There was a palpable air of relief at The Last Magazine dinner party at ACME on Wednesday night, which, when mixed with an enthusiastic vodka sponsor, usually leads to excitement. “Fashion week is almost over!” Chelsea Leyland laughed. “I think everyone’s ready to have a good night.”
Bartenders were set to make sure of it, bringing new cocktails to guests every time they put them down.
Though the invitation for dinner had read 8 p.m., most guests arrived later, following the Proenza Schouler show in Chelsea. Hanne Gaby Odiele, who had walked in the Proenza show, scooted into a banquette with her makeup from the runway still evident. “Hanne!” Magnus Berger cried, as he passed by with camera in hand, snapping photos for the Last mag’s Web site. “Look at you!” Pat McGrath sat nearby with Alexandra Richards, Leyland and Jenné Lombardo. “I should ask her to help with the eye makeup, she’s a genius” Odiele laughed.
Phillip Lim and Richard Chai were both at the fete and eager to unwind after busy weeks. “They promised a dance party,” Chai said. “There’d better be one.” Ric Pipino sat near Eddie Borgo and Keegan Singh in the center of the room, all passing plates of house-cured salmon with buttermilk horseradish dressing, salt baked beets and a roughly hewn duck paté served in a jar. Johan Lindeberg sat with Berger and co-editor of the magazine Tenzin Wild near the front of the restaurant. Every place at the dinner held a box of brand new sunglasses from Prism (a swimwear and sunglasses brand created by Anna Laub), with directions to switch with a neighbor if the frames didn’t suit.
As the dinner wound to a close and guests began shimmying toward the stairs down to the dance floor, a new wave of people was approaching the restaurant eager to join in the festivities. Pouring through the doors came Hannah Bronfman, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. Lindsey Wixson was on hand, wearing a floor-length floral skirt and sweater and sipping ice water from a cup labeled “Kanon Vodka” near the front of the bar until she spied Terry Richardson and Jared Leto (wrapped in what appeared to be a fringed knit women’s cape) clamoring into the party. “Let’s go!” Leto said, and headed for the dancing fracas downstairs.
Next door at Indochine, J.Mendel had a very civilized celebratory affair. Lola Rykiel, Hilary Rhoda, Tanya Dziahileva, Ashley Olsen and Alex Rodriguez were all in attendance, with Gilles Mendel and Alec Gores. Olsen had caused a stir at the show earlier in the day with her sister, sitting in the front row in seemingly matching all-black ensembles (complete with oversize sunglasses). She avoided press at the party. “I’m just here to celebrate Gilles,” Olsen said.
Ally Hilfiger and Steve Hash were also on hand, greeting a late-arriving Monique Péan. Bar Refaeli was all smiles, noting, “I think this collection was beautiful, Gilles really out-did himself.” The man in question spun charmed revelers around the dance floor as Paul Sevigny DJ’d classic hits from the Sixties and Seventies.
Filmmaker Jenna Elizabeth was also on hand, surveying the scene. “I think there’s definitely a level of luxury that’s been missing from a lot of what’s been happening in fashion this week,” she surmised. “I’m glad to see J.Mendel reconnecting with that. I think people are ready to look well-dressed again, versus this always slouchy ‘model-off-duty’ thing.”
It wouldn’t have been a fall 2012 New York Fashion Week evening, even the penultimate one, without a reason to party at Le Baron, and Proenza Schouler allowed the late night set one last reason to congregate there. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez hosted a procession of well wishers that included Michelle Harper, Shala Monroque, Alexander Wang, Rachel Zoe, Caroline Sieber, Patrik Ervell and Liya Kebede.
Early in the proceedings, Felicity Jones was sitting in a booth off the first dance floor, taking in the space and learning some Chinatown color.
“I think it’s really well designed,” she said of the club. “We just had Vietnamese before we came here, lots of good places to eat.”
Mike D of the Beastie Boys sat one booth over, enjoying the crowd. No stranger to the New York nightlife of yore, WWD asked the rapper for his assessment.
“I think they could use a little bit more black rubber, just something to make it a little more sleazy,” he said as a boothmate let out a prolonged, elated scream. “But I gotta give it to them, it’s one of the only places where it kinda has that old ‘something wrong is happening in New York’ feeling.’”