How exclusive was French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld's Saturday-night party for the young swans of fashion, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Bee Shaffer, and Margherita Missoni? More exclusive than Marc Jacobs's event tonight. So exclusive Patrick McMullan couldn't get in to shoot. And definitely too exclusive for us.
But the scene outside the velvet ropes at the Gramercy Park Hotel might have been as entertaining as the one inside.
"No plus-ones," "announced the doorman with the shaved head and slim suit.
"It's only for beautiful people," said one guy who was turned away.
"I came with a fucking supermodel!" his friend fumed. The model who in fact was not super at all looked sheepish.
Would-be partiers milled around on the sidewalk in front of the hotel chain-smoking very French and frantically texting.
"We're having a cigarette and deciding whether to go in or not," said Maryam Malakpour, a stylist in architectural gold wedges and a black Paula Thomas kimono with Baroque crosses printed up and down the sleeves. Moments later, she admitted the truth. "I'm someone's plus-one," she wailed, between pulls on her ciggy. "And he's already inside!"
("I came here last night as well," Malakpour added. "But I don't remember what for. It was" dramatic pause "late.")
The scene outside was getting desperate: "But I'm, like, an artist in Los Angeles!" a woman whined to the doorman, to no avail. A swaggering thirtysomething in a blue polo shirt claimed to be the nephew of Hearst exec Catherine Black. No luck.
One woman called the doorman out: "He's very famous," she said, as yet another guy in skinny pants was sent away. (She may have been right he looked kind of like Zaldy). "And you don't know his name? You don't know my name or that model's? She's a big model!" (True it was May Andersen.)
"You're wrong," replied the doorman, who declined to give his name. "I do know your name. But I can't let you in."
The ropes did part for the right personalities. "I'm Ivan from Facehunter, a last-minute addition," a tall French guy in exceedingly square glasses yelled to the doorman, who motioned for him to keep it down but then let him in anyway. Actors from The History Boys breezed in, and Paris Hilton with her camera crew was quickly ushered inside (though she had been turned away from the Raconteurs' after-party the previous night at the same venue.)
Still, celebrity was no guarantee of entry.
Just before 11 p.m., guitarist James Iha and Yeah Yeah Yeahs pal Nick Zinner, sauntered by. Their poodle-haired, mustached friend approached the doorman, the rockers and two girlfriends close behind. The list was reviewed. No go.
They regrouped a few feet away. "We're just trying to crash," Zinner said. (They'd come from the Benjamin Cho show, which Zinner pronounced so brilliant that he didn't want to attend any others.) "I think I'm just going to go home," he said forlornly. "It's not my scene."
"I guess we should've RSVP'd," Iha muttered fifteen minutes later, as they slunk away.