"Stick your face in that," commanded Christopher Kane, proffering a vase filled with lilac. "Have you ever smelled anything better than that? But the best ones are those tulips, over there." Kane pointed at a bunch of reddish tulips with a white frill on the petals, one bouquet among many at last night's flower-filled Mytheresa dinner in The Carlyle hotel's JFK suite. Australian creative director Michelle Jank, a guest, was responsible for the installation at the event, which was hosted by Alexa Chung and honored both Kane and Erdem Moralioglu. "All they said was, 'English,'" Jank explained of her floral brief. "And beautiful, of course." Dessert, meanwhile, was 100 percent Teutonic: "Kaiserschmarrn," a concoction of cake, cream, and berries that was nearly as pretty as one of Jank's arrangements, and which served as a nod to Mytheresa's Bavarian roots. On a sugar high, as more sedate guests such as Carolyn Murphy departed, host Chung and Hanneli Mustaparta saw fit to kick off some athletic competition, engaging in a good, old-fashioned arm wrestle. It was a pretty even match; as Kane and Moralioglu looked on, Chung and Mustaparta really worked for it. You could tell, because the flower between Chung's teeth was shaking.
A few blocks south, at the Consulate General of India, in a ballroom that once belonged to the Astors, Barneys New York hosted a somewhat more formal affair. The cause for celebration was twofold: a silk capsule collection from Maiyet, which will be sold at the department store, and a new David Adjaye-designed weaving facility being built in Varanasi, India, by Maiyet and the NGO NEST. With last month's factory collapse in neighboring Bangladesh, the project has taken on a new urgency. Adjaye was the center of attention during cocktail hour, mingling with the likes of Freida Pinto, Rula Jebreal, Seth Meyers, and Christiane Amanpour, and he was just as captivating during his dinner speech. "Architects long for these moments, when architecture has a purpose, when it truly changes lives," he said. "What we're doing in Varanasi isn't decadent, it's dignified. It's noble."