Thursday evening outside the Plaza Hotel, two gentlemen were leaning against their black town cars after dropping off their clients.
“What’s going on?” said one man to his acquaintance.
“The Bergdorf Goodman anniversary,” replied the other.
“Another one?” said the first fellow, incredulously.
Yes, even drivers on the social circuit are now aware that Bergdorf Goodman is celebrating its 111th anniversary, a party bandwagon that kicked off during New York Fashion Week and ostensibly reached its apex Thursday night with a blowout gala at the Plaza Hotel (October 18th was actually declared “Bergdorf Goodman Day” by Mayor Michael Bloomberg). And it was quite the climax. The invitation called for guests to adhere to an “extraordinary” dress code for supper and dancing, and boy did they follow orders as they filed into a cocktails room decked out with leather Chesterfield sofas and metallic ottomans. There was Coco Rocha in a grand, cranberry Zac Posen ball gown. Across the room, Michelle Harper was having a Marie Antoinette moment in a sky-high white blond wig and there were more ice blue Cinderella gowns than in a Disney movie marathon.
Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo went more sedate—relatively speaking—wearing a long, lean Akris gown whose print was the façade of the storied department store.
“This was one of those weird times where without a shadow of a doubt, I knew what I was going to wear to the Bergdorf building. I mean, come on?” she said with a laugh. “I’m the kind of person who likes a theme.”
The latter was rather unmistakable. The hotel’s Palm Court had been transformed into a dreamscape with lavender cotton clouds floating next to the building’s chandeliers. Purple bouquets dotted every possible surface. A tableau of the department store served as a backdrop for a fashion version of a photo booth. And desserts included lilac petits fours and lavender cotton candy.
Singer Sasha Lazard led the designers in attendance (their ranks included Roberto Cavalli and Peter Dundas, who presumably flew in for the occasion) in a round of “Happy Birthday” and 80s cover band Rubix Kube, more accustomed to playing at the Canal Room, led a veritable mosh pit of dancing models like Hanne Gaby Odiele and Alana Zimmer with rousing renditions of Madonna’s “Material Girl” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
This being a fashion party, it was hard not to wonder what the next year might bring.
“I don’t think we’re going to be pulling out the big stops again next year,” said Fargo. “We’ll probably be putting our money towards plastic surgery on the house.” Even a great looking 111 year-old can use a tune up.
Click here to see more photos from the party.
Photos: Sherly Rabbani & Josephine Solimene