By Jim Shi Posted February 21, 2011, 12:44 PM EST
NEW YORK Although Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has become more inclusive through live-streamed Web casts of shows, Twitter updates, and seat-free, presentation-style staging, the events and after-parties surrounding the fashion set's biannual showcase have conversely taken a more exclusive tone. While there were still plenty of celebrations on offer this season, designers scaled back on the all-night ragers and large red carpet affairs, opting for cozy get-togethers with shorter guests lists.
For his store opening bash on February 11, Alexander Wang invited only 100 guests (as opposed to previous outings with as many as 500 revelers) to a private midnight performance by Lauryn Hill. Diane von Furstenberg, sidelined by a recent ski accident that left her nose broken, forwent the usual post-show dinner at her studio. Michael Kors kept things intimate for his 30th anniversary by hosting a small cocktail party at Bemelmans Bar and, unlike last year, Calvin Klein Collection designer Francisco Costa gathered only friends for a small dinner. Marc Jacobs held an employees-only, Valentine's Day-themed dinner at Chelsea Piers in recognition of the 10th anniversary of his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs. A couple of bigger soirees came courtesy of Prabal Gurung and VMan magazine, but the mood was decidedly restrained.
Among these small-scale socials, a few offered interesting production and decor elements. On February 8, Lacoste's private dinner for 40 editors was held amid the renovations at its Fifth Avenue store and catered by chef Daniel Boulud. Christie's threw open its doors on February 13 for a party to toast the 50th anniversary of Mattel's Ken doll, and Van Cleef & Arpels marked the opening of its new “Set in Style” exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt on Wednesday with a 160-person dinner that saw more than 3,000 butterflies made from dyed feathers hang from the ceiling of a silk tent.