It was billed as a day of “lunch and curated shopping” and it was all that and more as Harper’s Bazaar, celebrating its 150th anniversary, and The Westchester, a Simon mall, hosted 75 attendees for treasure hunting and quality time with Avril Graham.
“We’re doing a whole different presentation this year,” Graham, the magazine’s executive fashion and beauty editor, said. And how. Upon signing in, guests – wearing for the most part LBL (little black leather) – received key chains with different colored paper roses and the name of stores at which to being their adventure.
We began at Tiffany & Co., muscling our way to the head of the line for a chocolate reading with Raven of Modern Divination, a company that promises “Oracles As Entertainment.” We selected a chocolate from a big box of Godiva – only one, an open oyster – and then Raven told us our fortune, surmising that we were creative, analytical and not one to be micromanaged. (Hmm, true.) Then we had to bite into the chocolate for further analysis. It was a tough job but somehow we managed to complete the rapturous task.
That was just the beginning of the fun. There was a makeshift flower shop at Neiman Marcus Westchester by KC Creations, which did the spectacular displays of autumnal roses throughout Level 1 of the mall; personalized haiku poems at Stuart Weitzman; and fashion illustrations by Bil Donovan at Louis Vuitton that turned us into Vuitton models. (Other participating retailers included David Yurman, Hugo Boss, Marc Cain and Shinola, which is new to The Westchester.)
Then guests dined on wild Ora King Salmon and Madagascar vanilla bean panna cotta by Anthony Goncalves, executive chef of Kanopi, as Graham and Paula Kelliher, area director of strategic mall marketing, our gracious hostesses, made the rounds.
Graham – always a font of knowledge about the latest trends (leather, florals, velvet, reds) – informed us of a new exhibit that’s the subject of a spread in Harper’s 150th anniversary collector’s issue.
“Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton,” at the American Stock Exchange Building in Manhattan through Jan. 7, charts the history of the House of Louis Vuitton from 1854 to the present.
Sounds like another great retail adventure.