When we received our invitation to the 111th-anniversary celebration of venerable department store Bergdorf Goodman (delivered embossed on thick, creamy cardstock, as is only appropriate), we weren't quite sure how to take its instruction to "Dress Extraordinary." Did this mean black-tie? Cocktail chic? Feathers and gems? Or partygoer's choice?
It turned out to be the latter; and what a wide array of interpretations of "extraordinary" there were. For singer Rita Ora, channeling Marilyn Monroe via Gwen Stefani, it meant a simple white column gown with a little train; Karolina Kurkova opted for a blue chinoiserie tuxedo. Coco Rocha, on the arm of Zac Posen, wore a striking, full-length, blood-red trumpet-silhouette gown, while plenty of others opted for LBDs and, in the perplexing case of at least one gentleman, an overgrown lavender mask.
It's parties like this one that make us realize the fashion world isn't quite as small as we're all constantly saying it is—early in the evening, the Plaza's ballroom was packed so full that we were sure there must have been at least a football stadium's worth of stylish people inside. But we don't mind bumping shoulders when it's with the likes of Derek Lam, Prabal Gurung, Cynthia Rowley, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, Ralph Rucci, Olivier Theyskens, and Carolina Herrera. Once we fought our way down to the dance floor, we found a happy little pocket right between where artist Andres Serrano was taking in the proceedings from a banquette and where Rocha and Posen were fully breaking it down, leaving us no choice but to join in.
Several cocktails and a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" later, we thought we'd stayed pretty late... Until we caught sight on our way out of the divine Iris Apfel—in a full-length fur coat and her signature specs, and with some indispensable arm candy by the name of Albert Maysles—who appeared to just be arriving. There's no such thing, after all, as too fashionably late. —Alexandria Symonds