party report, chanel’s mobile art pavillion

Attack of the Pod People
New Yorkers Run Wild Through Chanel’s Mobile Art Structure

Photo: Billy Farrell / Patrick McMullan

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A one-of-a-kind apparition has landed in Central Park, courtesy of Chanel—and no, we’re not talking about Karl Lagerfeld. Zaha Hadid’s Mobile Art Pavilion, the gleaming curvilinear, globe-trotting gallery space commissioned by the French fashion company, had its official New York unveiling Tuesday night.

Lagerfeld was on hand, of course. Arriving on the heels of Kate Bosworth, who looked appropriately space-age in Chanel Haute Couture, the designer was as quick with a quote as ever. “What is art, what is architecture, what is fashion?” he demanded when asked about the connection between Hadid’s work and his own. “All those things, one should not put it in the same melting pot. Architecture is architecture, fashion is fashion, and art is art. We don’t need art, but we cannot live without it.” He seemed to have made his point, but then amended, thoughtfully, “Actually, architecture we need because otherwise we are freezing, and clothes we need because we cannot run around naked.”

While no one was naked, some people were freezing, having arrived unprepared for the evening’s sudden drop in temperature. Guests like Helena Christensen, Raquel Zimmermann, Jeff Koons, and Vidal Sassoon, who had made the trip from London to support his pal Hadid, stayed warm inside the reflective black cube that served as the event’s Champagne-friendly zone. Hercules and Love Affair played a rollicking set.

Over in Hadid’s coiled white pod, meanwhile, Agyness Deyn was admiring the exhibit. “I love the giant Chanel handbag,” the model said, adding coyly, “and the room you can look into.” She was referring to the S&M mise-en-scène, which features a giant teddy bear chained up with a metal purse strap. Deyn, there with musician boyfriend Albert Hammond, Jr., then scribbled on a paper tag and tied it to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree. Her inscription? “Aggy ♥s Albert Forever.” Even on a cool night, our icy fashion heart melted just a little.

— Alison Baenen