It’s no secret that fashion loves a party. But in such an immense whirl of dinners, cocktails, and a seemingly unending docket of social goings-on, it’s easy to lose track of what brings fashion folk together in the first place: the product itself. The aim of any fashion party should be to celebrate a brand, so that the brand’s merchandise feels like a suggestion and not a demand. So that by the time yours guests leave—no doubt a carefully curated mix of editors, influencers, famous-on-Instagrammers—the first thing they’ll is, What a fabulous party. The second thing they’ll do is tell their friends.
Consider Sylvie Millstein, founder and designer of Hellessy. Millstein herself is impossibly chic. Hailing from Versailles, she worked for a decade on the business side of Givenchy under Alexander McQueen, then moved on to Harrod’s, then became Chanel’s chief marketer in Tokyo. Now, after nearly four years of running her own brand, she occupies a floor-through Soho loft, replete with an impressive art collection and more light-filled windows than any other Manhattan dweller is used to seeing in one place. So when the dinner invite celebrating Hellessy’s new Resort collection came through, I knew this was one RSVP not to be missed.
Dinner did not disappoint. Guests mingled in the living room over tequila-watermelon cocktails, talked about summer plans, and, oh yes, over in the corner was a rack of the new Resort collection should you be so inclined. “I really love Sylvie, and the clothes are incredible,” said jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher. She was wearing Hellessy, as were Zoya Loeb, Zani Gugelmann, and a slew of models. Dinner was served not around a table with strict place cards, but rather, passed around as guests lounged in various corners of the apartment. “It’s so comfortable, pajamas like this,” said model Ping Hue, referring to her outfit.
“I wanted to have everyone over, it’s so much better this way,” Millstein told us. Seeing so many deeply stylish women in one place, enjoying a cocktail while reclining in Millstein’s apartment, all while wearing Hellessy’s languid designs, was decadent—and it was a fashion dinner not soon to be forgotten.
On the same night a bit uptown, Tome threw a party for its own Resort collection at the FLAG Art Foundation, where artist Patricia Cronin’s installation “Shrine for Girls” was on display aside Tome’s new lineup. “We saw this ‘Shrine’ at the Venice Biennale last year and it inspired the collection,” Tome co-founder Ryan Lobo said. So it was a particularly relevant and sincere moment to display the clothes in conjunction with the work back home in New York.
Also this week was a Ralph Lauren Collection fragrance launch that drew mostly industry insiders, as well as a dinner for Lingua Franca, a line of repurposed cashmere sweaters embroidered with hip-hop lyrics from Guest of a Guest founder Rachelle Hruska Macpherson.
So many dinners, so little time… when Thursday came around, it felt more than a little alright to let our hair down, dance with downtown’s cool kids, and take in a performance by Børns at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar Sessions. No product pushing there—just friends, drinks, music, and good old-fashioned fun.