The art of parties and beyond

Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni

With the Prada mega-party barely behind us and the Vogue-christened "Party of the Year" roping in fashion journos far and wide to the Met, what better time for Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni—who rarely visits the States—to jet in from the boot of the Mediterranean for a shindig of her own? Officially, she flew in for Anglomania, with her husband Gianni and daughter Carolina, which makes a dinner party in her honor at the swanky, art-filled West Village home of Jacqueline Schnabel the icing on the tiramisu, not to mention an ideal setting for the label's quirky-chic image. "It is a special night for me," the Milanese maverick told us. "I have not been to America since early last year when we opened the Marni store in Los Angeles, and I do not remember the last time I was in New York. It's been so long. The Costume Institute is a good reason to come." Especially, we might add, if what Harold Koda told us moments later proves true: "With all the English in town, people say we should expect rowdy behavior. I hope so, though it makes me a little frightened." (The show's curator, Andrew Bolton, was too busy with finishing touches to attend.) Other talk revolved around Marni's "delicious colors" and "butter-soft leathers," which made us so ravenous we followed our noses to the garden downstairs, where we found a lobster salad and couscous buffet provided by chef Olivier Chang, though we noticed it was the truffled mashed potatoes that Nina Garcia couldn't keep her hands off of. (We don't suppose this is what Consuelo meant when she discussed her U.S. expansion plans with us.) Her business-of-fashion classes at Parsons were on Julia Roitfeld's mind, as she filled us in between sips of a pink acai margarita that matched her Gucci dress—the Italian battalion was indeed well-represented. Zooey Deschanel regaled us with how much she loves Marni bags while pretending not to notice the smell of ganja wafting in from the front door; we were later told it came from an arrangement of exotic red flowers, and not from Damon Dash when he entered with his designer-wife Rachel Roy, as had been the rumor. Other Marni lovers included Malcolm McLaren, Gabriel Byrne, Bryan Ferry, Mario Testino, Linda Evangelista, Fran Leibowitz, sisters Lola and Stella Schnabel, jewelry designer Zani Gugelmann, Margherita Missoni, and Lucy Sykes and Euan Rellie. Zac Posen and Shalom Harlow dirty-danced to tunes by DJ Donna D'Cruz until the small hours, though even they couldn't last until 5:30, when the last of the revelers finally staggered out.

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