“We still stay in touch, but it’s been a while since we have seen each other,” an Ann Taylor-clad Bridget Moynahan told us of her former co-star Maria Bello. “Both stars represented at Ann Taylor’s fall preview and cocktail party on Wednesday evening, held at LES hotspot Beauty + Essex. “I guess you could sort of call this a reunion.”
The evening began with a preview of Ann Taylor’s fall collection, once again spearheaded by creative director Lisa Axelson. Editors gathered in the private upstairs room, where the collection was presented a la Theatre in the Round. The first section of the demi-circle was called City Chic, which was very much about color-blocking and autumnal shades. The next was Sporty Luxe, which paired fur vests with skinny exotic skin belts over charcoal grey suits. Then there was Career Chic, which featured a lot of wide legged trousers and pairings of neutral tones like camel and slate. Finally, our favorite was Uptown Girl, which juxtaposed feminine leopard and polka dot blouses with charcoal wool trousers and medallion necklaces. The styling was a perfect balance of the flirty and the classic. And no, polka dots are not going away any time soon.
The real highlight, however, maybe have been the accessories section, called Little Luxuries, which were displayed on a gold leaf adorned island table. Our favorites included a leopard haircalf “shootie,” a sculptural cuff that plays as an homage to Elsa Peretti, but at a fraction of the price ($68), the python bags, the stained glass necklaces and bracelets, and the beige and black platform tassel pump, a modern update on the spectator shoe. A couple of these pieces can update your existing wardrobe without breaking the bank. And that has always been the greatest strength of Axelson’s vision.
The preview was followed by a cocktail party, where the Moet flowed and mini-pizzettas were passed. It is also when the celebrity arrivals began (Alice Eve and the aforementioned Moynahan and Bello), the flashbulbs started popping, and DJ Mia Moretti began spinning. But no Ann Taylor event would be complete without a parting gift, and as we said our goodbyes, we were gifted with a wide, exotic skin cuff complete with a thick gold buckle. Little luxury, indeed.