The French have long held the reputation as the reigning arbiters of romance, but the Valentine’s Day fete at Le Baron on Tuesday night had a decidedly more physical fixation.
The party was a four-way collaboration between Colette, Araks, the Ace Hotel and Richardson magazine, known for its high-concept (arguably pornographic) content.
“We’re a sex magazine: We recontextualize sex, we analyze it,” Andrew Richardson said. “We’re not porn.”
A graffiti-esque drawing of bare breasts emblazoned every mirrored surface in the space. In the basement level of the Chinatown club, red lighting prevailed, casting a seedy glow over DJs Andrew Andrew, who leaned against each other in a corner. Further venturing upstairs found Annabelle Dexter-Jones and André Saraiva mugging playfully for photographers (“We are in love,” said Saraiva. “Of course it’s a good Valentine’s Day.”) near Johan Lindeberg and Filipa Berg, Carlos Quirarte and Magnus Berger. A thin layer of mist shrouded proceedings on the upper levels of the club, though a hapless Le Baron employee was employed to collect all lit cigarettes in an empty beer bottle he carried in hand. Olympia and Cleo Le-Tan manned the DJ booths, playing a selection of girl group doo-wop songs. It sounded a little like a Phil Spector playlist.
Perusal of the mezzanine level found Ramdane Touhami and Victoire de Taillac sitting with famed interior decorator Muriel Brandolini and Jean-Philippe Delhomme. “Jean-Philippe is probably the most famous illustrator in the world,” Touhami explained, as Delhomme smiled.
Did he have anything to do with the breasts everywhere? “I did not,” Delhomme shrugged. “Maybe I should have?”
Touhami plans to relocate his family to London in a few months.
“Everyone focuses too much on work, here in New York. There’s no real eccentrics left. It’s boring,” said the bon vivant.
Araks Yeramyan, whose line of lingerie and ready-to-wear (her underpinnings were made famous by Scarlett Johansson’s backside in the opening credits to “Lost in Translation”) sponsored the evening, surveyed the party from the rail that encircles the mezzanine. A little after midnight, a burlesque dancer appeared on a makeshift stage on the main floor. Terry Richardson and Jared Leto arrived, the latter wearing what looked like a muskrat-fur shrug over a denim jacket. The duo headed directly for Andrew Richardson, who wore a tuxedo and a baseball hat.
“It’s a sex party,” Olivier Zahm said of the gleeful crowds and the shimmying performer, who had begun spanking herself, as he brandished his camera and headed her way.