Stella McCartney Presentation Entertains With Electricity-Free Carnival

Photo: David X. Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Stella McCartney's New York presentations have long been highlights of the pre-fall and resort seasons, not just for the covetable clothes, but also for the manner in which the London-based designer presents her wares. To showcase her resort 2013 collection on Monday evening, McCartney threw a carnival, chock-full of old-fashioned games and food inspired by the designer's vegan lifestyle that thoroughly entertained the 250 invited guests, young and old.

Produced by Owen Davidson and Anne Landy of AO Production, alongside McCartney's in-house communications team, the summery gathering utilized the East Village's vast half-acre garden known as the New York Marble Cemetery. “It's always about looking for something new that hasn't been used to give guests an experience,” said Davidson, who earlier that day produced a luncheon at the Surrey Hotel to introduce a new Stella McCartney fragrance to beauty editors. For the evening presentation, which was the largest event the venue has ever hosted, Davidson added that guests were “there to see the clothing, but we also want to give them two hours of fun.”

Although a rooftop garden was an original consideration for the site of the affair, the appeal of the venue's walled-in garden proved more alluring. Indeed, what made the space particularly attractive was its complete privacy: the New York Marble Cemetery is essentially the full interior of the block bounded by East 2nd and 3rd Streets, Second Avenue, and the Bowery.

As McCartney is known for her love of kids, the mother of four took the opportunity to make the event more of a family affair by inviting editors to bring their children and having her friends kids man a lemonade stand on-site. “In keeping with Stella's mind-set, there was a huge part of [the event] involving children,” said Davidson.

In addition to the influx of children at the event—not to mention celebrities like Anne Hathaway, Jim Carrey, Amy Poehler, Lauren Hutton, and Emily Mortimer—another challenge for the producers was the lack of electricity. “It required that we be a bit more crafty,” said Davidson, who opted not to bring in generators. As it turned out, there was no need: the music (courtesy of the Soul Rebels brass band) was live and didn't require amplification; the food was premade or grilled on-site; the ice cream was stored in coolers; and the beverages were put on ice. And because of the time of year, the sun provided all the lighting necessary. (As for a rain contingency, Davidson said a tent was at the ready.)

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