A lively week on the New York party circuit kicked off Monday night with the New York Academy of Art’s Tribeca Ball, an annual favorite of the fashion-meets-art crowd. Famous for selling out every year before invitations even get mailed (how does that even happen?), the party starts with a cocktail hour spread out over the Academy’s six-story building, where patrons are invited into the students’ studios for a glimpse at their work. This year’s nautical theme featured campy mermaids and mermen walking around on stilts through cocktail space, decked out in lamé, pink headdresses, and dripping in Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry. The party raised over $850,000 for the school—not bad for a Monday night.
As the week continued, fashion’s most dedicated partygoers were feeling pretty anxious for Thursday night, when there were literally a dozen or so events scheduled for the same night.
First up, the #menswear tribe came together at the Raleigh Denim store on Elizabeth Street for a quick, fun cocktail party in honor of the brand’s collaboration with Haspel, the heritage seersucker suit brand. Louisiana native Laurie Haspel Aronson, whose family has owned Haspel for over 100 years, flew into town for the occasion. “In Louisiana, we get about one week of spring before the summer heat comes, and this is that week back home right now!” she told us when we joked about New York’s unseasonably cold weather. “But I’m happy to be here. Although maybe I should have brought my fur coat with me.” We found her infectious Southern charm irresistible—and the Haspel/Raleigh garment-dyed seersucker jeans even more so.
Way uptown at the Mandarin Oriental, do-gooders gathered for New Yorkers for Children’s annual Fool’s Fête. A NYFC party isn’t necessarily the most exciting party in town, but can be reliably counted on for compelling examples of formal dressing, especially with an underwriter like Chloé. Models Crystal Renn, Selita Ebanks, and Mirte Maas each looked particularly ravishing.
Down on Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor threw a party with Olivia Culpo to toast Birdcage, a new concept shop featuring artisanal products, emerging designers, and other NYC-based creative types. “Birdcage is all about discovery,” said Lord & Taylor fashion director Stephanie Solomon. “We want to surprise and delight our shopper with unique, artisanal finds with the convenience of shopping at a department store.” Birdcage will debut at 10 other Lord & Taylor locations across the country, and this is one concept that is sure to resonate with a younger customer.
Further downtown, Jennifer Fisher threw an intimate dinner to fete her 10th anniversary in business. “I wanted to invite everyone, but obviously couldn’t because of space limitations,” she said. “So tonight just had to be about the people in the industry who have helped me out.” Sometimes keeping the guest list tight is a good thing. One especially interesting guest I met was Net-a-Porter stylist Tracy Taylor, a big fan of Fisher’s jewelry. “Whenever I use a piece by Jen, it really just makes the whole shot,” she said.
Other stops Thursday night included the annual DVF Awards, a party with GQ launching the new Mr. Burberry fragrance, and the launch of Armarium, an app that is essentially a highbrow version of Rent The Runway.
But regardless of who went where Thursday night, the moral of the story is this: Although there might be another party that conflicts with yours, don’t stress. You don’t want everyone at your party anyways. The people who matter the most to your brand will be there.