SPECIAL YEAR: Third time’s the charm for Phillip Lim, who once again teamed up with former Cognac producer Hennessy on Thursday to celebrate Lunar New Year and New York Fashion Week on the same night.
“It’s been an incredible partnership because, growing up in an Asian-American household, Hennessy is something we prayed to our ancestors for,” said the designer, looking dapper in a velvet jacket. “It’s that bottle on the top shelf reserved for the pinnacle of celebrations.”
The year of the dragon, a symbol of luck and prosperity, is a perfect fit for Lim, who will celebrate his brand’s 20th anniversary in September. “2024 started with a bang,” he added. I am in the process of moving house and rebuilding a new one. I’m hosting tonight and tomorrow is fashion week. And we are only in February.”
Lim’s guest list curated was a who’s who of the AAPI creative scene, including designer Laura Kim, director Lisa Joy, actor Ronny Chieng, comedian Awkwafina, and influencers Aoki Lee Simmons, Chriselle Lim, and Ezra J. William. Everyone piled onto the Edition hotel’s lush garden terrace overlooking Times Square to sip cocktails featuring Hennessy’s exclusive Lunar New Year liquor collection. The LVMH-owned brand tapped Chinese painter Yang Yongliang to create custom decanters in festive red, white and gold, which were used to decorate the space.
As in the past, Hennessy will make a donation to Heart of Dinners on behalf of the event to help alleviate food insecurity and social isolation among Asian American seniors.
For dinner, Calvin Eng, head chef at popular Brooklyn restaurant Bonnie’s, served a Cantonese-inspired fair of wagyu tartare and jasmine rice soup, followed by dessert: mont blanc cake from award-winning pastry chef Eunji Lee. Michelin star. The traditional lion dancers were an added treat.
It didn’t take long for things to heat up at the after-party, as those who stayed were just a short distance from the dance floor inside the hotel’s Paradise Club. The star attraction was a huge dragon sculpture with its mouth open, looking as if it were going to spit fire. His tail snaked across the top of the bar before landing at the DJ booth where model Soo Joo Park could be found mixing beats.
The room was filled with performers with silk fans, trapeze artists and hostesses making their rounds, Hennessy in hand, dressed by Lim. But with a fall collection to present the next day, the designer stayed on the terrace for a while to spend the early afternoon with his family, some of whom he only sees once a year on this same occasion. “Tomorrow is for the business side,” he said. “Tonight is more personal.” -ARI STARK
STRONG START: On Thursday night, Christian Siriano kicked off New York Fashion Week with his Fall 2024 show, held at The Plaza in New York.
VIP guests included “Succession” star J. Smith-Cameron, Ashlee Simpson, Sophia Bush, Alicia Silverstone, Melanie Lynskey and more.
Sitting in a chair wearing an off-the-shoulder black and gold dress with a cosmopolitan cocktail in hand, Smith-Cameron said it was her first time at a Siriano show.
“I love that it’s famous for being inclusive,” she said. “Dress people of different ages, colors and shapes; It has a sense of imagination, almost like fairy tale characters in a nightclub. He has such a joy for fashion, pure, undiluted, joy for fashion. It’s refreshing.”
As for how she chose her look for the night, she said that Siriano had sent her a couple of dresses and she loved the vintage feel of the one she chose.
“It reminds me of the shape of Dior’s ‘New Look’ from the ’50s or ’40s, with a cinched waist and flared skirt,” she said.
As for the two biggest cultural events on the horizon (aside from fashion week, of course), Smith-Cameron had a little more interest in Valentine’s Day than the Super Bowl.
“My husband and I are going to Vía Carota, which is our favorite restaurant,” she said.
As for Sunday’s big game, she’s a little more intrigued this year, but generally avoids soccer. And do you have a favorite song by Usher, the halftime artist?
“No.” – LEIGH NORDSTROM
TALKING ICONS: GloRilla, Becky G, Hari Nef, Caleb McLaughlin, Emily Ratajkowski, Ashley Graham and more were front row Thursday night for Puma’s latest show, held at the Park Avenue Armory.
Becky G was dressed for the night in a baggy t-shirt, visible thong, and baggy, unbuttoned jeans.
“It’s funny, everyone says, ‘Who’s your fashion icon?’ And I said, “He’s kind of funny, but he’s my mom from high school.” She was going through her yearbook from her high school and she had the perfect touch between a girly moment and oversized baggy jeans, and she was always one or the other. So that’s what inspired my look today.”
Puma marked its first stop in what will be a busy start to NYFW.
“It’s hectic. Its alot. Yes. It will be 24 hours of madness. The first 24 hours I think are the craziest, but I’m ready,” she said. “My heart is open. “I’m ready to be inspired.”
“Stranger Things” star McLaughlin was dressed all in black for the night, which matched the dark energy of the room.
“I felt like I wanted to get in a bad mood,” he said. “(The) all black went with the vibe.”
Puma was the only event he attended, as he is filming the final season of “Stranger Things” in Atlanta.
“I wouldn’t even say it’s bitter. It’s kind of sweet,” she said when asked if it was bittersweet having to end the show. “All good things come to an end, so I wouldn’t even put in the bitter. It’s been a great trip. A life changer, 100 percent. I started in theater and on Broadway, which has definitely prepared me for moments like this, being in a show, like ‘Stranger Things’, of the magnitude it has had. And after this I will continue to focus on my creativity.” -LN
NEW FORMULA: Hugo Boss continues to expand its presence in the world of sports with a new partnership.
The German fashion company’s youngest brand, Hugo, is partnering with Visa Cash App Red Bull Formula One team. Hugo will be the team’s official apparel partner.
“We are looking for a partner to help us express who we are as a brand,” said Nadia Kokni, senior vice president of global marketing and brand communications at Hugo Boss. “The synergies are there, whether it’s the unstoppable, relentless energy; the fearless style; the kind of non-conformist and wonderful expression, energy and personality of those involved in any of the teams, be it the Hugo team or the new Red Bull team. “There are just a lot of synergies for us and a lot of appeal to reach out to and engage new, broader, younger, more dynamic audiences.”
The partnership comes after Hugo’s sister brand Boss embarked on a similar partnership with the Aston Martin Formula One team in June 2022. Through the Boss partnership, the brand is the official fashion partner of the team and designs looks for the drivers.
Last year, Boss boosted the partnership by appointing Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso as a brand ambassador.
“If you compare Boss to Hugo, we’re actually two different teams,” Kokni said. “You can see the look, the feel, the aesthetics and even the drivers of Aston Martin, we could never say that they really fit the Hugo brand. They fit the Boss brand and help Boss express the lifestyle, aesthetic and even the product. If we look at it from Hugo’s perspective, working with Red Bull, he is full of energy. He’s younger, a little bolder, he’s a different kind of charisma and personality. “They are both very high-level teams and have extremely talented drivers, but they are really different and much more synergistic with the brands we have.”
Hugo’s partnership with the Red Bull Formula One Visa Cash App team will feature the Hugo logo on drivers’ race suits, team clothing and cars. The brand will also design formal wear for two of the team’s drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, and capsule collections for fans, among other initiatives.
In the near future, the brand will host Hugo Garage, an interactive experience that will take place in cities hosting F1 races.
Fashion brands have increased their presence in Formula One in recent years as the sport’s global audience has soared. The return of the Las Vegas Grand Prix in November saw many brands activate around the sport, including Psycho Bunny, Boss, Tumi, Tommy Hilfiger and Puma, which presented its first F1 collection designed by creative director A$AP Rocky during The race. —LAYLA ILCHI