“All those billionaires outbid me,” said Mariah Carey. Chanel's fete in Central Park; a sparkling YSL retrospective.
Unemployment is up, the stock market is down, and bad news is everywhere, but this fall the fashion world was determined to spread some cheer. So all around town it was party till you drop. Arguably the biggest fete was for the New York stopover of Chanel’s Mobile Art exhibition in late October. Designed by Zaha Hadid and suggesting some kind of UFO from Planet Chanel, the portable pavilion touched down in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield and drew oohs and aahs from Kate Bosworth, Eve, Daphne Guinness and Sarah Jessica Parker.
As guests huddled under heat lamps, waiters served short ribs and foie gras tortelli before everyone packed into an enclosed lounge to see a concert by electronica favorite Hercules and Love Affair. Karl Lagerfeld arrived just in time for the show but barely made it inside, thanks to the extraordinary number of fans mobbing him for photographs. Meanwhile, a meek Parker stood off to the side. “We’ll wait in line to see Karl,” she said calmly to a nervous PR person trying to push her through.
The night before, Patrick Dempsey, Christina Ricci, Rose Byrne and Leonard Lauder hit the Whitney Gala, which this year was injected with some va-va-voom glamour courtesy of cochair Donatella Versace. The top-floor gallery of the museum was done up like a nightclub, Sting did a mini show, and a jewelry auction was so heated that even Mariah Carey left empty-handed. “All those billionaires outbid me,” she said with a laugh.
Other events included an It girl–packed Barneys New York shindig downtown for Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (who were celebrating the team’s foray into handbags) and a big party in San Francisco to open the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the de Young Museum. The late designer’s friends were out in force, from Deeda Blair and Lynn Wyatt to Betty Catroux and Pierre Bergé. “I’m just a man who met a genius 40 years ago,” Bergé said humbly, as guests eyed dresses dating back to 1961.