"Dance" is the theme for Carine Roitfeld's second CR Fashion Book, and at the party to celebrate its launch, hip-hop artist Ciara does Carine proud. She arrives at Casa Lever with her friend Riccardo Tisci — "Pappa Ricky," as she calls Givenchy's creative director — and the two barely pause for a storm of flashbulbs before they beeline to the dance floor. Ciara sheds her shaggy fur to reveal a white, oversize Givenchy tee with a baroque printed panel in the front. It's one part street, one part Parisian, and the sum is far greater when Ciara starts shimmying and the shirt barely covers her leather-panted butt. Beyoncé's documentary has just premiered a few blocks away, and one might be forgiven for mistaking Ciara for a more tousled, touchable Queen Bey.
Riccardo met his muse several years ago in Brazil, when she was his guest performer for a charity event, and the two became fast friends. "But also," says Ciara, "I am very blessed that I get to dig in his closet and pull out things I like, and he sends me amazing things for events like the Grammys." For instance, the black Givenchy tee she pulls on in her recent Mad Max–ish "Got Me Good" video takes her outfit to another level. (Proceed with caution: The chorus will stay stuck in your head, as CR staffers proved by singing it back to Ciara.)
Before Ciara's arrival, the party is spread into several pockets. At the crowded bar, Joseph Altuzarra talks to IMG's Ivan Bart about Sunday night's Girls. The Courtin-Clarins crew gathers near the door, discussing whether they'll be dining at Bobo or Babbo. Sophie Theallet and Constance Jablonski make their way inside, and couples cuddle in the banquettes along the wall. Then, Ciara kisses Carine Roitfeld hello and a crowd including Stephen Gan, Jessica Hart, Giancarlo Giametti, Irina Shayk, and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld moves toward the dance floor.
The Rolling Stones give way to live congas, and a sultry rendition of the Cuban song "Chan Chan." Armani's Fabio Mancone twirls Carine. The dancer Lil Buck, who silenced the crowd with a ballet-meets-breakdance (see: jookin) just hours earlier at Vladimir's party, takes a turn with Ciara. Beginning in his wrist, a wave ripples through his body, and his feet flicker and float across the floor. For a moment, Lil Buck and Ciara mirror one another. Dirk Standen, of Style.com, looks impressed.
Marina Abramovic, another good friend of Riccardo's, appears, and the long braid down her back shakes as she dances and laughs. Carlos Souza shows Ciara how to move her fingers flamenco-style, and soon she is dancing like a Sevillana. Three hired young men in tuxedos, who have been carrying around thick copies of CR Fashion Book for the crowd, stand watching the dance floor, and now one of them them can’t help drumming his hand on the cover along with "Guatanamera." Ciara snags a cocktail napkin from Derek Blasberg — who has appeared with Lily Donaldson and a plum-lipped Karlie Kloss — and blots her face. Riccardo peels off his jacket and sweatshirt. Carine and Ciara pose with their lips kissing either of his cheeks. Derek delays with the photo, and Carine opens a heavily lined lid and peers over. Flash.
After the band finishes, the stereo plays more Stones, Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac. Soon, Ciara's fur is back on, and she and Riccardo walk out arm-in-arm, through a corridor of tuxedoed attendants. Their car took Marina Abramovic home, and should be back for them any minute. The plan is to get a midnight snack and head to the Top of the Standard. They have just one night to eat, laugh, dance, and take pictures until next time, when Ciara travels to Paris for Givenchy's fall 2013 show in March. For now, they huddle on the sidewalk, flipping through the new CR together, waiting for their driver.
"It was good music, ah?" says Riccardo.
"It makes me want to go take salsa classes," Ciara replies. "I know a few steps."
For more photos from this event visit: CRFashionBook.com