Inside the Hottest Parties of New York Fashion Week
RealClearLife's Demi Vitkute checks out the fashion world's exclusive soirées.
After the show, there’s an after-party, and after the after-party, there’s an after after-party. Even Tiffany Trump’s publicist had to email Harper’s Bazaar to ask for an invitation to the magazine’s legendary Icons Party, which resulted in a fiasco after she emailed Harper’s magazine instead. If the first daughter needs an invitation, chances for us mortals to get into these exclusive parties are very slim—unless, you’re a professional finesser who can sweet-talk your way past impossibly hard doors.
Here are some of the best weekend extravaganzas that left us sleepless and dehydrated:
Friday, Sept. 8
The weekend kicked-off with the yearly Harper’s Bazaar Icons party at the Plaza hotel that drew countless celebrities and an overwhelming number of fans that packed the hotel entrances. Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner, Heidi Klum and Selena Gomez, who’s dating the Weeknd were there. The one person who was missing from the red carpet? Tiffany Trump.
The event was presented by Infor, Laura Mercier, Stella Artois, Fujifilm and Swarovski, celebrated Harper’s Bazaar’s Icons, a portfolio in the September issue curated by Carine Roitfeld. The feature explores the overlap between fashion and music and Dionne Warwick, Grimes, Travis Scott, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Courtney Love appeared in the pictures. The Weeknd was on the cover with models Irina Shayk and Adriana Lima.
The Weeknd was the special performer of the night and sang his hit songs including “Starboy,” “Party Monter,” “I Feel It Coming” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” The guests danced the night way while sipping on cocktails provided by Belvedere and Moët & Chandon.
Saturday, Sept. 9
Saturday was packed with competing parties that started at the same time at different locations. Patricia Field, the famous costume designer whose career has spanned more than five decades, and who is best known for dressing the actresses on the HBO series Sex and the City, hosted an after-party at Troy Liquor bar at 8 p.m.
Troy is a basement lounge that takes you back to the times when Meatpacking District was a meat market instead of a crazy champagne brunch. Dimmed lights, brick walls, and comfy couches provide the perfect hideout spot for celebrities to sip on their retro cocktails and hang out with their friends. There are five nooks in the lounge if you enjoy privacy and a pool or foosball tables if you feel like playing a game. Guests were taking pictures in front of a bold colored graffiti art wall by Col Wallnuts.
Patricia Field was impossible not to notice with her bright red hair and orange cat-eye glasses while chit-chatting with her eclectic friends at the table next to the DJ Ian Mellencamp, who is the nephew of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp and a successful model. Mellencamp’s friends Ringo Merea and Cullen Meyer stood out from the crowd with their peculiar outfits. “My aesthetic is mindf-ck,” said Meyer. Merea said his wife Mery Racauchi, fashion designer and founder of her own label Mery, was already at Hammerstein Ballroom, where Philipp Plein hosted “Good Gone Bad” after-party at 10 p.m. Many guests also left later to attend Plein’s extravaganza.
Getting into Plein’s party was hard even if you were on the list. A line on 34th Street stretched beyond 8th and 9th Avenues in both directions and about 4,000 people were held up at the door by a group of PR powerhouses telling the party crashers that no, they were not on the list. The grandiose 12,000-square-foot Hammerstein Ballroom filled with at least 1,000 people.
The party theme was “Good Gone Bad,” printed on tees above a tied, gagged, and busty Alice in Wonderland. Some models wore harness dresses over their “Good Gone Bad” shirts and sucked on daisy-shaped pacifiers.
Tiffany Trump attended this party and was seated at one of the round tables near the front of the ballroom. Paris Hilton was seen around the bar.
Dita Von Teese started the night with burlesque. She stripped down from her sequined dress and corset on stage until she was down to a g-string, nipple tassels and sparkling garters, and splashed around a giant martini glass the size of a small tub.
For a finale, Nicki Minaj, Future, and Yo Gotti performed. It was the first time Minaj performed “Rake it Up” with Yo Gotti.
At 1:30 a.m. people were still waiting outside to get in, but the party ended shortly after.
Some people who were frustrated with the enormous line to get into Plein’s party went to Sky Room on West 40th Street for the Fashion Week Kickoff & Afterparty. The line there was also long, packed with the usual weekend club-goers and promoters with groups of gorgeous women. The bouncer kept on shouting at frustrated people to stay in one line.
Susan Jina Lee, an award winning handbag designer, was lounging at Sky Room with her friend. She told me they waited in line to get into Plein’s party for an hour and 45 minutes until they decided to come to Sky Room. “I’m not a big fan of waiting,” her friend Ki Bin Kim said.
The after-party that competed with Plein’s was Alexander Wang’s WangFest in Bushwick that started at 9:30 p.m. During the show, the models stepped out from a party bus and walked down a blocked-off street. Kaia Gerber, the 16-year-old daughter of Cindy Crawford, made her debut.
Finessing your way into this party was not an option. Guests had to hold special bracelets or they were rejected at the door immediately. Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner, Nicola Peltz, and Anwar Hadid were among those who made the trek to Brooklyn.
The party was as fun outside as it was inside. There was a Dunkin’ Donuts table and a tequila truck that served Don Julio-spiked cocktails from a tap and poured them in translucent light-up pouches, similar to VIP passes to wear around the neck. There was even a #WangFest jumpy castle. Some guests were playfully feeding each other doughnuts and rubbing their faces with them. At the end of the night, Wang even ordered a ton of Domino’s pizza, that was served by model-waiters, to feed the hungry guests.
Inside, it was so crowded that it was difficult to move. An impressive lineup of artists took the stage throughout the evening, including Cardi B, Vince Staples, A$AP Ferg, and Ja Rule and Ashanti—all of whom performed in various Alexander Wang gear. It was easy to recognize Wang models who wore feathered and crystal-encrusted headdresses emblazoned with words like Wangover and Party Animal. A series of confetti drops signaled the grand finish. Jared Austin, co-founder of Deux Hommes magazine, who attends most of New York Fashion Week after-parties every season, concluded to me that WangFest was “the best party of Fashion Week.”
Sunday, Sept. 10
The icing on the cake this weekend was Public School’s and Moët & Chandon’s steamy after-party at Fulton Market at 9 p.m. “The new princes of cool,” is how Vogue has described the designer Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-winning duo behind Public School. Chow and Osborne designed a trio of limited-edition bottles for Moët & Chandon’s Nectar Imperial Rosé. There were fountains of rosé, literally, and the bars served rosé. But the crowd was so thirsty that it caused the party to run out of Moët by midnight.
A lot of the attendees were young top 50 models, who were full of energy and ready to dance. DJ Ruckus, who was joined by fiancée model Shanina Shaik, warmed up the crowd with some top hits, like the Weeknd’s “Star Boy.” Travis Scott was the main performance of the night causing bodies to collide in the crowd and breaking glass.
The champagne might have run out, but the same crowd headed to an after-party after the after-party at 1Oak, where Cardi B performed. 1 Oak was so packed after the first wave of party goers from Public School’s party arrived, that most who came later were turned away.
After such a shindig filled weekend, New York fashionistas will need to take a long nap.
The Secret to Great Cocktails? Find Out in The Spill.
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