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Opera lovers including Claudia Schiffer, Stefano Pilati, Lou Reed and Patti Smith turned out for the opening night of “Le Comte Ory” at the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday night.
This story first appeared in the March 28, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Thursday evening, though unseasonably cold, at least provided an excellent excuse for revelers to wrap up in a variety of fur toppers and traipse to the Metropolitan Opera House for the Yves Saint Laurent-sponsored opening night of “Le Comte Ory.” Guests exiting the elevators at cocktail hour were greeted almost immediately with the sight of an impossibly svelte Claudia Schiffer, who fielded questions and posed for photographs most of the night.
“I love Stefano [Pilati], and I love the opera. I’m happy to be here even if just for the night,” Schiffer laughed, before embracing Raquel Zimmerman. The latter was pulled into photos with Anja Rubik for most of the evening, as the two were nearly matching in modern adaptations of the YSL Le Smoking suit and corresponding blonde updos. Claire Danes swept through the fete with husband Hugh Dancy in tow. Emmy Rossum camped out on the far side of the room with Olivia Munn, sneaking periodic glances over their shoulders at Lou Reed and Patti Smith, who were holding a tete-a-tete by the bar. Smith peeled off to speak with Olympia Scarry and was replaced in conversation by Rufus Wainwright. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen arrived moments before guests were ushered downstairs to dinner, and headed straight for Reed, who spoke with them at length. Julianna Marguiles and Rebecca Hall were also on hand, scooting to their tables just behind Lindsey Wixson, who refused alcohol all evening (she is 16, after all) and spoke happily about her upcoming prom. Olivier Zahm looked pleased as anything with his seat assignment, whispering into Schiffer’s ear for most of the evening.
Pilati took to the microphone during the second course to lavish praise on Mercedes Bass for her involvement with the Met.
“We raised over one million dollars tonight,” the designer said with a smile. “I’m just so honored to be involved. This is our fourth year doing this, and we’ve already committed to next year, our fifth.”
As the dinner plates were cleared and guests were ushered into the theater for the first act (with dessert and champagne promised at intermission) some revelers snuck outside for cigarettes while the venue filled with onlookers hanging over the railings to gawk at the gaggle of glitterati.
“Wow,” one regular ticketholder remarked, “Guess I’m underdressed!”
The close of the opera meant a mad rush outside for waiting transportation. Those eager to continue the night pointed their cars south for an after party at the password protected (quite literally, an email was circulated the morning of the event) Bunker Club, where Zahm, Pilati and at least one Olsen met up with Stavros Niarchos, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and company for dancing until the wee hours.