The art of parties and beyond

Chanel, Rouge Allure
Jan. 11, '06: More than at most gatherings of the fashionable, the feisty, the freebie-loving and their followers, the vibe tonight was kiss and make-up. Tom Ford back with Gucci? No, not that kissy. Instead it was the House of Chanel—specifically, new Chanel Inc. President Maureen Chiquet—blowing big air busses to a hundred scene-it-alls with a decadently detailed dinner at New York's Lever House to introduce the company's newest lipstick, Rouge Allure. Swaths of red peonies and roses ran the lengths of three long tables toward a wall blooming with dozens of lipstick tubes in witty counterpoint to the real scarlet petals. Even the bathrooms got the Chanel treatment, with a few of Mme Chanel's oft-quoted phrases scrawled on the mirrors. One of them, "Il faut beaucoup de serieux pour reussir le frivole" (translation: A lot of serious work goes into successful frivolity), also seemed to be on the minds of a mixed crowd that included Alek Wek (who arrived with her Italian boyfriend Ricardo Sala), recording artist Princess Superstar (whose, ahem, hits include Do It Like a Robot and Little Freakazoid Who Could), Helena Christensen (escorted by Stephan Gaghan, director of Syriana), and uptown types with names like Bettina (Zilka), Tinsley (Mortimer) and Tiffany (Dubin). Meanwhile, flitting through the crowd were Hearst daughter Fabiola Beracasa, Yvonne Force Villareal and Bridget Hall, all in Chanel, while Teri Agins wore simply red in honor of Kal Ruttenstein, who told her she should always wear the color. The evening also honored Dominique Moncourtois—Chanel's longtime Director of Makeup Creation and one of the last to be trained by Coco herself—who said the inspiration for the design of the Rouge Allure tube were New York City skyscrapers. Apres dinner, Anne Slater regaled guests with a story about being mugged in Morocco, which apparently inspired a few others to abscond with fistfuls of lipstick. We know who you are.

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