While most Manhattanites stayed in last night to watch the live vice presidential debate, a crowd still turned out to Hotel Americano to toast Maje’s newest campaign girl, Alexa Chung. In case there is any question of American patriotism here, the brand’s founder and designer Judith Milgrom put an end to that debate. “We want to become the most American, French brand,” said Milgrom, who opened the first New York Maje store last October and followed with a series of small stores throughout the city. The focus last night, however, was on one of Britain’s most stylish exports. “I just love the way Alexa looks in the clothes, especially what she’s wearing tonight,” said Milgrom of Chung’s silk top.
Milgrom and her muse certainly seem in sync. “I went into the studio with a sketch of a green miniskirt—and they already had one,” Chung said, in between chatting with her pals like Dev Hynes, Hilary Rhoda, and DJ Alix Browne. Though Chung’s own clothing line has been postponed, there’s no shortage of upcoming projects en queue. On her forthcoming book, she said, “[It's] mainly my style icons. The rest is top secret.” As she watched the evening’s performers, Chicago-based Wild Belle, she said one thing she won’t be doing is putting out an album. “God, no. I can’t sing at all,” she admitted. While the sibling duo continued their act, guests streamed in, coming from another French affair, the Krug House party, happening a little further downtown at a multi-story private town house on West 15th Street. The cause for celebration was, quite simply, fashion’s favorite beverage: Champagne. By 10 p.m., the partygoers (including Byrdie Bell, Genevieve Jones, and the night’s performer MNDR) had guzzled up most of the bubbly and then, it was over.
For some in New York̬and many more, in all likelihood, in New York fashion—Champagne functions more as a meal unto itself than as a complement. (Just ask any style writer or PR who’s had to cull dinner from a night’s worth of store openings and parties—nice work if you can get it.) But Krug Champagne, which many oenophiles consider the finest in the world, would like to remind you that it’s a gourmet indulgence, not just a tipple. “Krug is about pleasure,” says Carl Heline, its brand director. “This,” he says, holding up a bottle of Grand Cuvée, the august house’s signature sparkler, “was not made for money. It was made just for taste.”
To make its case, the house of Krug is introducing customizable foodie tours to guide patrons to likeminded retailers and purveyors to create a champers-fueled feast. (Those purveyors don’t include Krug’s LVMH corporate stablemates like Louis Vuitton and Fendi, but suffice it to say, a glass goes fine with their goods, too.)
So yesterday, I saddled up a vintage bicycle and made the rounds with Heline. At Dickson’s Farmstand in New York’s Chelsea Market, chef Gabriel Ross showed off pork rillettes to kill for, cured tongue, a duck terrine not to be believed. The secret, he says, is happy animals—blissful pigs make the best bacon. (Tasting Dickson’s chocolate and chile-cured capocollo, you’re inclined to agree.) After a trip through the farmer’s market in the company of Ben Towill, the charming young chef/owner of Silkstone, and a ride through Central Park, I ended at a penthouse suite at the Essex House for a Towill-prepared meal of hand-torn pasta with kale and bacon, and monkfish curry with snap peas. Krug flowed freely and, as promised, paired beautifully with both. Something to remember next time an occasion comes up—even if that occasion is the next stop on the cater-waitered fashion-party circuit.