On Friday night, Jason Wu’s 10th anniversary dinner at the St. Regis Hotel nearly became more than the crowd bargained for.
“It’s good luck,” declared Constance Jablonski after one of the candlesticks from the many candelabra lining the center of the table came tumbling down, knocking a glass of Champagne onto her silver dining plate. Close call.
The model had taken in Wu’s runway show a few hours earlier, held salon-style on another floor of the hotel. “It was beautiful, stunning. Amazing dresses at the end,” Jablonski gushed, noting that her friendship with Wu spanned eight years. “He was one of the first designers I worked for,” she said. “The first season I walked for anyone was his first season, so it was special because we were both new in a way.”
Wu had invited Jablonski and 30 of his nearest and dearest supporters and friends for an intimate — and elaborately decadent, with a jungle theme — “Midnight Supper.” Luckily for many of the bleary-eyed editors, retailers and models in attendance, the Gilded Age party tradition created by Caroline Astor actually started much earlier in the evening.
Before dinner, Linda Fargo greeted the designer with an anniversary gift from Bergdorf Goodman while Diane Kruger, Sofia Sanchez de Betak, Emily Ratajkowski and Amber Valletta set up on a plush couch to catch up post-show.
Ratajkowski befriended the designer several years ago through working on a campaign and accompanying him to the CFDA Awards. “We had some really great nights together,” she said. “He’s really down to earth — it’s hard to find people in this industry who can really just get past the work aspect of things,” she continued. “For as hard as he works, he does know how to cultivate real relationships, and I think that was really evident today. Just looking around [at the show], everyone was there because they felt a personal connection to him.”
Wu, for his part, was feeling “so weird, so calm,” after unveiling his fall collection. “I’ve been here for 10 years, it’s time to get used to it,” he added.
His 10th anniversary also marked somewhat of a homecoming — the St. Regis Hotel was his first show venue after Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses to the inaugural ball in 2009. “As fast as everything has come and gone, I love tradition,” Wu remarked.
“[The St. Regis] is very much a part of New York — I’m an American designer, and it’s very much been what I love, the idea of icons, tradition and glamour.”
Glamour also has a time and place, and for Wu and husband Gustavo Rangel, that place is not Valentine’s Day this year. Their plans? “Me and the husband, home, TV, dinner,” Wu said.
And that, folks, is luxury.