A seasonally appropriate mise en scene has become a pre-collection signature for Stella McCartney with past presentations having been accessorized with everything from Hula-Hoops and piñatas to croquet mallets and blowing bubbles. Monday evening’s presentation at Jefferson Market Garden in New York was no exception.
Guests winded through the damp, stone walkway, umbrella-hopping their way along, to a tented lawn where a whimsical English garden party was unfolding. The spritely motif (rainy conditions couldn’t spoil the fun) was telegraphed in various ways — in the back corner, a jaunty five-piece brass band played. An ice pop cart was stationed further toward the front — yellow peach rose petal and violet white grape were the flavors du jour. Alongside it, there was a trolley of locally sourced honey jars, which guests were encouraged to take as party favors. “Did you see the puppies?” a partygoer squealed, tugging a friend along to the back where the A.S.P.C.A. booth was upping the cute quotient.
“I’m going to do a selfie with Stella,” Amy Poehler told friends before approaching the designer, camera phone readied. Gucci Westman nursed a Champagne flute nearby. Meanwhile, Sofía Sanchez Barrenechea, barefaced with hair in an immaculately disheveled pony, clopped through the soggy lawn. “I’m doing alright so far,” a nearby Naomi Watts reported, glancing down to her footwear. “I’m not sinking just yet.”
Those not faring as well opted to make their way across West 10th Street — shepherded along by handsome, umbrella-toting escorts — to see McCartney’s eveningwear, housed in a quiet cobblestone alley (read: no grass). As expected, conversation among partygoers oscillated between weather-related remarks and accolades for McCartney. “Her clothes are so incredibly beautiful and so sophisticated, but she’s also the type of girl you can go get a pint with at the pub,” Kate Bosworth said by the bar, while handing a cup of sparkling water to husband Michael Polish. “What is this?” he asked, eyebrow cocked. “Bubbles,” she smiled before continuing on McCartney. “She’s just that type of woman, that’s the magic of Stella.”
McCartney herself, fluttering around the back end of the alley, soon became the epicenter of the fete as a spate of starlets began to stream in, eager to get face time with the designer. “We’ve got a ton of Hollywood actresses in here now. I’m actually overwhelmed by it,” the designer said in mock bewilderment. “There are simply too many beautiful Hollywood actresses!” Watts, Julianne Moore and Cameron Diaz huddled up and attempted to converse through the thicket of shutter flashes and gawking onlookers. McCartney snuck up behind Diaz, greeting her with a bun grab. “Bow, bow, bow,” the designer cooed with the music playing overhead. Though the models had already changed out of their McCartney wares and nearly all attendees had filled out by the time she arrived — it was past the fete’s scheduled end time — Madonna emerged to have a martini with McCartney. “She’ll come,” a guest had said earlier in the evening, anticipating Madonna’s appearance. “She loves Stella, rain or shine.”