29 April 2010

Fabulous Day at Parsons, Le Cirque, The Mark

Day 3: Student Lecture, Meetings, Parties, Friends
It is sheer luxury having a shiny black car and driver at your service. Driving in NYC is a hassle and schlepping in and out of taxis with a huge suitcase full of vintage dresses is even worse.
So with Ahmed at the wheel I am driven sedately down Broadway to Parsons School of Design to give a talk to June Weir's History of Fashion class. With the help of one of her students, Tess, we dress a number of mannequins and wheel them in to the classroom. For an hour I talk about the book, the history of fashion and my role in fashion in Australia. I really enjoy working with budding fashion designers and love to think I might be talking to the next Donna Karan, a Parson's graduate.

At 4pm I meet with the party planners of the Dreaming of Dior book launch which is going to be a superb event. A team of coordinators arrive at my room and we work through the dresses I have brought with me. 6 are selected for models to wear and 3 are chosen for mannequins. I have also brought along hats, handbags and costume jewellery which we allocate to each outfit. The guest list is incredible: representatives from many of the MAJOR fashion houses are coming, socialites and a princess are coming, magazine editors, personal stylists to the stars (I am not kidding – I will give you all the VIP names after the event!) - around 100, I think. The party is being held at the Luxe Lab in downtown NYC, apparently THE place to launch anything to do with fashion. I will post pictures on Saturday.

My evening with Suzanne is set to be rather glamorous and definitely full-on. I hope I can keep up with this social pace, one I had when I was in my twenties. The Blue Mountains doesn't offer a life like this! I meet Suzanne at her apartment on 5th Avenue no less. Views from the livingroom over the park are positively fantastic.

Our first party is a jewellery launch at The Chinese Porcelain Company on Park Avenue owned by an ex beau – Conor Mahony. The well dressed, rich and famous are here including the infamous costume jewellery designer Kenneth Jay Lane. A glass or 2 of Proseco – the drink of the moment - are quaffed and we head off to party number two.

This private party is held in the iconic and uber expensive Le Cirque restaurant. I am not sure of the name of our host and hostess, but they seem very grand and have something to do with Broadway musicals. All I can think of as I survey the room was 'dripping in jewels'. I am awed by the precious jewels dangling off ears, arms and necks. If this is what they wear on a Tuesday night what do they were on a Saturday? More champagne!

We are off again, this time to eat (at last) at the new and only place to be seen, The Mark Restaurant at The Mark Hotel. A different buzz here. Lots of suited men with and without ties and women dressed in all sorts of (designer) clothes. Some women wear wearing chiffon cocktail dresses (with jewels), others wear the latest Ralph Lauren designer threads, I see the odd pair of skinny jeans with Prada boots, the odd Pucci ensemble, but I am sure I am the only one dressed in vintage. (I called Suzanne in a panic just before I set out thinking I was way over dressed. I had decided on a mix of vintage (a 1920s gold kaftan) and new (Italian skinny trousers), my to die for leopard print and gold lame stiletto sandals from Dune in Bath, England, huge diamond hoops and a pretty pink silk jacket from a vintage shop in London on top. So lots of layers, colours and glitz.) In the end I am dressed just perfectly.

So with the beau monde we drink more champagne!! and eat a delicious dinner of sea bass (again, but if I eat anything more than fish I will come home enormous). Just like Cinderella, when the clock strikes midnight, I leave and head back to the hotel. I have a 6am wakeup call for a radio interview and I need some sleep.
What a fantastic, grown-up evening!

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