Flora and Fauna

Señor Coconut, Horse Meat Disco, world-class orchids, and more at Chanel's lavish Singapore party


Karl Lagerfeld and Dakota Fanning   
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Once you've reconstructed an enormous, traditional Singaporean house on the island's tony Dempsey Hill, showing a Cruise collection there is only half the point. The other half: throwing an enormous, untraditional Singaporean house party, naturally.

Months of planning—and, presumably, an investment rivaling the GDP of a small nation—had gone into refurbishing and building out the villa at Loewen Cluster. "It's like a Chanel wedding!" one attendee whispered as champagne-bearing waiters circled in the gloaming. But maybe de-furbishing would be the better word. Even the brand-newest structures had a weathered, slightly wilted tropical glamour. "For us Europeans, this looks very much the mood, the spirit of this part of the world," Karl Lagerfeld had just finished saying, as the party kicked into gear. "I like the idea that it's not too impeccable. There's a romantic charm new things cannot possess." The new made old—hence Bahaina, the Filipino girl group, Chanel's music maestro, Michel Gaubert, booked to serenade the crowd with Andrews Sisters-style covers of contemporary pop hits. (Tables of models, fresh from the runway, competed to place Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber songs stripped of their usual high-production gloss.) Likewise Señor Coconut, the German electronic producer, who cobbled together a multipiece band to mambo-fy every song they touched.

With an ambience like that, how could attendees not have gotten into the groove? Even Carine Roitfeld, Parisienne tout court, was wearing a tropical bloom tucked into her hair. (Singapore produces some of the world's finest orchids, and is justly proud of its incredible botanical gardens.) There are limits, of course. Dakota Fanning, in town for barely twenty-four hours, seemed a little alarmed at the prospect of snakes in the grass. Can't have the flora without the fauna, as it turns out. But even that threat didn't keep the gathered masses from mobbing the dance floor when London deejays Horse Meat Disco took their turn.

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