two or three times a day is a lot.”
Getting there wasn’t easy for Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime muse, who spent an evening at the U.S. Immigration office. “My mother forgot to declare me when I was younger,” de la Falaise quipped.
That evening, Paper Magazine and Svedka Vodka hosted a dinner in honor of Tilda Swinton in the relaxed backyard setting of Adam Kalkin’s suburban home installation at Deitch Projects. As Kate and Andy Spade congratulated the members of As Four on their latest collection, Swinton, whose children, she said, were at the hotel watching “School of Rock,” suddenly realized she was wearing all white. “I guess I won’t be drinking any wine tonight,” she said.
And away from the madness of the tents and the rest of the fashion fray, Samantha Boardman, Aerin Lauder and Renee Rockefeller met up at La Grenouille for a dinner hosted by Charles Masson, whose parents founded the restaurant in 1960. “We thought this would be a relaxing way to spend part of fashion week,” said Boardman.
Similarly mild was the Calvin Klein post-show supper for Francisco Costa across town at La Bottega. Costa took a deep breath after a week of delayed samples and controversy over postponing the show, while Barbara and Lauren Bush held court at a center table and Ray Liotta smoked in a corner, crushing his butts with his shoe on the floor. “It’s been tough, really tough,” said Costa, who was visibly relieved. But it was Nan Kempner who had egg on her face, since her coffee had spilled at Costa’s show, leaving a stain on the runway that ran from Carol Alt to Jennifer Creel.
Relaxation was the only thing on the minds of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler at a dinner in their honor hosted by Nadja Swarovski in the Hudson Hotel penthouse. “After the show we went home and took a nap,” said McCollough, who dreamed of a tropical getaway.
“I just want to sit and watch TV for a week,” said Hernandez. “I have no idea what’s going on in the world. I heard something about a naked Janet Jackson.”
Things got rowdy, however, at a Victoria’s Secret party to celebrate the publication of “Backstage Sexy” at Spice Market where Adam Sandler and Dan Aykroyd headed downstairs to curtained booths, and Gisele Bündchen went tête à tête with Harvey Weinstein. “We’ve been friends for a long time,” Gisele said, whose movie debut, “Taxi,” hits screens in October, “but we don’t have any plans to work together yet.”
The wild vibe continued at dinner for Jennifer Nicholson at Sette, though it might have been due to the knife-wielding belly dancer undulating in the middle of the restaurant. After singing several verses of “A Whole New World” from the movie “Aladdin” — the evening’s theme was “Magic Carpet Ride” — Barbara Bush hit the dance floor hard.
And at Style.com’s after-show party at Rande Gerber’s Stone Rose Lounge in the Time Warner Center the next evening, Zac Posen followed suit. He kicked up his heels with a gaggle of ladies that included Candy Pratts Price, his sister Alexandra, Claire Danes and Margherita Missoni (who’s studying philosophy at Columbia University this semester) with boyfriend Federico Forlani. “I was up till 7 this morning choosing music for my show,” Posen said. Though that might be another designer’s excuse, it was Posen’s reason to celebrate.