Where the Opening Ceremony crew goes, the cool squad tends to follow, so a stream of black leather, plaid and fur-covered kids headed to the not terribly fashionable Flatiron area Saturday night for a family supper to celebrate the new Opening Ceremony boutique in the Ace Hotel. The evening kicked off with a tour of the digs, which sell everything from British Walker potato chips and Haribo gummy candies to Japanese toothpaste and Criterion DVDs, and of course a selection of threads from brands like Alexander Wang and the store’s in house label.
This story first appeared in the February 15, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We’ve always thought of opening something above 14th Street and this is actually closer to our original Opening Ceremony concept when Carol [Lim] and I first started talking about it: we wanted to go to different countries and bring back knick knacks that were special to that country. So this is kind of like our prequel,” said co-owner Humberto Leon. And the fact that he was launching it on Chinese New Year’s Eve hadn’t escaped him—or his mother. “She said this is probably the most good luck Chinese dinner you could ever have, opening your store on the day before Chinese New Year. Normally she does the cooking, but we gave her the night off,” said Leon.
Friends of Lim and Leon like Ryan McGinley, Chloë Sevigny and Jason Schwartzman caught up during cocktails, goofing around with the sunglasses on display and admiring a projection of a video Gia Coppola and Tracy Antonopoulos made, starring Schwartzman and Kirsten Dunst.
“When I started dating [my now wife] Brady Cunningham was just when I found out about Opening Ceremony and so in my mind they’re very deeply connected,” explained Schwartzman. “Humberto became one of my best friends and his friendship means the world to me and obviously I’m married so two great things happened.”
Dunst also prefers to mix fashion with friendship. She’s known Leon for years and earlier in the day she’d been to pal Patrik Ervell’s collection.
“I hate going to fashion shows. You have to get your hair and makeup done and, like, sometimes wear an outfit that maybe I’m not that stoked on because it’s by the designer and that’s so not my style to begin with,” said Dunst, who’s headed to Montreal next week to start shooting the sci-fi-indie-romance “Upside Down” with Jim Sturgess (“the most expensive independent movie I’ve ever made”). “They can be fun and beautiful and creative like Patrik’s was today. And if it’s a friend, you want to support them and it’s a whole different vibe but really, it’s like oh, I gotta get my picture taken?”
She was well-hidden at the dinner that followed at The Breslin, where she shared a corner table with Schwartzman and his wife as Terry Richardson, Josh Hartnett, Michael Stipe and Diana Picasso dug into a buffet of fried chicken, suckling pig, mashed potatoes and warm biscuits, overseen by the restaurant’s owner and chef April Bloomfield. Was this the most she’d ever seen a fashion crowd eat?
“I’m not going to answer that question,” she said. We’ll take that as a “Yes.”
Afterwards, the crowd headed downstairs to the hotel’s basement club for a live performance by The Dirty Projectors and DJ Solange Knowles. Dunst and McGinley danced up a storm right outside the VIP area, while Terence Koh, in a self-described “Where the Wild Things Are” monster suit, moved closer to the stage.
Alexander Wang, who decided not to have his usual Saturday night blow-out bash this season, was also making the rounds.
“Humberto and Carol are good friends, so this is basically the same crowd I would have had. And it’s nice to have the pressure off,” he said, adding with a grin, “We’re planning something big for September.”