Lane Crawford’s Stella McCartney Party!

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Thursday night I was invited to a party thrown by Hong Kong retailer Lane Crawford in honor of fashion designer Stella McCartney. Immediately the location of the event – an industrial building in Aberdeen, caught my eye. Aberdeen is sort of a wasteland in between wealthier, more modern enclaves on that side of the island. To get there you take a tunnel through a mountainside. The road where the party was held is a barren stretch of warehouses and glum old factory buildings.

The event was from 8 until 12, so I decided to arrive around 9:30. I was told the party would also feature a performance by the band New Young Pony Club. NYPC are a London-based group who play contemporary New Wave music. It’s a very of-the-moment type of sound favored in hipster scenes, better clubs and indie fashion circles. In Hong Kong you can catch this sound at Yumla or Volar when D.J. El Kabong (aka Drafus,) or the Uptown Rockers play.

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Rounding the corner from where the taxi dropped me off, I saw a large lighted marquee with ‘STELLA McCARTNEY’ spelled out over the entrance. There was a sort of caravan of vehicles parked outside the reception area and live painting was going on. Live painting is common at events these days, however, this time the painter was using several cars and the side of a large truck as his canvas! As I stood there taking in the scene, the painter casually crossed the street to gain perspective of his work. Here’s a video of how it looked!

Passing through the reception I ran into a friend who was there with a crew of breakdancers. The entrance featured stacks of crisp new cardboard boxes as a decorating technique. It was a good way of masking the fact that you were walking through a loading dock!

I took one of the industrial elevators up to the 16th floor. This same venue had been used once before by Kee Club for their anniversary party. The space had evidently undergone further renovations since then. Stepping out of the elevator the venue opened up into two rooms: a large main room with a slick interior and a long balcony, and a smaller room off to the left. One wall in the main room was covered with LED lights emitting constantly changing patterns. There was a stage set up for the band that would be playing later – New Young Pony Club.

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D.J. Simon Pang (one-third of the Uptown Rockers,) was playing a mean set of early Electro. The second room off to the side was more of a lounge with plush seating and a specially appointed pool table in the center.

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All night long models were instructed to play billiards while wearing Stella McCartney clothes – that was the show! It was a cool understated concept and it worked well.

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I wonder if the billiards show was somehow inspired by Racks? Pretty much the same thing goes on there – models hanging out playing pool – every night! The room had a sort of speak-easy feel to it. As the party heated up in the main room I took frequent trips back to the billiards parlor to recoup my energy and get some space. For some reason, the majority of people didn’t seem to venture over there.

The party continued on the 17th floor. Walking up a flight of stairs, the rooftop was sort of a large gazebo with an equal amount of outdoor space. Stella herself was making rounds through the crowd, interrupted every so often to pose with Hong Kong notables. The outside patio was awash in lanterns that, although should be tacky in theory, totally worked!

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The outside area was the place to be as socialites made their way closer for a glimpse of the celebrity designer. The crowd was a combination of Lane Crawford guests, Occasions (Hong Kong’s top event company) regulars, and people from A-Vibe’s guest list. Parties this year have achieved a better mixture of street and society types and this event was no exception. Previously, the crowd at events would be polarized either one way or the other. There’s always been overlap and finally sponsors and event organizers are starting to catch on. The graffiti / street artists outside the venue, as well as the choice of band, all appeal to a more youthful set than typical brand events. Lane Crawford is doing an excellent job appealing to and capturing the segment that straddles both of these worlds.

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Stella McCartney strikes a pose next to the billiards table!

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New Young Pony Club performing!

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