Ever wonder what it's like for a person of regular height (and in flats, because, working) to watch The Weeknd perform his greatest hits in a ballroom full of supermodels? Pretty difficult, since the stage was obscured all the towering, perfectly coiffed and swaying heads in this year's supe, celebrity and overall fashion-famous people-filled Harper's Bazaar Icons party at the The Plaza. I spent most of a song mesmerized by the back of Adriana Lima's Veronica Lake waves, which honestly was a true privilege.
At one point, I turned around to see a black suit-clad Robin Wright kind of inquisitively staring at the stage in a Claire Underwood-light sort of way and then heard "mom, here you go," as daughter Dylan Penn handed her a mini-bottle of Moët & Chandon from a conveniently located vending machine. In other words, as usual, the annual Icons by Carine Roitfeld bash (presented by Infor, Laura Mercier, Stella Artois, Fujifilm and Swarovski) was like New York Fashion Week's homecoming dance with all the fancy people, like Harper's Bazaar Arabia cover star Kim Kardashian, The Daily Front Row's Fashion Icon of the Decade Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Niki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Cindy Crawford and her mini-me and new NYFW runway star Kaia Gerber, "Insecure" creator Issa Rae and — oh — Jim Carrey.
The evening was also a chance for bold names to low-key roll into the party, like "Outlander" ginger dreamboat, Sam "Jamie Fraser" Heughan, who was patiently waiting for a beer at a corner bar after the performance. Even though he was cuddling with his girlfriend, actress MacKenzie Mauzy, he was still ready to plug his capsule collection with Barbour and its "Scotsman" aesthetic. "It's great for mountains and Scotland — and the streets of New York," he said, like a pro.
But some guests just wanted to casually chill with their buds, like Brooklyn Beckham, opting to go relaxed for the black-tie event in denim and a beanie (like dad David on NYU move-in-day) who told me, "I don't do questions." (Cool, cool. I still felt the aura of Victoria looking right into my eyes and that was a win.)
Clad in full Gucci (of course), Jared Leto talked and grooved with his squad. He's on his way to fashion icon status himself, with the help of BFF and Creative Director Alessandro Michele, but we wondered, who's his? "Gandhi," he said after a pause.
What felt like the entire Victoria's Secret lineup was hanging out in the back of the ballroom by the champers bar, obviously. Some were grouped in their sub-cliques, while others were making introductions to fellow Angels before the long flight to Shanghai in November for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Though, it will be a shorter jaunt for some.
"Oh my god, my parents will come!" said Ju Xiao Wen, who will walk the show for a second time, but this year in her home country. "The first time [in Paris was] so far away from my family."
Other guests enjoyed some stanning of their own. "I see [Icons honoree] Dionne Warwick just walk by and I kind of fanned out," said a newly blonde Teyana Taylor. "I'm just excited to see everybody. I'm one of those girls who appreciate the ones who come before me." (And no, she didn't have the inside scoop on what's happening with Yeezy this season.)
As for Danielle Brooks (Taystee in "Orange is the New Black"), she represented on her own. "I'm gonna say [my fashion icon is] my damn self," she said on the red carpet. "Because I feel like as a plus-size girl — someone who's curvy — we don't have that many examples. There's definitely styles that I love, like, Solange, Chaka Khan, but I feel like there aren't many plus-size icons. So I want to be that." Brooks is also walking the talk by putting her own fashion line in the works. "Keep your ears open," she added. "It's coming soon."
Model Halima Aden was still giddy from Rihanna's Fenty Beauty launch on Thursday — and working with the multi-hyphenate fashion icon. "[I love] how real Rihanna is, like she is authentic to the core — everything," said Aden, who stars in the line's diverse ad campaign. "She's doing a phenomenal job of trying to incorporate different kinds of beauty that for a really long time wasn't being celebrated, and she's putting those women on the forefront of the beauty campaign. It's incredible because all the girls deserve some love and to think, 'wow, that person looks like me and has a similar story.' So she's giving that to so many different women."
It's hard to believe yesterday was just day two of NYFW, but Aden is just getting started. What's she looking forward to for the rest of the week? "Oh! More parties!" she said excitedly. Me? I need a nap.
Click through the gallery below to see all the bold-name guests at this year's Harper's Bazaar Icons party.