One almost felt a little badly for David Copperfield on Wednesday evening at his birthday-cum-Fantastic Man launch party in his Park Avenue penthouse.
“Has nobody heard of coasters?” Copperfield moaned in fake-exasperation that might have belied some real frustration. “This is our first party here, and I think maybe our last. I keep racing after people to pick up their glasses. I restored all these arcade machines, painstakingly. For years.”
This story first appeared in the September 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Copperfield tilted his head at an angle and handed back a Champagne flute that had been resting atop a wood-framed fortune telling machine to a partygoer who had been rooting around in her crocodile clutch. Though the scene was unfolding on Manhattan’s east side, it was impossible not to think of Las Vegas — not necessarily because of the glassed-in rooftop pool with balmy interior temperature and large, rearing terra-cotta horse statue above it, or the 360-panoramic views from any of the terraces or even the arcade games, which fill the entire first floor and line both levels of the living room — but because the look shot by Copperfield at an errant Champagne flute was one of those featured on Vegas’ billboards and buses.
Carlos Mota, China Chow, Michael Stipe, Michael Michele, John Currin and Rachel Feinstein were all at the party, swirling around the mazelike apartment, pursued by caterers offering dinner from Nobu, and later a black-and-white cake by Crumbs. Attempting to find the rooftop terrace was not for the faint of heart, as the penthouse’s elevator seemed stalled. Doors and hallways of varying lengths abounded. Behind one, apparently, was a baby named Sky, born to Copperfield and his girlfriend, Chloe Gosselin, a little over a year ago.
“Oh, the baby’s here,” Gosselin nodded, appearing to keep an eye on her husband in the arcade as he offered tours to guests. “She’s sleeping.”
Couldn’t it be a little scary for a child, growing up in an apartment with a massive arcade full of fortune-telling gypsies from the Fifties, fake rifles and various other contraptions?
“Oh, I don’t think so,” Gosselin said with a smile. “She’s David’s daughter, after all.”
Roberto Cavalli got an extensive lesson from Copperfield at the arcade games, and momentarily mastered one: a spinning wheel covered in watches and a silver painted mechanical arm, which snatched them when a button was pressed.
“I’m not interested in fortune telling per se, this magic,” Cavalli laughed. “But I love David. He is fantastic.”
The feeling was mutual. Later on the roof, when the cake had been produced and “Happy Birthday” had been sung, with guests clogging all of his terraces and tossing cigarette butts anywhere and forgetting to use coasters, Cavalli proved a sight for sore eyes for the King of Magic.
“As long as Roberto’s here, I’m happy,” Copperfield said to his beaming friend, as he wrapped the designer in a hug.