Sunday, June 12, 2016
Walking with the Muses - and with Pat Cleveland
Here we are, last Thursday evening, at The Jane Hotel for a party celebrating Pat Cleveland's new book, "Walking with the Muses". Since we never communicate clearly in advance about what we plan to wear to an event (because we often don't know ourselves what we'll be wearing until the last possible moment), it is a source of amusement when we end up looking so perfectly coordinated.
Nothing makes a girl's heart go pitter patter like an invitation from MAO PR. When this arrived via email a couple weeks ago, we were thrilled since nobody throws a party like Mauricio and Roger Padilha. We are big fans of Pat Cleveland, whom we've covered on numerous occasions: "When Fashion Danced", the Stephen Burrows show at the Museum of the City of New York, which she helped coordinate; "Versailles", the documentary about about French and American designers' runway shows at Versailles in Paris in which American designers -- and the black models like Pat Cleveland and Alva Chin -- stole the show are just two that come to mind. And the hosts of the evening were a cavalcade of fashion's elite.
We can't wait to buy our own copies of the book. Thursday evening's event was a celebration, not a book signing, where the guest of honor performed for the crowd and brought the house down. She wasn't encumbered with book signing, she was too busy partying. Our kind of gal!
While Jean was waiting outside the hotel for Valerie (ahem, one of the few times Jean has been the one kept waiting ...) [ahem, counters Valerie, because Jean directed her by phone to go north when she should have said south], she shot photos of arriving guests. Since our love of crustaceans is much documented, this gentleman's black bomber with a big red lobster embroidered on the left shoulder was a knockout in our book. Their looks were also perfectly complementary.
Next to exit a limo was none other than designer Zana Bayne, one of our all-time faves, and her boyfriend, Todd Pendu. She has expanded her line of harnesses and chokers to include beautifully constructed handbags, like the one on her shoulder. And check out those star earrings!
Once we stepped inside the lobby of the hotel, we ran into photographer Christopher Makos, who used to run with Andy Warhol and got him started in photography, and Calvin Klein, one of the most influential American designers equally famous for his sportswear and evening clothes and his men's and women's collections.
Once we entered the packed ballroom, we were greeted by dancers who gave a hint of the evening's Josephine Baker theme.
Whom did we run into next but Johnny Cassanova and Faustina Rose, who had also perfectly coordinated their two-piece outfits and two-toned hair.
Kayvon and Anna Sands always make a statement. This was the first time we'd seen Kayvon's long locks in any shade other than platinum. Loved the new look.
Designer Jason Brickhill and his boyfriend Khris Diaz were thoroughly enjoying the evening.
Although we saw Patrick McDonald in the crowded ballroom and he and Jean exchanged kisses, we got separated when the performance began and never got a shot of Patrick! or of Joey Arias! We did snag a photo of Patrick's good buddy Lauren Ezersky who was sweet enough to pose for us before leaving for the evening. It wasn't until we were putting this together that we realized it was a two-fer -- we'd also caught Kyle Farmery (also in black and white) in the background.
This photo captures the essence of the evening. Everyone was in such a good mood, it was infectious. Loved this dapper gent's looks and attitude.
Markus Kelle glams it up, with a new hairdo, metal collar and armfuls of bangles.
Legendary model Corey Grant Tippen, whom we first met with Pat Cleveland at Roger and Mauricio Padilha's panel discussion at FIT on their book about Antonio Lopez, is one of our favorite Instagrammers. He was squiring these two lovely ladies around the ballroom before the performance.
Although Jean spied Tang outside, she couldn't get a shot before she and her party moved quickly up the steps into the hotel. So we were so happy when she posed for us later. This photo also gives you an idea of how amazing space the ballroom at the Jane is. Check out the taxidermy, beautifully carved antique wooden framed mirror, portraits hung on the walls, beautiful light fixtures and impossibly high ceiling.
Anna Zand and Kyle Farmery.
How fun are William Noguchi and Danielle Mahoney? They often appear together on each other's Instagram accounts, often in matching outfits. On this occasion, they outdid themselves.
Partygoers dressed for the occasion, which added to the party atmosphere.
It is always a treat to run into photographer Andrew Werner, and when he also showed up in black and white, we just had to take a picture together.
After lots of schmoozing, the crowd snapped to attention when designer Zac Posen, one of the hosts of the event, climbed the staircase overlooking the ballroom, took the microphone and announced that the performance was about to begin.
Six singers then appeared on the balcony to serenade the crowd with "Tonight, Josephine" and to introduce the star of the evening.
Pat Cleveland channeled Josephine Baker that evening. She looked utterly glamorous and who ever know she could sing? We all knew she could dance, but this was a revelation. And her slinky gold lame gown and flapper headress were beyond perfection. She danced down and up each staircase that flanked the balcony and threw us all a kiss. It truly was what they call "a moment".
It was one of the few times she stopped long enough for us to snap a photograph. She was in constant motion. Enough said. Check out the video.
After descending the stairs, Pat joined her line up of back up singers and dancers, also dressed in gold, who echoed the Paris-in-the-20s theme.
At the completion of the performance, Pat joined Roger Padilha, designer Stephen Burrows and writer/editor Michael Gross for a tete-a-tete before they retired to the VIP room.
After bidding everyone goodbye, we then retired to Gitanes, the restaurant in the lobby of The Jane Hotel, to test the timber of the cocktail menu and its execution. Needless to say, they passed with flying colors!
We always like to tinker with the ingredients ("Could you add fresh ginger to this drink and substitute champagne for gin in that one? Oh, and no ice.") and it is always so refreshing when staff and bartenders are as accommodating as they are at Gitanes. (Later, we were told, the staff was initially quizzical about our requests, but wound up agreeing we'd made good choices. Yeah, we get that a lot. Really!)
As we headed to the subway, on a corner we ran into this trio who had enjoyed the party as much as we did. From left to right: recording artist Phil Eggleston, celebrity stylist Joseph Bullock and international recording artist/actress Alyson Williams. The street corner provided the perfect lighting. All too soon it was over and we were on our way again.
Needless to say, we had a blast!