Queen Latifah sang “I Love Being Here With You,” Rufus Wainwright belted out “Chicago,” Spencer Ludwig played the trumpet and Matthew Morrison performed “Over the Rainbow.”
It wasn’t a very versatile cabaret, it was Tuesday night’s opening of Red’s lounge, an invention of Target and IMG. The invitation-only event was held at the piano lounge erected at The Park at Moynihan Station. It opened to the public on Thursday and will operate during fashion week, live-streaming runway shows, offering interactive entertainment and amenities such as refreshments and charging stations.
For a temporary installation, Red’s looks pretty authentic, with framed caricatures of fashion notables such as Iris Apfel, Carolina Herrera and Derek Lam. Small lights radiated from a bull’s-eye on the ceiling of the performance space and the curtain was red tinsel. A grand piano was on a circular pedestal, bathed in red and fuchsia light.
From 4 to 6 p.m. daily, New York variety and piano bar performer Billy Stritch will host a sing-a-long happy hour at Red’s.
At Tuesday’s event, musical director Paul Shaffer serenaded Christie Brinkley, who was dressed in a slinky red number, with “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Uptown Girl.” The model contingent included Hilary Rhoda, Chanel Iman and Nina Agdal. Joan Smalls, who appears in Target’s new fall ad campaign exercised her vocal chords with Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski at the party.
The mash-up of music, celebrities and fashion folk, along with audience participation, made for a lighthearted event, which was just the point. Target said it wanted to take some of the edge off fashion week, which can be stressful and serious. Guests later said that the venue was surprisingly intimate.
“It was really relaxed and a lot of fun,” said Mark Tritton, Target executive ice president and chief merchandising officer, who showed up with chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell. “Having the performers close up to us was an amazing vibe.”