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Round About Midnight
As if back-to-back fashion shows aren’t enough to keep editors, buyers and socials busy next week, the myriad of designer dinners and celeb-heavy after parties should add to the nonstop frenzy. On Sunday, Diane von Furstenberg hosts a postshow fete at her downtown studio, while Helena Christensen is having cocktails for designer Camilla Staerk at The Double Seven. Monday night is reserved for the Marc Jacobs after party, of course, and Tuesday Donatella Versace arrives in town for a soiree at her store and a private dinner afterward, which Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are expected to attend. Downtown, Rachel Weisz, her fiancé, Darren Aronofsky, and Barneys New York’s Howard Socol hold a dinner at Del Posto for Narciso Rodriguez, while a surprise birthday party for one of fashion royalty’s offspring will be held around the corner at The Double Seven. Just as everyone’s energy starts to flag, Wednesday night offers ample reason for a second wind: The Marchesa girls, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, throw a cocktail party after their presentation at the Rainbow Room, and Peter Som and Amanda Hearst host a dinner for the debut of his interiors for 485 Fifth Avenue residences. Thursday, Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein holds a dinner at Morimoto and Zac Posen takes it uptown with his own postshow dinner at Christie’s. The week caps off Friday with a fete for the visiting Karl Lagerfeld by pal Ingrid Sischy at Bette … and they all fall down.
Anamaria Wilson

Animal House
Though most of the fashion crowd would beg to differ, sometimes bigger really is better. Case in point: the relocated and expanded Pink Elephant nightspot, set to open officially on March 1, with a slew of private previews in mid-February. After a year in the Meatpacking District, the club’s owners — David Sarner, Rocco Ancarola, David Cabo, David Graziano, Shawn Kolodony and Robert Montwaid — realized their small, speakeasy-inspired venue was too small to accommodate their hip clientele. Partnering with Ken Smith and Cal Fortis of Crobar, they have moved to a new locale, on packed West 27th Street. More than twice the size of their old space, the new Pink Elephant sports an open-plan room and floating bar that allows partiers prime people-watching. A 60-foot-long tunnel, bedecked with crystal chandeliers, serves as an entrance to the flora-heavy interior, complete with tufted banquettes, ivy and hedges. And a technologically advanced sound and lighting system and multilevel ceiling allow them to create separate environments within one space: quieter (by club standards) conversation sound levels for those looking to chat, and wilder dance grooves for getting down. “It still has a really intimate feel to it — that’s what we tried to create,” explains Sarner. “Kind of [an] ultraluxurious, ultra VIP lounge. That was kind of our whole concept before: a VIP club without the rest of the club.”
Vanessa Lawrence

This story first appeared in the February 4, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Monster Sushi
Can an out-of-town restaurateur capture that elusive mixture that’s the recipe for success in Manhattan? Philadelphia’s Stephen Starr is about to find out, having spent a reported $40 million on his two megarestaurants, Morimoto and Buddakan, both of which are in New York’s newest restaurant mecca of West Chelsea. And he’s not off to a bad start: Harvey Weinstein, Damon Dash, Rachel Roy and Karolina Kurkova already have dined at the Iron Chef-helmed Morimoto.

Certainly, no one can accuse Starr of tiptoeing around: He has assembled a “dream team” of designers to prepare a visual feast. “I felt like I needed to raise the bar in terms of the design and style beyond anything I’ve seen in New York. The only thing I’ve seen in recent times that’s impressed me has been Hakkasan in London,” says Starr, who hired the designer of that eatery, Christian Liagre, and Fabian Baron, to work on Buddakan’s 16,000 square feet. Echoing the Asian-fusion menu, Liagre blended the grandiosity of Versailles and the Far East in elaborate wood panels and murals featuring dragons. Starr also convinced architecture darling Tadao Ando to design his first restaurant (“He felt my energy,” Starr explains). The result is a clean space with white ceilings inspired by the raked sand in Zen gardens, panels of frosted glass and a wall made entirely from water bottles. The staff in both spots is being outfitted by Zero’s Maria Cornejo, who was recruited after Yohji Yamamoto passed on the project. She soon discovered there are different parameters from her regular clientele: “Normally, we make clothes basically in size 2 to 8 — that’s considered a range­ — but restaurant workers come in all different sizes,” she laughs. Her designs vary for both venues — more minimal for Morimoto and more playful for Buddakan.
Elisa Lipsky-Karasz

Material World
Should the relentless march of fashion shows going on under the Bryant Park tents prove fatiguing, there are shows of another kind — art — to provide peace for tired eyes. Andrea Zittel, who is enjoying a midcareer retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, has installed her customized mobile living units, tabbed “A-Z Wagon Wheels,” at the Whitney’s Park Avenue Altria space. The artist, who stripped down her own life with a move from Brooklyn to the deserts of Joshua Tree, Calif., has experimented with more minimal ways of living for the last decade. The results are on display from Thursday to June 18.

At the Richard Meier-designed 165 Perry Street building, curator Blair Voltz Clarke is mounting an exhibit of photographs by Nevil Dwek, “Close-Ups,” running Thursday to March 13. For this show, the first from the fashion photographer and former music video director, Dwek blended multiple shots into single mind-bending images which viewers can contemplate along with the views of the Hudson River from the building.

If it’s threads you are obsessed with, there’s Angelo Filomeno’s delicate work on display at Marianne Boesky Gallery. The native Italian, who began sewing with a tailor at age seven, translated the process for his own work: he “paints” on silk shantung with a sewing machine, then embroiders the fabric with elaborate images in gems and crystals. Don’t be fooled by the prettiness, there’s substance in this cloth — Filomeno looks to Carl Jung for inspiration.

Tune In
Designers guard the music they play almost as secretly as the clothes they send down the runway. They also make their selections at the very last minute, like everything else in fashion. Thankfully, two DJs do most of the big shows. Here’s what they’re currently listening to, and don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of almost all of it …

Frederic Sanchez
Shows: Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc, Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein
Current playlist:
Mozart: “Don Giovanni”
The Gossip: “Standing in the Way of Control”
Munk: “Disco Clown”
Kate Wax: “Reflections of the Dark Heat”
Infadels: “We Are Not the Infidels”

Javier Peral

Shows: Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Wunderkind, Kenneth Cole, Luca Luca
Current playlist:
Tiga: “Sexor”
L. Pierre & Notes: “I Hate T-Shirts That Say 1977”
Electronicat: “Voodoo Man”
Margo: “Furtive Furies”
The Gossip: “Standing in The Way of Control”

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