Alexa Chung was atop the Rooftop Skylight West on Monday night being very classically British. Or, given that the occasion was a children’s birthday party-themed bash in honor of the 40th anniversary of the English label Mulberry, maybe she was just being on-brand. Taking a break from dancing to The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There,” she sung the praises of her hosts, whose wares, she said, she didn’t “have to bullsh-t about loving.” (That Mulberry named a bag after her surely helps there.) When asked, given the theme of the evening, for any traumatic childhood birthday party memories she revealed she was born on that most British of holidays, Guy Fawkes Day.
“When I was five, my mom and dad — my birthday is on Bonfire Night in England, which is when you light a fire and burn things at the stake; it’s the fifth of November, look it up,” the model-turned TV presenter said: “They made me this bonfire cake that just exploded in the middle of the room and nearly set fire to our village hall.”
This story first appeared in the September 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As she spoke, the night’s entertainment, the Leicestershire band Kasabian, took the stage.
“Oh, Kasabian are on,” she said. “We’re gonna watch the band. We should all watch the band.”
There wasn’t much arguing with that. Even New York’s finest took an interest in the group’s open-air rooftop performance. Around 11 p.m., shortly after the group left the stage, several uniformed officers circled the DJ booth, but left after being assured that the live music portion of the evening had come to a close. A softer DJ set followed.
Earlier in the proceedings, several actresses Mulberry had assembled proved a little less culturally put-together as Chung.
Rose Byrne, an Australian, explained that she was getting a crash course in the American Rust Belt.
“I’m actually doing a movie called ‘The Place Beyond the Pines,’” she said. “We’re shooting upstate in Schenectady. Try to spell that!…I told David Letterman to spell it and he got it right and then he told me to spell Indianapolis and I couldn’t get it right. And that was on air…very, very embarrassing.”
And Maggie Gyllenhaal proved to be an American who was very fond of Paris.
“I like fashion, but I’ve never been totally comfortable in the party scene around it; I like Paris,” the actress said with a smile. “You know sometimes they’ll take an actress, fly you to Paris with your family. I’ve done that a couple times. It’s just like in a castle…and it’s just flowing Champagne and caviar. Maybe it’s just that I like Paris.”