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Early arrivals to The Westway, where Barneys New York held a party on Saturday night to toast its recent creative collaboration with Carine Roitfeld, couldn’t help but notice the karaoke setup in the bar’s side room.
When the former French Vogue editor entered former strip club things got a little clearer.
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’m going to sing ‘You’re So Vain,’ by Carly Simon,” Roitfeld explained of her karaoke party. The song choice seemed more than appropriate. Would she be dedicating it to anyone in particular?
“No, but maybe some people they recognize themselves, I don’t know,” Roitfeld said. “It is fashion business, you know.”
Most of the fashion business did in fact seem to be in the vicinity, as Alexander Wang’s after party across the Westside Highway at Pier 40 made the far West Village the night’s prime neighborhood. The scheduling didn’t stop Wang from stopping in to The Westway for a bit.
“Yeah, you know, me and Carine got on the phone and were like, ‘Yeah we’ll just put a little party train from your party to my party,’” said Wang, who noted he’d spare the crowd his vocal stylings.
Roitfeld herself said that, despite her love of singing, it would be a challenge to get up on stage.
“There are two things very relaxing: to sing and to break glasses, like in a Russian way,” she said.
But the woman of the hour certainly looked relaxed when she took the stage to kick off the singing portion of the evening by dueting on “Careless Whisper” with Anna Dello Russo. The selection led to a run of middling-to-very, very bad performances, of which no one seemed to mind. Simon Doonan sang “Nasty Girl.” The Courtin-Clarins sisters chose “Baby Love.” Margherita Missoni got some help from her friends on “Pretty Woman.”
The whole spectacle turned out to be but a simple warm up for Valentino, who rose from a banquet and made his way to the stage shortly before 11:30. A publicist had mentioned the designer’s expected attendance earlier in the night, but a public performance seemed a bit much to hope for. As the audience tried to make some sort of sense of what was happening, the designer launched into a surprisingly well-practiced rendition of “My Way,” accompanied by Giancarlo Giammetti.
It rivaled “You’re So Vain” for song selection of the evening.