Celebrities, Shirtless Partygoing, & More @ Chanel

I’m here to recount in exhaustive detail the utter fabulousness that was last night’s Chanel party celebrating the opening of the Zaha Hadid-designed Chanel Mobile Art pavilion (open to the public in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield until November 9). Upon arrival, I was politely ushered past the lengthy red carpet (at which Chanel’s Kaiser, Karl Lagerfeld, and his date Kate Bosworth, as well as Eve and Sarah Jessica Parker all stopped to show love for the paps), and subsequently greeted around every bend with, “welcome to Chanel,” and promptly handed a fresh glass of champagne. The party consisted of the Zaha Hadid installation, an outdoor bar, and a separate structure, which housed, in addition to a jam-packed crowd of exquisitely dressed and very skinny bodies, a second bar and a stage.

Close to 9 p.m., disco-heavy hometown/Lagerfeld favorite Hercules and Love Affair took the stage. Decked out in head-to-toe borrowed Chanel gear they’d picked out themselves (the price tags still on in some cases), they performed to the delight of a crowd that included Purple Fashion’s Olivier Zahm, who watched from a couch perched beside Vogue Paris’s editrix Carine Roitfeld, Misshape Leigh Lezark, model Agyness Deyn, and boyfriend/Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. Then there was Zaha Hadid in metallic leggings, plus Zac Posen and a slew of stunning models (of which Freja Beha was by far the closest to the stage, and seemingly most stoked for the show). The performance flirted with the raucous but leaned more towards refined. It was Chanel after all.

Following Hercules and Love Affair’s finale (appropriately, “Hercules’ Theme” off their namesake album), a storm of stiletto-clad ladies and slim suited gentlemen sprang into the open air for relief from the boogying body heat-induced steamy room. I took the opportunity to stroll through the stunning Mobile Art pavilion (at which there had been an extremely long line to enter prior to the show). Of the 18 different art installations — all inspired by Chanel’s iconic 2.55 quilted handbag — I will simply say that altogether they absolutely warrant a visit. Just be sure to grab the free audio guide as, fittingly, French icon Jeanne Moreau narrates. Highlights include nude men and women fighting with, catching, and swimming atop Chanel purses — all displayed as video within open cardboard boxes. And, near the exit, there’s an indoor prayer tree where one can attach a wish, which, in the case of last night’s partygoers, included messages like “Aggy Loves Albert, Forever,” “Obama,” and “I want to fuck Karl Lagerfeld.”

Back inside the second structure, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy was manning the decks for a substantially dissipated crowd. As for raucous, one guy managed to disrobe to his pants and smoke a cigarette for a full five minutes before security respectfully instructed him to put his clothes on and put out the smoke. The Hercules crew was still in attendance with a handful of friends when I left at 11 p.m., but by then, nearly the last of the fashion crowd had cleared out. As for the answer to the question, which was on my mind all night: Do the band members get to keep the clothes? Hercules’ Kim Ann Foxman, glancing down at the drool-worthy skinny suit and embellished white button-up she had on, replied “I’m looking into it.”

Photo: Tiffany Roth

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