"The Flat Life Is Not for Us"
With the Met Gala approaching, it was a busier Saturday night than usual on the fashion circuit. Few outfits have more riding on the big evening than haute online retailer, and Met Gala sponsor, Moda Operandi—no big leap, then, for cofounder Lauren Santo Domingo and her team to put together a dinner at the St. Regis in celebration of Moda's new range of punk-inspired offerings.
Among those goodies are capsule collections by Vivienne Westwood, Givenchy, and Balmain, and Santo Domingo had the likes of Karolina Kurkova and her own glam staffers (including Indre Rockefeller and Taylor Tomasi Hill on hand to model them. Kate Bosworth was sporting some of the Balmain, despite the fact that one arm of her leather jacket had split open—"Exploded," as she put it—that afternoon during a test-run at her hotel. Luckily, the house was able to send over an emergency leather maestro just in time. "My plan B was to just take the arms off," Bosworth said.
Balmain's Olivier Rousteing, seated across the table, had just been with Bosworth in L.A., getting the actress fitted for the Met. (Meanwhile, Prabal Gurung revealed his date for tonight will be Elettra Wiedemann.) True to the site's quick-turnaround paradigm, Santo Domingo explained that Moda had been developing the punk collection since the theme of the Met show was announced in February. "At the end of the day, I think the fashion industry is quite fast," she said. "Especially the creative process, and especially something like punk, that really resonates."
Dolce & Gabbana was singing a different tune at its new Fifth Avenue store a block away, where performers from the Metropolitan Opera helped the Italian design duo raise the curtain on their new flagship. As a few purchases were rung up, the boutique's 11,000 square feet swelled with the sound of Verdi and Bellini arias.
"We are this drama, the Italian people—we love or hate. The flat life is not for an Italian, and the gray is not D&G," Dolce said, adding an urgent note in support of the traditional arts. "I would love the niece of the niece of my niece to go to the Scala. Without culture, you don't grow. The iPhone, short messages, Internet—it's not enough. You need technology and tradition."
In her dual roles as the founder and executive chairman of Net-a-Porter and the chairman of the British Fashion Council, Natalie Massenet operates at the intersection of technology and tradition. No wonder that Omar's La Ranita, the not-yet-opened restaurant and private club in the former home of Le Griffou on Ninth Street, was packed wall to wall with designers—Christopher Kane, Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler's Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, Erdem Moralioglu, and Giambattista Valli included. Asked if she'd be honoring Chaos to Couture's unofficial punk dress code tonight, Massenet replied no. "I'm just going as myself," she said. "That's pretty punk."