August 23, 2013

Soho House New York Celebrates Its 10th Birthday

"Take if off. Take it all off." It was just after 11 p.m. at Soho House New York, and Mumford & Sons bass-player Ted Dwayne was pressuring his audience to have a moonlit swim in the club's legendary rooftop pool.

"Prove it, Soho House. Prove it," he shouted, though most of the crowd at the world-renowned club, a symbol of sophisticated revelry in New York for the last decade, chose to hold back.

Dwayne may have been unimpressed at guests' reluctance to disrobe, but last night's attendance for Soho House's 10th birthday party, which included Carey Mulligan, Erin Heatherton, Hannah Bronfman, Jennifer Connelly and her husband Paul Bettany, attested that the club had proved "it" many times over.

"When it started, it was this weird, British, un-New York transgressive thing," remembered Alan Cumming, who was a founding member of Soho House New York. "Everyone thought it wasn't going to succeed, but then everyone wanted to be a part of it."

His favorite memory? "Some friends were here, and they showed us a room so we could see what it looked like, and we just stayed the night. And a girl showed me her tits."

Designer Jenna Lyons experienced another sort of Soho House surprise: "I was coming to meet someone (it was my first time here) and as I was getting out of the elevator I almost knocked Blondie down to the ground," she laughed. "I was so star struck I couldn't even say sorry."

Guests warmed up the party sipping Grey Goose Le Fizz, Perrier Jouet and Peroni under a full moon—thunderstorms earlier in the day had thankfully dissipated. The heat increased tenfold when Mumford & Sons took the stage with a blast of acoustic strings and Marcus Mumford's resonant voice. As they played on, everyone just wanted to get closer: Mulligan, Mumford's wife, skipped onto the side of the stage to get a better view, and Connelly swayed with Bettany in front of the speakers.

The band decided to hold couple rounds of impromptu karaoke, inviting a fan onstage to sing AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long." Next up was Broadway actress Alysha Umphress, a friend of Mulligan's, who easily upstaged Legend—accompanying her on the keyboard—belting out Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It through the Grapevine."

Lyons was sitting with her friend Meghan Crockett, a California native at Soho House New York for the first time. "We've known each other since kindergarten, so it's great. Though we're only 25," said Lyons. "25 forever." —Rachel Small

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