Hermès, Bringing The People Together
It wasn’t the difference between night and day, but it might’ve been the difference between night and a different night. To fête its new men’s store on Madison Avenue, Hermès devised an evening in two parts. First, the luxury label invited a few of its uptown celebrities and clients to the sleek, multilevel emporium for Champagne and polite conversation, much of it in French. There went Martha Stewart, Cindy Adams, Mad Men‘s John Slattery, and Talia Balsam. Representing youth was Katie Holmes, surely the stateliest wife-and-mother ever to get her start on a WB teen drama. Then, after a quick clink of the glasses, the guests hopped town cars to the labyrinthine Park Avenue Armory for part deux: the after-party, an event several months, and not a few euros, in the making.
The Armory had been transformed just for this one night into an extraordinary series of themed rooms. There was a cabaret club complete with dinner service; a fully stocked game room (pictured); a “library” with shelves of books, their pages painstakingly hand-tinted different shades; and a harbor-front “travel room,” complete with roped gangways and the distant squawk of seagulls. There were oysters, lobster, dim sum, real linen napkins. And all this to be dismantled and disappear at the stroke of midnight.
“I feel like this is the downtown table,” Surface 2 Air creative director Gordon Hull said from his perch in the cabaret room, and so it was—a cool downtown breeze blew through the after-party, thanks in part to stylist Julie Ragolia, who helped Hermès wrangle more than a few young art stars to attend. Agathe Snow, Todd DiCiurcio, and Gavin Russom were milling about, as was Fischerspooner’s Casey Spooner. Genevieve Jones and model Lyle Lodwick swept through the rooms, though finding friends posed a slight problem, as no one could agree on what to call any particular one. (“I’m in the rave room!” someone called out. Which?)
But it was the themeless central room that eventually devolved into the closest approximation of a rave, as a DJ set off a raucous dance party that united uptown and downtown. The androgynous male model and club kid Martin Cohn—downtown, you might say, in the flesh—even drew an appreciative crowd of more traditionally turned-out spectators as he danced furiously in a latex sheath, sequined dress, and a pair of Olivier Theyskens’ famous towering, sickle-shaped platforms from the designer’s last season at Nina Ricci. “I have three pairs,” Cohn cooed. “They’re soo comfortable.”
tags: Agathe Snow, Casey Spooner, Cindy Adams, Gavin Russom, Genevieve Jones, Gordon Hull, Hermes, John Slattery, Katie Holmes, Lyle Lodwick, Martha Stewart, Martin Cohn, Surface 2 Air, Talia Balsam, Todd DiCiurcio
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