Thanks to Eloise, many a girl has grown up with the fantasy of living in a hotel—or at the very least, running amok in one for a night. Well, apparently it isn’t only gals who can be stricken with an Eloise complex. Thursday night, Aby Rosen, an unlikely Kay Thompson groupie, took over the newly renovated Paramount Hotel’s lobby to celebrate his birthday with a bash hosted by Lyor Cohen, Bob Colacello, Diego Marroquin, Alberto Mugrabi, Stavros Niarchos and Vito Schnabel. Yes, that’s right, he didn’t rent the penthouse or the ballroom or anything pedestrian like that. He took over the lobby. And the mezzanine. And probably the hotel restaurant’s kitchen, too.
To be fair, he certainly put every inch of the space to good use. In one corner was a mini-wall of real flowers in front of which guests could pose for photos. Bookending the second floor booth, where DJ Nick Cohen manned the turntables, were two dancers performing some kind of meditative, interpretative routine. And in between two downstairs bars was a woman in a flowing white gown whose sole purpose was to fly through the air on a multi-story swing, like a lost Cirque du Soleil acolyte. Every so often, a man named Victor would sweep her into his arms and whisk her out of the room, presumably to rest, before carrying her back out for another round on the swing.
“I’m just trying to keep everyone safe,” he said, as he watched her sway.
“Everyone” was an appropriate word choice considering the boldface names that packed the lobby, lounging on oversized velvet ottomans and tufted sofas. There was Eva Chow chatting with Vera Wang. And Carlos de Souza posing for cameras with Nicky Hilton. And Bono being trailed by Guy Oseary, who acted as a bodyguard shooing away fans (even among the famous, there is a hierarchy, after all). And Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis in a red cap, not unlike what a bellboy would wear. And Olivier Theyskens who eyed the swing and said, “I want to try that,” but obviously didn’t.
Waiters passed out everything from smoked salmon with caviar to cotton candy and tequila shots, complete with a bowl of limes.
“I know how to drink tequila,” said one woman when a server tried to explain the process to her.
There was a popcorn machine, too—I mean, why not?—giving one corner of the lobby the enticing scent of a buttery movie theater.
“This IS like a movie,” shrugged Cynthia Rowley as she grabbed a box for herself and moments later confetti dropped from the ceiling to ring in Rosen’s birthday.
Well, if one were to think in cinematic terms, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby would have to come to mind. What was it Jordan said about large parties? “He gives large parties and I like large parties. They’re so intimate. Small parties, there isn’t any privacy.” The woman has a point.
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Photo: Billy Farrell Agency