On Thursday afternoon, Stella McCartney took over the Elizabeth Street Garden in Manhattan’s Little Italy to present her resort collection. With its wild vegetation and abandoned stone statues, the garden, between Spring and Prince Streets, is a popular spot in the neighborhood that already looks enchanted most days of the week.
But McCartney added her own touches — human statues, a bossa nova band, spritelike models frolicking between the ferns in her designs. It all seemed ripped from the set of Disney’s “Maleficent,” if only they served Veuve Clicquot Champagne and vegan appetizers from food trucks in the Enchanted Forest.
“It’s one of those really magical gardens in New York City,” Liya Kebede said. “You don’t imagine it’s here in the middle of the city.”
The model was a regular here some years ago when she was part of a community garden and she was pleased to be back. “It’s giving us that, ‘OK, summer is here’ feeling,” she said.
McCartney’s garden parties for resort have become a tradition — last year’s was at Jefferson Market Garden. This year’s fairy-tale vibe seemed, if vaguely, informed by the designer’s recent collaboration with Disney on a children’s capsule collection inspired by “Maleficent.” There was even for a second a rumor going about that Angelina Jolie herself would turn up. Alas, she didn’t — not even at the last minute like Madonna last year.
But the cast of characters populating McCartney’s fantasy was diverse — and all part of the McCartney club of friends and fans: Liv Tyler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Amber Heard, Lucy Liu, Jessica Seinfeld and Cara Delevingne but also “Saturday Night Live” impresario Lorne Michaels; the artists Kara Walker and Jeff Koons; the photographers Nan Goldin, Peter Beard and Marilyn Minter, and the musician Aluna Francis of the band AlunaGeorge.
“I feel like there’s hidden gems to see, shoes hidden in secret places or something. That’s what it feels like,” said Francis, who was in town to play the Governors Ball festival on Sunday.
“It’s very Greek goddess in the garden. Or fairies and sprites,” said Alison Brie, who suddenly felt very short in the presence of some Amazonian models. “I’m like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have worn flats?’” she said.
The actress is moving on from “Mad Men” as it wraps up its run. She’s working on a film that’s far removed from the world of fantasy, a romantic comedy from the director of “Bachelorette,” Leslye Headland, that’s called “Sleeping With Other People.”
“Jason Sudeikis and I play a serial womanizer and a sex addict, respectively, who become friends to help each other form regular relationships and end up falling in love. Spoiler!” she said. Ah, a fairy-tale ending after all.