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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going In Seine

Monday night we skipped the Met Ball and headed straight to the after-parties. This year the après-musée hotspot was the chicest catacomb in town, the Mercer Hotel's underground SubMercer bar, where Rodarte held its fine and raucous post-ball soirée. As the open bar flowed freely, Kirsten Dunst, Brooke Shields, Coco Rocha, Marisa Tomei and Francesco Vezzoli, among other influential and/or genetically gifted guests, danced, drank and caroused late into the night.

We'll remember many exchanges from the Mulleavy sisters' fantastic little fête, but none so much as this nugget from Olivier Theyskens: "The parties tonight are great, but they don't compare to three days ago, when I sat by the Seine on my own and smoked cigarillos. It's my favorite thing in the world. I smoke this brand La Paz—they're cheap but it's what I always buy. And then, I peed into the Seine. It's the best thing I did all week." On that strangely sexy note we left the increasingly steamy basement boîte. Just in time, too, as we barely missed Kiefer Sutherland's crazy headbutting tantrum.

—Suleman Anaya

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A Stella Performance

By Haidee Findlay-Levin...

Giving in to the suppressed urge for retail therapy, I popped into Barneys New York yesterday for Stella McCartney's trunk show, which gave me a chance to see the collection up close. Better still, Stella was there in person for a Q&A with the wonderfully witty Simon Doonan.

I knew Stella from my early styling days in London. I remember being at her precious jewel box of a studio in Notting Hill (when Phoebe Philo was still her assistant) at the moment Madonna's office called for the first time. I was amazed that the potentially blasé daughter of a Beatle could be excited by celebrity.

Stella is now, incredibly, a mother of three and running her own international clothing, accessory and beauty empire, plus designing a collaboration with Adidas. When Simon asked if she would like to do menswear, she answered with a resounding yes. Why not? She trained, post-Central Saint Martins, with a bespoke tailor who worked under the notorious Tommy Nutter. Suiting has been a part of her signature since her student days, even before her tenure at Chloé.

Now, as everyone knows, Stella is a lifelong vegetarian and promotes a cruelty-free ethos in her personal and professional lives. Although she passes no judgment on others, she is well-known for her staunch opposition to leather, designing all her accessories—shoes, bags, belts, etc.—in alternative materials. For this, she has drawn a lot of respect in an industry that loves all things animal: leather, exotic skins, fur and so on.

So, right then, just as I was thinking about her noble aversion to animal-made products, it happened. It. You know! I, a fellow vegetarian, unwittingly made the ultimate Stella faux pas by wearing not only the fairly forgivable leather boots and a leather bag, but also my Acne leather tunic complete with a jumbo leather and metal Tuareg [North African] necklace! I listened uneasily as she spoke about her affection for the jumpsuit, desperate to crawl into and disappear in one of them. But I rallied, hid part of my outfit under my short coat and I went to say hello, for old times' sake. And in true Stella form, she put (visible) judgment aside and was all compliments on my appearance.



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Attire Satire

If you missed the Met Ball and care to know what that was on Madonna's head or how much lace had to die to make Mary-Kate's dress, then go to, oh, just about any fashion website. If, on the other hand, you missed the Met Ball and don't have a burning desire to know the red-carpet ins and outs, then WWWWD will give you all the news that wasn't. That's because it's a fake fashion trade paper, but a hilariously wicked fake fashion trade paper, in the way The Daily Show skewers politicians—which might explain why WWWWD's logo is a backward CNN logo. And like CNN, they even have a Tweet feed (but very, very fake), with status updates like "BetseyJohnson: dropping 3rd hit of acid 2nite! drugz r so weak these dayz" and "MTESTINO: @gwenyth's place. blaming my farts on apple. must quit cheese." Not even Andre's capes are safe from video parody.

WWWWD used to be online, but it's a biweekly e-newsletter only now, so sign up on the site. Here's hoping there's still a sense of humor in fashionland...

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