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Front Row at Lanvin

Alber Elbaz marked 10 years at the brand with a drag queen, cupcakes and Pink Martini.

MY WAY: At the end of the show marking his 10th anniversary as creative director of Lanvin, the curtains at the end of the runway parted to reveal Alber Elbaz standing at the microphone in front of a band. “It’s a song to all these people from fashion that I adore, that helped me to realize my dream. I love you,” he said to loud cheers from the packed room. “I rehearsed two times and I’m a terrible singer so, Pharrell, don’t worry, I’m not going to compete,” he deadpanned in the direction of front-row guest Pharrell Williams. The designer then launched into a verse and chorus of “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be),” before handing the mic over to drag artist Joey Arias.


It was just one of the many treats in store at the “fun party” Elbaz concocted for a crowd that included Jessica Alba, Tilda Swinton, Jade Jagger and a slew of French actresses. Guests arrived at the cavernous venue in the southeast of Paris to find giant birthday cakes dotting the catwalk and waiters in red velvet jackets proffering Champagne and foie gras lollipops.


“It’s really amazing, right? Lots of atmosphere,” said Shaw-Lan Wang, the Taiwan-based publishing magnate who owns the house. So what was in store at the after party? “I don’t know, I just arrived this morning,” she said. “It’s a surprise for you and for me.”


“I’m always in the mood to party, especially to celebrate Alber,” enthused Alba as she sipped a glass of bubbly backstage before the show. “He made my wedding dress, so he’s very close to my heart.”


Dressed in a draped burgundy dress that set off her platinum hair, Swinton offered a more cerebral take on the event. When asked if she was in the mood to party, the actress politely replied: “Party is not a word I use as a verb, but I am at a party, and I am very happy to be here.” She is about to start filming with South Korean director Joon-ho Bong in Prague. So what’s the story line? “It’s a film about the end of the world,” she noted.


Williams came with his new protégée, YouTube phenomenon Maxine Ashley, who said her debut single, “Cookieman,” would be released soon. “It’s already in the ad for Lann-venn…Lanvin,” she said, quickly correcting her pronunciation. The singer was referring to Lanvin’s spring campaign clip on YouTube.
 After the show, guests streamed into a hall behind the stage, where more towers of macaroons, profiteroles and cupcakes awaited them.


Dita Von Teese mamboed across the packed dance floor to the strains of Pink Martini, who were joined onstage by Kim Hastreiter, of Paper magazine, on cymbals. Fun indeed.