It’s fitting that last night’s global launch party for Maison Martin Margiela‘s coveted collection for H&M would be held at 5 Beekman Street in Lower Manhattan. The abandoned building is as dilapidated as it is expansive, with nine floors of crumbling brick, peeling wallpaper, and dusty wood floors — a deconstructionist dream for the masses, when you think about it.
Or, of course, nightmare, should you find yourself staring over the railing at the atrium eight floors below, balancing a drink and a bag and imagining the imminent demise of your cell phone and/or self. Step into one of the side rooms, however, and there was plenty to enjoy sans vertigo, like an unsettling installation by Daniel Arsham that made it appear as it a man was trapped behind a latex wall, his silhouette stretching taut the white canvas. Another room had a garden of disembodied white shirts, some upright and others collapsed on the floor, all eerily illuminated from within.
Taking in this spectacle (or, more accurately, hightailing it from the first floor red carpet to the shopping extravaganza on the ninth) was a curiously uptown selection of A-listers, namely Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore, the former in layer upon baggy layer of garments from the high street line, and the latter in a more tailored black suit. More at home in their Margiela were DJs Leigh Lezark and Mia Moretti, downtown models Helena Christensen and Hanne Gaby Odiele, and, of course, the one-and-only Kanye West.
Cue the ubiquitous line of the night: “What’s that jacket, Margiela?” As if you even have to ask.
Admittedly, most of our celeb-spotting was done via Twitter, since spreading a party out over nine floors inevitably means some of the action will be missed. But one thing we’re glad we caught (from many, many feet above) was the performance by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her troupe of dancers, all clad in pieces from the collection, dragging their skirts, shirts, and add-on sleeves through a bed of white sand, before a cascade of silver confetti rained from the roof. A perfect match for our brand-new candy wrapper clutch, which we suggest you make a mad dash for come November 15th when the line hits stores — even the too-cool-for-school crowd wasn’t too proud to get grabby when it came to that particular piece.