New York Fashion Week’s snowy kick-off Thursday thwarted travel plans for actress Nicole Kidman, who was scheduled to host a dinner for Etihad Airlines celebrating the launch of Runway to Runway, a rewards program catering specifically to the fashion community.
But the affair went on despite Kidman’s absence as other guests navigated slick sidewalks outside Skylight Clarkson Square.
“My plane was delayed, like, two hours,” explained Hailey Baldwin, who hopes to walk in several shows throughout the week. “A friend was flying private, but the timing didn’t work, so I flew commercial.”
In an effort to remain runway-ready, the 20-year-old model opted for a veggie-only offering at the 40-person seated dinner held at one of the stages within NYFW’s downtown outpost.
Never one to shy away from showing skin, Emily Ratajkowski offered up an eyeful in a daring black gown as she chatted with fellow models Harley Viera-Newton and Jessica Hart across the wine-colored tablescape. Others on hand to celebrate included Moda Operandi co-founder Lauren Santo Domingo along with designers Tabitha Simmons and Prabal Gurung, who forced himself to take a break from prepping for his Sunday evening show.
“It’s so busy right now, but I had to slip away,” Gurung declared.
As the evening drew to a close, photogenic Etihad flight attendants — not models — delivered cognac in cut crystal decanters as guests watched a spirited performance by violinist Damien Escobar who covered pop hits including “P.Y.T.” by Michael Jackson.
Those able to brave the icy conditions received a special over-the-top surprise from the Middle Eastern carrier: complementary round-trip business class tickets direct to Abu Dhabi — weather permitting.