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To Sirs, With Love

Parties for Paul Smith and Acne Paper

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Patti Smith, Steven Sebring, and Sir Paul Smith   
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"Has it been 25 years already?" Sir Paul Smith said. "It feels like eight!" The British designer was in town last night to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his first U.S. store on lower Fifth Avenue, and as the times have changed, so have the shoppers. "American men are a lot more stylish today—well, you can say that of all men really," Smith observed. "Everyone is more informed with technology and everything, but it's also because there are jobs where you can dress more creatively now." As if on cue, in walked the photographer Mick Rock and The Good Wife's Josh Charles. Barneys CEO Mark Lee, who had arrived earlier in a trim suit, said, "Paul is so much fun. After all these years, he's not jaded at all."

At Chelsea's Pace Gallery, a cool crowd including editors, designers, and models toasted Acne Paper's 13th issue, which focuses on the body. In keeping with the theme, a live string orchestra played in lieu of the usual DJ. "It's really sexy," Kiki Smith said of the vivid magazine images displayed on music stands. The publication offshoot of the fashion label, Acne Paper has become known for working with diverse groups of collaborators. This issue's contributors included Paolo Roversi, Bill Durgin, and Chanel makeup artist Peter Philips. "It definitely helps my job to be working with that caliber of people," said editor Thomas Persson. As for his body ideal? "Rubens does it for me," he said. "That luscious fleshy tone, it's so luminous. There's nothing dated about it."

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