Every once in a while an evening comes along that fulfills all the glamorous expectations one has when starting in the fashion industry. The elbow rubbing, glasses tinkling and air kissing that are rarely seen in such perfect harmony, combine into one glorious symphony and all you can do is stand back and allow yourself to be swept up in the spectacle of it all. That’s as close to a description as I can get to illustrate the party for the newly revamped Elie Tahari e-commerce site, featuring ELLE Magazine’s Creative Director, Joe Zee.
Held in the opulent space of the Elie Tahari Soho boutique, at first the event’s facade belied the magnitude of the evening to come. Fashion bloggers and other special guests perused the Fall 2011 collection, brimming with luxe laser-cut leathers, tissue-thin cashmere. jewel-toned wool and decadent furs. We all mingled and sipped cocktails and exclaimed over pieces we loved. Then with a flash of light and a puff of sweet-smelling smoke (no, not really), the ever immaculate Joe Zee stepped out into the party. He told us that he would be styling each of us with a piece from the collection, depending on our personal taste. Although other members of the SCS team had met Joe Zee during this past fashion week, I had not and so was understandably rooted to my spot in the lacquered floor when he approached. I managed to stammer out that I had just moved to New York and could use some staple pieces of classic New York style. He was all smiles and just as nice as can be and suggested I pick out a few pieces I like, from which he could compile a perfect look.
The bad news was, that would never actually come to pass. The good news was, I was about to be styled from perhaps the only person who could have matched Joe Zee’s word, and that’s because he had designed the garments himself! At first I wasn’t aware that Mr. Elie Tahari was there. He had been an unassuming presence amidst the bustle of guests exploring racks, trying on garments and getting approval from various parties. I didn’t see him at first because I too was wedged into the euphoric madness. And because of this, I quickly decided to choose something that was easy to get off and on a hanger so as not to spill a drink or topple a display in my oft-clumsy maneuverings. Something simple to try on, like a jacket.
Luckily, Tahari’s selection of outerwear was so gorgeous it was rendering people speechless left and right. The red wool Victoria Coat was being modeled by one lucky guest in a photo shoot by Guerre of Guerreisms., the creamy white Jessica coat was being whisked away by one of the store’s stylists and in the middle of it all, my eyes made contact with a petite-looking (crucially important for me) silver and black, leopard print trenchcoat that was just hanging out, untouched, on a nearby mannequin.
I slowly unbelted the coat (which I would later find out was named Clarissa) from the mannequin, afraid I was maybe not supposed to be doing that, and slipped the coat on over my DVF dress. It was an XS which I rarely, if ever, can get away with and I immediately thought it would be embarrassingly tight. Lo and behold, magical hands were soon engulfing me – helping me with the buttons, tying the belt and even cuffing the sleeves. Before I knew what had happened, I was standing in front of a display mirror with none other than Elie Tahari himself smoothing down the fabric of the back with his expertly adepttouch. He said it looked great, everyone agreed, and someone rushed me off to get my photo taken in the store windows by Guerre of Guerreisms. The rest of the experience was a blur, though I do remember that the coat did miraculously fit perfectly and that I came out of my happiness coma briefly when Mr. Tahari personally posed in a few pics, did a little dance with me and then kissed both my cheeks. After that, I was pretty much spent.
The fairytale night was made that much better by the fact that Mr. Tahari had invited bloggers and members of the online fashion community almost exclusively to the event as his way of showing that he does, unlike some industry professionals, take online media seriously as a vehicle for fashion news. “I think these bloggers are our new stars, and we wanted to make them feel that way,” Tahari told WWD. The other best part of the night was now we can shop even more Elie Tahari looks online! In addition to the sleek new navigation of the e-commerce portion, the site also boasts Tahari’s new personal webzine, ETC and exclusive input from industry trendsetters. Like Joe Zee, who I did manage to nab a photo with as well. He promised we would talk more at the next event we were at together and I thought even if that never were to happen, he and Mr. Tahari and all the organizers of the event had given me enough that night to last a lifetime. Thank you all again!
Shop the Elie Tahari Fall 2011 collection on the new ElieTahari.com.
- Alia Rajput
Photo Source: Second City Style, Elie Tahari