Karen Elson, Zac Posen, Liz Goldwyn.
Au revoir, Nashville! For the next four months, I’m living in New York City—specifically, in a three-story brownstone in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. This setup is part of a house swap I’m doing with the very awesome Brooklyn couple Emma and Mike Fusco-Straub, who’ve taken over my East Nashville pad this spring while Emma teaches for a semester at Vanderbilt University.
Being back in the city has been a total nostalgia trip so far; I’m still in that honeymoon stage, wherein my tolerance for crowds, traffic, lines, and strange smells—hello, subway!—is at its highest. (Ask me how much I enjoy the Manhattan-bound Q train in a month, and you’ll probably hear something different.) Right now, I’m falling back in love with NYC all over again.
On Monday night, I indulged in a bit of professional reminiscence, attending my first capital-F Fashion party since 2004, when I left my longtime job as the fashion editor of the New York Post and moved to Music City. Gotta admit, I was a little nervous about reentering that world after such a long time. Turned out I had little reason to worry: there were friendly faces everywhere, from both my past and present NYC incarnations.
And then, of course, there was the one person whose name can be filed under both categories: Karen Elson. Karen was all over the runways when I was covering shows back in the late nineties and early aughts. Fast-forward ten years, and she’s now one of my Nashville girlfriends. (Karen moved there just a few years after me, in 2006.) Small world.
Monday night’s party was cohosted by Karen, vintage maven extraordinaire Liz Goldwyn, and Tonne Goodman of Vogue. Held in the fabulously eccentric Jane Hotel, the event was a fund-raiser for Vintage Vanguard, for which Karen and Liz donated pieces from their personal vintage collections to be remade by a host of their designer friends, including Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Albertus Swanepoel, Jason Wu, Francisco Costa, and Olivier Theyskens. The resulting pieces were being sold via a silent auction at the party, as well as on the Web site Moda Operandi, with all proceeds going to Dress for Success, a national organization that provides interview clothing to low-income women.
Not only did Karen look radiant in a silver bias-cut slipdress by Marc Jacobs, she sounded amazing when she performed some of her signature songs, including “The Ghost Who Walks,” the title track from her first album, recorded four years ago in—you got it—Nashville.
Several pieces from the Vintage Vanguard auction are still on the Moda Operandi site.