Fashion people love themselves a cult following: Balmainania, Isabel Marant, and on. Saturday night, two very different cult leaders, Carine Roitfeld and Alexander Wang, threw competing bashes, held conveniently a block away from each other so worshippers could hit up both temples with ease.
At Westway, the former strip club turned mirrored fashion lounge, Barneys New York feted Roitfeld and her work on their fall catalogue with a champagne and vodka-fueled singing spectacle. Alberta Ferretti came straight off landing in New York that night and Bruce Weber fondly recalled one of his favorite Carine moments.
“I was working on a job with her and I met a wonderful guy who dresses like a woman at Patricia Field’s and I said, ‘I want to use this guy in the women’s clothes.’ And I said ‘Do you want to see a picture?’” said Weber. “And she said ‘No, I trust you.’”
Even Wang stopped by, around the start time of his own event.
“It’s Carine, so I had to come say hello,” he said, sporting a hooded sweatshirt. “Don’t worry, I’ll give a shout out when it’s time to head over to mine.”
Surrounded by family, kids Julia and Vladimir, the woman of the hour was just itching to watch some fashion people let loose.
“I love this place—it’s like in the film ‘Cabaret,’” said Roitfeld. “I think in New York we have a lot of incredible people and maybe sometimes in Paris they’re more shy. I hope tonight people are gong to sing and have a lot of fun.”
And sing they did, with help from a karaoke machine projecting lyrics on the inner room’s back wall. Host Andy, wearing a silver glitter-covered top hat, got up on the mirrored runway to reminisce about his first time meeting Carine—“It was a night not unlike tonight. It was when this was an actual strip club. I saw a girl, I looked into her eyes, she looked into my eyes, I never wanted to dance after that night I met Carine”—before launching into a rendition of “Never Gonna Dance Again,” with Roitfeld joining him onstage for the end.
He was soon followed by Simon Doonan singing “Nasty Girl” as Anna Dello Russo looked on, playing a tambourine. Julia Restoin Roitfeld did a shot of vodka with her mother, liquid courage for her own turn.
“You’re next?” queried a PR person.
“But I’m getting ready,” she replied.
She needn’t have worried: her “Joe le taxi” did Vanessa Paradis proud, as did Elizabeth von Thurn und Taxis singing “The Locomotion,” after a trio by Margherita Missoni, Coco Brandolini and Tatiana Santo Domingo. Karolina Kurkova contributed Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.”
But the real surprise of the evening was Valentino, whose arrival prompted much neck-craning. He was soon singing “My Way.” Carine brought down the house with “You’re So Vain,” Giovanna Battaglia and Dello Russo gave it their all with “Like a Prayer” and Valentino went for round two with “Unforgettable.”
The scene was a bit different over at Pier 40, where Wang transformed the dock into a (very fashionable) Frat House—something most guests probably didn’t spend a ton of time in during their own college days. The entrance to the party was a white slatted house front, complete with a picket fence and faux Greek insignia. Inside, a wallpapered area acted like a common room.
There were kegs, a beer pong table, a bathtub filled with ice to cool off drinks and more glow sticks than a 1990s bar mitzvah. Bartenders, wearing rugby shirts and tees proclaiming their alma mater (real or otherwise—USC and Southern Colorado State College were among the pickings) served up organic vodka to those less inclined towards keg beer—hey, authenticity can only be taken so far. Models like Arizona Muse, Britt Maren, Julia Stegner and Jac sipped their drinks and danced under a black light while fellow catwalker Hanne Gabe Odiele devoured a burger from a food table procuring hot dogs and their like.
Rumors abounded that Justin Bieber would be performing, but the group that took the stage, LA-based hip hop collective Odd Future, was a less familiar sighting, a fact they picked up on pretty quickly.
“This is really awkward: most of you motherfuckers don’t know who we are,” shouted the lead singer, who didn’t look particularly awkward or bothered by this fact. “But we’re going to fuck shit up.”
He made good on his promise, rapping multiple songs, sending a blow up doll with a glow stick penis surfing through the crowd and dousing those near the stage with drinks.
“I had fun,” he said, as his set came to a close.
Photos: Billy Farrell Agency