It was a small group ... a tight edit. My date? The talented designer Peter Som, and I joined the whirl of beautiful people.
Vaguely, in order of appearance, we saw Jack and Lazaro from Proenza Schoueler (Laz wearing shorts, I might add -- the two looked as if they were going on a hike), the hair impresario, Frederic Fekkai -- on crutches -- his wife Shirin Von Wulffin, Anna Wintour's daughter Bee Schaeffer and a slew of young designers including Zac Posen, Yigal Azrouel, Rodarte (or half at least), Vena Cava, Jason Wu and break-out film star, Thakoon Panichgul.
The movie was stupendous. The "ice queen" shows her wit and levity throughout the film. When an Italian journalist calls her as much, she replies with a smile, "Well, I hear it's very cold this week."
Though the audience is also privy to "A. Dubs'" (as she is affectionately called by young fashion industry-types) chilly glare and disapproval, on several occasions.
At a YSL preview with designer, Stefano Pilati, the editor does not hide her displeasure at the gray, charcoal and black palette.
Classic clip: Vogue editor-at-large, Andre Leon Talley's tennis scene -- cue Louis Vuitton hardcase "water bottle-lunch box," racket case, neck towel and skull cap (no exaggeration!). Oh, and a diamond Piaget "tennis watch."
But it's Grace Coddington, with her aplomb and cloud of frizzy orange hair, who becomes the unintentional star of the film. Viewers find themselves falling in love with the creative director, who after decades as both a model and fashion editor, still maintains a waif-like, lighthearted air.
The self-described "stubborn" and "romantic" number two at the magazine earns the respect of her peers, her intimidating boss and the audience -- who see, thanks to the film crew, how sensitive decisions at the magazine are made from all angles. And how Coddington maintains her integrity, and well, grace under pressure.
It makes "The Devil Wears Prada" look like a high school production of Vogue -- no disrespect to Meryl Streep!
I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to Zac Posen, the dashing young designer who donned a crimson shirt and black bow tie. He inquired about my lame wrist, still in a brace (which, incidentally got several, "How Helmut Newton, darling," comments from the stylish crowd).
Posen told me he also broke his wrist, as a twelve-year-old in an out-of-town dance competition. "This adorable guy dropped me in a lift. I didn't say anything for three days." Why? "Because, I didn't want to upset the family who I was staying with." How considerate!
After the screening ended, the crowd canoodled over canapes and champagne and swapped favorite scenes.
A raven-haired and kilted Marc Jacobs along with Carolina Herrera, in a crisp white shirt, mingled with model Caroline Trentini and her boyfriend Victor Demarchelier, whose father Patrick, the famous lensman, has some screen-time in the film.
Out in the garden, CFDA awarded milliner Albertus Swanepol, in muted tones, talked logistics with Som for their as-yet-unannounced collaboration for next season.
Meanwhile, the ever-naughty Purple editor, Olivier Zahm, took my pic with a Giacometti sculpture --. I think he was showing off for his friend, Terry Richardson.
The film opens in theaters across the country on September 11.