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Belles de Nuit

New York Nightcrawlers Hit Yves Saint Laurent's Latest Opium Experience

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Alexa Chung   
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When the folks behind the scents at Yves Saint Laurent decided to relaunch an Opium fragrance, this one called Belle d'Opium, they had a lot to live up to: The original Opium's 1977 New York City launch, held on a ship docked at the South Street Seaport with Truman Capote at the helm, has become the stuff of legend. But Thursday night's fête had at least one thing the original didn't: a pre-event Web presence. Whatisyouropium.com choreographed the moments leading up to the bash and will document YSL fans' secret addictions in the future. As for the party itself? A Chelsea warehouse was draped in darkened velvet for the likes of Ashley Olsen, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Alexis Bledel, and guest DJs Alexa Chung and Alexandra Richards (who gave out iTunes gift cards of their Opium mixes).

Upon arrival, handsome men scurried guests to The Experience, a disco-esque white leather banquette that rotated in a room that slowly filled with wafts of the new scent. Images from the campaign were simultaneously projected onto the rounded walls and eventually turned into a hologram of the actress Mélanie Thierry, dancing in the dark and then writhing around on the floor of a Tuscan villa. "You feel sort of ridiculous doing that in a dark room, not knowing how it's going to look at the end," Thierry said at the party. "But I think it looks great. I can say that, right?" As the night wore on, the temperatures rose, especially in the upstairs VIP area, which was precariously close to the heat-wafting lighting rigs. "Tonight might not have been the night for leather," Chung, clad in black hide shorts, said from the DJ booth. But there were a few men who would have begged to differ.

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