2004 October 14

Stilettos, Ballet Flats & Graffiti

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Stephen Sprouse would have been proud. Last night a party of a different kind raged through the night on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. While it did involve what one has come to expect from an UES affair—dressed-to-the-nines ladies, including Amy Fine Collins, Jill Kargman and Whitney Fairchild, expensive shoes and the flash of cameras—what many didn’t expect as they celebrated the grand opening of shoe designer Vanessa Noel’s eponymous boutique on East 64th Street was the massive graffiti atrium in the back of the store. Turns out Noel employed Ceve, a local artist she met on the street, to create some custom graffiti in the back of the gallery-like space.

“Graffiti was born in New York,” said the designer, who had just celebrated her birthday. “I perceive it as art, and I’d like to hope my clients will too.” And appreciate they did. So much so, in fact, that many ladies, Hermès and Chanel bags in hand, made a dash for the back to have a first-hand view of the colorful work. While the socials checked out the art, Noel, in Oscar de la Renta and more importantly, strappy backless mules on a 4 ½ inch heel, complete with major Swarovski bling, strategically positioned herself in the front of the store, near the beefy shirtless Bill Restivo waitstaff that worked the bar and passed hors d’ouevres. And at the end of the night, Noel had it easy. Though the petite designer could have probably run a mile in her heels (those wearing the same shoes boasted of their comfort), her store occupies the street-level space of the same brownstone she lives in. Ain’t life grand?









Photos by Patrick McMullan

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