Such was the scene that greeted guests to W Magazine's party Monday night (coincidentally held directly after the Marc Jacobs show) to celebrate its inaugural Generation W October issue, which highlights an international coterie of style setters and art world stars. The cause was not an actual conflagration, but smoke from a fog machine in a room of the landmark 19th century townhouse that served as the fete's site.
"I guess that's one way to have a house-warming!" quipped a guest as she ascended the stairs.
From left: Jenna Courtin-Clarins, Lulu Buti, Claire Courtin-Clarins, Maria Cecilia Campos, and Elizabeth Gilpin
The culprit could just as easily have been the crowd, comprised as it was of the industry's hottest models, designers and social personalities. Crowded into the decadent, Eyes Wide Shut- worthy two stories, covered in rich, claret brocade wallpaper, were Andres Balazs, Hannah Bronfman, the Courtin-Clarins sisters, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Alberta Ferretti, Anna Dello Russo and China Chow. One room held a display of Jaeger-LeCoultre watches (the brand helped sponsor the evening). A central bar was packed to capacity just steps from a champagne bar. But the piece de resistance was a dining room whose main table held a dessert tableau that would have made Marie Antoinette envious: bowls of pears and grapes; trays of pink foil-wrapped cupcakes and whoopee pies, and cakes and tarts of every possible variety from coconut to meringue, all lit by glowing candelabras.
The dessert table
Model Doutzen Kroes eyed the table, pointing at various delicacies without going in for the kill; a few moments later another flaxen mannequin nibbled at a piece of carrot cake, before hastily casting it aside like it might be contagious.
Near the stairwell, Elisabeth Moss, sporting her newly cropped blonde 'do, caused a bottleneck, while downstairs, Cara Delevingne flitted in and out of the bar between smoke breaks, still sporting her runway sixties-style hair and makeup. In place of pounding music, gentle piano strains tinkled through the rooms, a relief from the normal bone-rattling fashion week soundtrack.
Taking it all in was British fashion illustrator Blue Logan who was sketching away in the watch room, clearly impressed with the crowd.
"It looks like the real deal, doesn't it?" he said adding that one of his preferred qualities in a party atmosphere is "Bitchiness. I don't like it myself, but it's fun to draw if you can capture a little bit of nastiness, venom."
Based on the dessert selection alone, he was pretty much out of luck.
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Photos: Billy Farrell Agency and Craig Arend