Ferragamo Fetes Vara

Thursday, May 2, 2013
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The fashion set ditched their stilettos  and came out en masse to the McKittrick Hotel – home of the culty theatre performance “Sleep No More” – to fete the 35th anniversary of Ferragamo’s Vara, the iconic mid-heel shoe with its signature grosgrain bow and gold plaque bearing the Ferragamo label. To mark the milestone occasion, Ferragamo launched L’Icona— an online tool that lets one customize a pair of the classic shoes.

The brand commissioned portrait photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank to shoot portraits of 21 iconic women—actress, models, and front row denizens the likes of Lake Bell, Camilla Belle, Alexandra Richards, Lily Kwong, Jessica Hart, and Amanda Hearst—styled in their favorite Varas or Varinas, the ballet flat variation introduced in 2007. “It’s always gratifying to see these projects finally come to life, especially with so many of my friends and people I love out tonight,” the 7 months pregnant “American Beauty” author mused at Tuesday night’s speakeasy cum rooftop bash, where entertainment,  fashion and social fixtures the likes of Eva Longoria, Natalie Joos, Zani Gugelmann, Phoebe and Annette Stephens, Nicky Hilton, and Genevieve Jones got a sneak peak at the site, and a chance to customize shoes of their very own. Those in need of that extra dose of inspiration could take cues from the decor: even the pillows at the party were adorned with gold Ferragamo bows.

For those with more self-exhibitionistic tendencies, a vintage train car, complete with a photo booth, lured guests to strike their best poses against a lush floral backdrop. Back in the speakeasy section, Sophie Auster—one of the L’Icona muses—crooned her own songs to a packed house. The crowd subsequently made its way to The McKittrick rooftop, where Alexandra Richards ruled the DJ roost whilst a bevy of partygoers danced the night away to stave off the slightly chilly temperatures. Score another point for flats: no sore feet the next day for this crowd.


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by Ben DiamondPhotographed by Billy Farrall