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On the Scene: Thirtysomething

To mark his 30th anniversary, Michael Kors hosted an intimate group of his friends and family at the city’s iconic Bemelmans Bar.

Debra Messing and Michael Kors
Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 03/21/2011

One of the New York season’s most charming moments wasn’t on the runway, but over Champagne and hors d’oeuvres at The Carlyle. To mark his 30th anniversary, Michael Kors hosted an intimate group of his friends and family at the city’s iconic Bemelmans Bar. Emma Roberts, Debra Messing and Angie Harmon came to toast the designer; Joan Kors was perched on a banquette and beaming with pride over her son’s milestone, and Judy Collins sang “Over the Rainbow” with Anjelica Huston as Patti Hansen chimed in. Later in the evening, Kors presented Rene Russo with a birthday cake, and the entire room erupted into “Happy Birthday.”

The celebration made Kors quite emotional: “Last night I cried at my fitting,” the designer said at the shindig. “I cried with Carmen Kass, of all people. Trust me, she’s not a crier. And then Bette Midler sang ‘Happy Anniversary’ backstage before we started [the show]. I cried again. And then tonight Judy Collins sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ and I cried again.…I got a little welled.”

The party continued during Paris Fashion Week, as Kors planted his largest signature store in the world on the Rue Saint-Honoré. The bright, 7,000-square-foot unit melds historic French architecture with the New Yorker’s modern luxe aesthetic­—think a Louis XV-style armchair coated in silver rubber, next to a real zebra skin rug or a lamp with a rock crystal base. “In Paris, you’ve got incredible architecture and grandeur with a very modern edge, and there’s really no other city in the world where you can do that,” Kors noted. The designer worked a similar contrast at his 30th anniversary bash at the residence of Charles Rivkin, U.S. Ambassador to France. The glamorous likes of Zoe Saldana, Amber Heard and Elisa Sednaoui first roamed the gilded splendor of the 19th-century mansion sipping Champagne before traversing a tunnel to a clear, high-tech tent erected in the garden. There, they feasted—shrimp cocktail, steak, chocolate cake—burning up the calories by dancing between tables when Mary J. Blige, poured into a sequined Kors catsuit, took the stage with a hip-grinding rendition of “Stairway to Heaven.”