They say everything old is new again, and that was certainly the case last Thursday night. Not one, not two, but three parties were held by Louis Vuitton in honor of Stephen Sprouse, the late fashion designer and artist, who’s the subject of a new coffee-table book from Rizzoli by Roger and Mauricio Padilha. The fun began at the Louis Vuitton store, where the old gang was in full attendance. Guests like Deborah Harry and Paige Powell viewed the limited edition Sprouse bags on display, and a DJ spun tunes from the Eighties. Marc Jacobs even showed up wearing neon and black Stephen Sprouse for Louis Vuitton tights.
“This is exactly what Stephen wanted,” Powell said. “He wanted his work to be really accessible, so the idea of it being in a cool store in SoHo was right up his alley. He was working with Target and Knoll and Diesel right before he died.”
This story first appeared in the January 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Jacobs wanted people to know that Sprouse wasn’t having a fashion moment. “It’s not even a question of ‘does this look right, now?’” he said of the late designer’s clothes. “It’s always good.”
Others in attendance were Paper Magazine’s Kim Hastreiter, Nicole Miller (“We went to RISD together”), Tim and Helen Lee Schifter and Donna Karan.
After cocktails at the store, guests headed over to the Deitch Projects, where an exhibition of Sprouse’s work was on display. The place was filled to capacity by 7:45, which meant lots of hangers-on got in early and lots of people who actually should have been there arrived late and got turned away.
Such is life.
Thankfully, there was a third place to get a groove on — at the Bowery Ballroom, where Harry performed a mini concert around 10 p.m. Sally Hershberger was bopping up and down to “Call Me,” Jacobs was mouthing along to the words, and if there was any evidence a recession is in effect, it was only that the evening’s actual celebrities had been few and far between. The most famous guests to arrive at any of the three parties were Brooke Shields and Molly Sims. Perhaps there’s less to attract the red carpet set in these tough times.
Sprouse’s mother Joanne, who was at all three parties, thought her son would been proud of the recognition, though he was a little too shy to have handled it. “He would have come out,” she said at the Deitch projects, “but he would have been hiding in a corner.”