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BIG APPLE CIRCUS: Saturday night found the well—if in this case bizarrely—heeled tripping into Allison Sarofim and Stuart Parr’s West Village townhouse for the couple’s famed annual costume gala. Now in its seventh year, the to-do is always inspired by an artist and a decade. This year’s invite instructed revelers to look to Alexander Calder’s Circus—producing a wide variety of interpretations from attendees such as Cynthia Rowley, Francisco Costa, Mickey Boardman, Alber Elbaz, Veronica Webb, Keren Craig, Georgina Chapman, André Saraiva and Bill Powers.
This story first appeared in the November 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
One couple, dressed as “surrealist art,” sported neon full-body spandex suits, complete with inflated beach balls attached to their heads (“I’m nine months pregnant,” the female counterpart quipped, patting her midsection, “this is not a beach ball.”) Another partygoer wore a black “morph suit” and LED-lit welder helmet, a video console of Calder performing his circus duct-taped to his chest. Most attendees stuck with the more general “circus” theme: ringleaders, lions, and large apes abounded (though there was only one Siegfried, Roy and tiger on a choke-chain). Kelly Klein was among those who took the theme literally, arriving amongst a posse of black clothes and Calder mobile-inspired masks, while other partygoers simply wore what they wanted: Harry and Jill Kargman dressed as the protagonists of Avatar and cavorted on the dance floor amongst a “baroque and roll” trio who sported 16th century French court dress and colorful sunglasses.
Marc Jacobs caused a stir in a jaunty horned red wig and high heels (“My feet hurt! I can barely stand!” the designer cried), while a plain-clothes Pierce Brosnan removed a plastic spider from his nose to exclaim “this is the best party of the year——it doesn’t get much better than this!” throwing his arms wide to encompass the madly gyrating crowds. A nearby Matt Dillon held court in a corner, soliciting phone numbers from female waitstaff, while Adi Gil, Gabi Asfour and Ange Donhauser of ThreeAsFour arrived in coordinated wire masks, pausing to compliment a festive Genevieve Jones in the busy hallway.
Hired performers littered the space: one leotard and lion-headed dancer lay supine, growling, on a mantle in the entryway as a violinist-cum-satyr pranced nearby, clad in blue body paint and furry cloven legs. The dance-tent later parted for “bubble boy,” who methodically inserted and then removed himself from within a giant white balloon in the middle of the floor——but not before spraying onlookers with confetti.
As the party raged on into the early hours, Dennis Basso commandeered the DJ booth as a conga line of varying large mammals, famous historical figures and even one latex-ed military personage snaked through the main floor of the house. Sarofim was ready for anything, with circus-attired waitstaff equipped in the manner of retro movie-ushers, alternately duster-bustering ash from the carpet and distributing personal bags of popcorn, halved cheeseburgers, miniature hot dogs and cubed croque-monsieurs along with a selection of candy and cigarettes from trays strapped to their torsos.
“Some people forget that hosting a good party is an art form,” one reveler surmised, surveying the scene, “this is not typical of New York…it’s well after midnight, people are still here. Everyone really dressed up, really tried. They really have the corner on Halloween parties.”