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NEW YORK — Snowbound? No way! Shoppers and revelers at the opening of Diane Von Furstenberg’s second Caravan Serai easily left their snowy problems on the doorstep of her West Village theater. It may have been because of the hot, mulled cider that was passed around. But it was more likely the heat from Lainey Keogh’s technicolor cashmeres burning brightly from a corner stall.
“I love every color,” Keogh said. “In the wearing of color, you are illuminated. It has a tremendous effect on the psyche.”
Certainly, Keogh had no shortage of fans — Diane herself was sporting a brown fringed vest. Nan Kempner had her eye on a pink wooly hat and an ivory cardigan. “But they’re so expensive!” she complained of the cashmere lovelies that ranged from $300 for a hat to $2,000 for a sweater. “Who cares?” countered Von Furstenberg, the consummate saleswoman. “You’ll have it forever.” As Kempner moved on, eager to explore, she exclaimed “I’m crazy about everything. Those lamps! These bags!”
Around the room, the game of the evening was Six Degrees of DVF. Tibetan artist Romio Srestha, whose intricate Buddhist paintings adorned the walls, introduced Keogh to Von Furstenberg. Srestha knows Von Furstenberg through either Madonna or Deepak Chopra, although neither can recall which one. “I call Diane my fairy godmother in the concrete jungle,” Srestha declared. A member of Von Furstenberg’s staff introduced her to Konstantino Hatzisarros’ photographs of exotic locales like India, Greece — and even Brooklyn, which could be termed “exotic” for this crowd. Sergio Duque, whose charming dog coats are cut from Dormeuil wools and faux Burberry plaids, works in the DVF studio, creating prints.
Of course, one of Von Furstenberg’s best friends, Christian Louboutin, hawked his shoes, made exclusively for the bazaar. Anne McNally admired a quirky pair of wedgies printed with images of sushi. “I’m trying to resist,” she said. A black fur Fendi hat kept McNally warm on her trek over. “I don’t want to take it off, but it sort of looks like a wig, no?”
Louboutin’s creative director Hugo Marchand also opted for black fur to battle the elements, in the form of mukluks bought that day from the Scandinavian Ski Shop. He and Louboutin are headed next to Moscow for a store opening. “I heard it’s zero degrees Fahrenheit there,” said Marchand, obviously relieved to be prepared.
At the end of the evening, the crowd seemed as interested in cocktails as in Christmas presents. Perhaps, they had already followed their hostess’ lead. “I’m already done with all of my shopping,” said Von Furstenberg with an air of satisfaction.