Dinner With Dries

Mark Lee rolls out the welcome mat for Van Noten; plus, Inès de la Fressange fetes Vivier's Codes


Dries Van Noten and Pamela Golbin   
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Barneys New York CEO Mark Lee hosts work events at his sprawling Chelsea penthouse when the occasion is "special," he explained last night, and Dries Van Noten coming to town certainly qualified as that. Hence the presence of Maggie Gyllenhaal, an avowed fan of Van Noten's, and many of the big wheels responsible for keeping the New York fashion world rolling.

The reason for the gathering was Dries Van Noten: Inspirations, the remarkable show now running in Paris at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Barneys has just unveiled an Inspirations-inspired window display of its own, complete with original films by Andrew Zuckerman. It's also the exclusive vendor of the luxury edition of the exhibition catalog, which comes with an extra volume of archive dresses and a saucy belt holding the whole thing together.

Pamela Golbin, the show's curator, praised Van Noten for "letting everyone into his private world." Indeed, rarely has a designer pulled the curtain back quite this far while still in the game. "There's a lot of superstition in fashion," Golbin added, noting that Christian Dior rarely made a move without consulting a clairvoyant. "If you show how it works, will it still work afterward?"

Van Noten, for his part, acknowledged the show was "kind of a big step," and the fact that some of the colleagues who helped him on it were born after his first collection made it seem even bigger. His latest initiative, for the show's subsequent stint in Antwerp, is tracking down clothes from his earliest collections. "As a young designer, of course, every garment means money. You sell as much as you can," Van Noten said. Later on, if you're lucky, you buy them back.

Inès de la Fressange, meanwhile, hosted a dinner over at Mari Vanna, where the likes of Anh Duong, Alexis Bittar, and Ambra Medda clinked glasses over the Spring 2014 Vivier's Codes collection for Roger Vivier.

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