As if New Yorkers need an excuse to party, the list of "invite only" soirees is supercharged whenever fashion week comes around. So begins the race on where to be seen (for the insiders), how to get in (for the onlookers), and what's not worth the time (for the clueless). But when Barneys plays host, you know it will be nothing short of fabulous and last night's LOU LIVE party was no exception.
Celebrating Barneys' Fall 2013 campaign All About Lou featuring French model, actress, and singer Lou Doillon and shot by photography duo Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, the trio were the evening's guests of honor. In the west village, I puffed on a cigarette in front of The Jane hotel as I waited for my date to arrive and could already see small crowds of young hipsters trying to save face as they left disappointed from having been turned away at the door. Besides the open bar, I suspected their efforts had more to do with the promise of live musical performances by Lou (who just won a French Grammy with her debut album Places) and The Misshapes. My Twitter feed was already running rampant with reports and pics from inside.
Like something out of an indie rock video with it's oriental carpets and massive disco ball, the Jane's ballroom was a perfect backdrop for the eclectic mix of guests. Names that put the "i" in "vip" included Bruce Weber, Chelsea Leyland, Cecilia Dean, Emmanuelle Alt, Kelly Klein, Max Snow, Mia Moretti, May Kwok, Pamela Love, Tiesto, and Barneys' own Daniella Vitale and Dennis Freedman. Despite the packed room and suited garçon's passing hors d'oeuvres, the scene was surprisingly laid-back and intimate. Dark denim, leather, and romper dresses comprised an overall downtown-cool fashion esthetic. Lounging on a tufted leather sofa by the fireplace, I watched cliques of it-girls and fashion insiders form small cliques of conversation while sipping drinks. Everyone had their phones in hand when Lou got on stage, busily taking to social media while trying to sing along to familiar tunes. The relaxing atmosphere was a refreshing change from the over-crowded spaces and blaring dance music that usually accompany a fashion-week soiree, and none of us were in a rush to leave as the party lingered long into the night.
All About Lou will be featured in the windows of Barneys' flagship Madison Avenue store as well as being highlighted in the fall advertising campaign, Barney's own luxury editorial site The Window, and on Barneys.com.