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Courtesan Order

Tabitha Simmons Celebrates Her New Shoe Line at an Eighteenth-Century Hot Spot

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Tabitha Simmons and Karen Elson   
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At last night's cocktail party in honor of her foray into shoe design, Tabitha Simmons was a little anxious. "I haven't had a party since my sixth birthday," the stylist and Vogue contributing editor sighed from a velvet chair at Lapérouse. "And I was nervous then, too." Turns out she needn't have worried. The general consensus about Simmons'premier footwear line was as positive as you'd expect. The venue—an eighteenth-century courtesan facility turned ultra-luxe dining establishment—proved to be inspirational, too. Maybe too inspirational: A few of the attendees, Karen Elson, Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, and Coco Brandolini among them, almost forgot to check out the footwear as they toured the swank Parisian eatery's decadent maze of tiny rooms. (Rumor has it French senators would seduce young women in these halls with diamonds, which the savvy maids would scratch on the mirrors to ensure they were the real deal. The mirrors still being in place, Brandolini tested her heels on the glass to ensure it could handle that kind of abuse.)

Bringing things back to the present century, meanwhile, was Simmons' supportive husband, Craig McDean. The photographer walked handfuls of friends like Heidi Mount and Josephine de la Baum through the collection and pointed out details on every single shoe. "I'm still tickled when I see my name inside," Simmons smiled. She wasn't the only one happy to see her name in footwear. "I've always thought she was super-stylish," good pal Elson said, adding that Simmons is usually wearing something she wants for herself. "So now I can buy them all up and make my husband buy me pairs, too."

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