Lisa Perry, a firecracker of a woman dressed in sky-high Manolos and one of her latest creations—a white sequined mini-dress emblazoned with Jeff Koons’ Pink Panther on the back—was flitting about her new Madison Avenue flagship store, hugging, air kissing and posing for photo after photo. The well-wishers were all there to celebrate the new boutique as well as Perry’s latest artist collaboration with Jeff Koons—whom Perry and her husband, hedge-funder Richard Perry have been friends with and collecting extensively for almost ten years.
The only guests to rival Perry’s infectious energy were the troupe of kids running about the white lacquered jewel box of a store. They weren’t the usual opening soiree attendees, but these weren’t just any kids, they were Koons’s sizeable brood, fueled by the brightly colored candy (which coordinated with Perry’s pop-colored dresses). During one photo op, Koons’s youngest daughter ran to her dad’s feet between flashes and was soon joined by her four brothers.
Koons’s wife, Justine Koons, was also in attendance, quite pregnant and wearing one of Perry’s mod black dresses and white leather jackets. Her husband’s silver Rabbit was emblazoned on the reverse.
“She looks incredible, right?” said Perry. “We get so many women throughout their pregnancy that come in and say ‘Thank you so much.’ Because the dresses can go through an entire pregnancy and they can wear them after too.”
And indeed, one attendee stopped by to inform Perry that not only had she just picked up one of the limited-edition Koons dresses (a portion of the proceeds of the night’s sales went to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), but she was going to have a baby girl in August. “I can’t wait until she’s big enough to wear one of those dresses!” she said, gesturing towards the rack of pint-sized Lisa Perry frocks.
As the opening drew to a close, a select group hopped in cars to head to a more grown-up fete at the Perrys’ apartment. And while the palatial penthouse used to belong to heiress C.Z. Guest—Richard Perry showed the cover of an old Life magazine featuring a group of debutantes, including the to-be Jacqueline Kennedy, in front of the once ornate paneled walls and fireplace—the space is now unrecognizable. It’s a sleek wonderland of white walls and modern art, including Koons’s Green Diamond on their expansive terrace.
The giant piece also found its way not only onto the invitations for the event, but also onto bags at Perry’s store, and was translated into a mini, wearable version by Perry’s husband as a gift. “It’s always been one of my favorite works because I’ve always thought as the diamond as being kind of a symbol of human history,” said Koons. “And its right at that moment of creation when all life’s energy is unfolding. The front is showing all of the facets of life and if you go to the farthest point in the back, that’s the beginning of all human history. The posts are kind of like male energy.”
After a raucous house tour led by Lisa—featuring a look at her meticulously color-coded closet and a shadowbox of her former Playboy Club tail and ears—the group, which included Tory Burch, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Yvonne Force Villereal, and our very own Stefano Tonchi settled down to an intimate dinner. Though, it should be said: the mini balloon animals acting as centerpieces were not original Koons creations.
Photos: Billy Farrell Agency