The art of parties and beyond

Barneys, Raf Simons

Juggling Jil Sander and his own label, Raf Simons has to be one of the busiest people in fashion. Still, even northern Europeans with a strong work ethic have to eat. So the press-shy designer slipped out of his studio—and Belgium—to pop into Barneys New York for a dinner and afterparty in his honor. The meal, which consisted of filet mignon and pumpkin soup dished up in pumpkin halves, was served in Simon Doonan's studio; and while the creative director of Barneys had apparently tidied up for company, the Santa Claus-like workshop was littered with his soon-to-be-unveiled Christmas window displays, a tribute to each decade of Andy Warhol's life. "Even though there were no drugged out trannies present," he told us, "I think Andy would have really enjoyed the spectacle of all those trendy New York art people dining in front of the window mock-ups." But Simons is no stranger to art (you know he often makes trips to New York just to buy the stuff, right?), so the guests—which included gallerists Gavin Brown and Matthew Higgs, P.S.1's chief curator Klaus Biesenbach, as well as Kuki de Salvertes of the Paris PR agency Totem and Steven Klein—made for a seamless fusion of art and fashion. Chatting up a storm were Barneys' universally adored womenswear buyer, Julie Gilhart (radiant, literally, in a silver sequin Sander number), New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn and Simons. They then led the pack downtown to the afterparty at 205, joining an Antwerp posse of Olivier Rizzo (stylist), Willy Vanderperre (photog) and Peter de Potter (journo). Also on hand were Michael Stipe, Vogue's Hamish Bowles, Times super-stylist Anne Christensen, Daryl K., Threeasfour (who informed us we'd see knits in their next collection), Cloak designer Alexandre Plokhov, model Nathan Bogle and some weird girl who kept lifting her skirt and demanding we take her picture. Meanwhile, in Opening Ceremony news, Humberto Leon told us he's opening a branch in L.A. that will be three times the size of New York's, and that the next country the store will spotlight, following Sweden, will be either Belgium or Japan. Seven New York's Joseph Quartana DJ'd, playing every one of our fave ditties from the early 90s (it's a beats-per-minute moment, in case you hadn't noticed the song lyric "I'm the One and Only Dominator" adorning a Bernhard Willhelm T-shirt for spring), while Purple magazine's Olivier Zahm was all over a Seven shopgirl. He probably would have had more luck with the weird skirt girl.

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