Guests crammed into the steamy space that had even zero-body-fat models sweating it out. "It's too hot in here. It feels like detox," exclaimed catwalker Emina Cunmulaj as she beat a hasty retreat.
Lacroix gamely stuck it out. "I'm a New York lover," he proclaimed. Then why the delay in ribbon-cutting? He blamed scheduling issues, but admitted he's also loathe to fly. "I prefer trains," he smiled. Certainly his absence from New York has left Lacroix less familiar with the ever-evolving sea of social faces. "You'll have to introduce me to everyone," he joked.
Among those he was eager to meet were Marjorie Gubelmann, Amanda Brooks, Debbie Bancroft and Alex Kramer at the private dinner that followed at the Gramercy Hotel Rooftop Garden. But luckily Lacroix had a few familiar faces in the crowd. "I'm so happy he's here," said longtime acquaintance Blaine Trump. Meanwhile, Sarah Jessica Parker said she came "as a friend, straight from work." "I didn't have time to put on Lacroix," she explained.
One lady who did decided to forgo the elegant meal. "I'm going home to get a good night's rest," said Muffie Potter Aston, who was wearing her mother's beaded Lacroix evening jacket. "My mother always said, 'Know your Cinderella moment, leave them wanting more.'"
The night before, stars crossed the East River to see Paul Simon take the stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the gala celebrating his monthlong residency there. The singer/songwriter, along with an eclectic group of South African and Brazilian musicians, rocked the Opera House with a two-hour set that got Parker Posey boogying in her front-row seat. "I am performing with so many old friends tonight, it's quite emotional," Simon said.
Concertgoer Mario Batali was fresh off a jaunt around Spain with Gwyneth Paltrow taping their upcoming food show. "She won't eat anything with four legs — she gets grossed out by a cappuccino, she thinks it is cow mucus" said Batali of Paltrow's famously particular eating habits. "I didn't care, it meant more ham for me."