Third time’s the charm for Phillip Lim, who again teamed up with legacy cognac-producer Hennessy on Thursday to ring in the Lunar New Year and New York Fashion Week on the same night.
“It’s been such an incredible partnership because growing up in an Asian American household, Hennessy is something we pray to our ancestors for,” the designer said, looking dapper in a velvet smoking jacket. “It’s that bottle on the top shelf reserved for the pinnacle of celebrations.”
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The year of the dragon, a symbol of luck and prosperity, fit the bill for Lim, who will celebrate his brand’s 20th anniversary in September. “2024 started out with a bang,” he added. I’m in the process of moving homes and rebuilding a new one. I’m hosting tonight, then tomorrow will be fashion week. And it’s only February.”
Lim’s curated guest list was a who’s who of the AAPI creative scene, including designer Laura Kim, director Lisa Joy, actor Ronny Chieng, comedian Awkwafina and influencers Aoki Lee Simmons, Chriselle Lim and Ezra J. William. They all piled onto the Edition hotel’s lush garden terrace overlooking Times Square to sample cocktails infused with Hennessy’s exclusive collection of spirits for the Lunar New Year. The LVMH-owned brand tapped Chinese painter Yang Yongliang to create bespoke decanters in festive red, white and gold, which were used to decorate the space.
As in the past, Hennessy will be making a donation to Heart of Dinners on behalf of the event to help alleviate food insecurity and social isolation among Asian American senior citizens.
For the seated dinner, Calvin Eng, head chef of Brooklyn hot spot Bonnie’s, dished out Cantonese-inspired faire like wagyu tartare and jasmine rice congee, followed by dessert: mont blanc cake from Michelin-starred patissier Eunji Lee. Traditional lion dancers were an added treat.
It didn’t take long for things to heat up at the after party as those who stuck around had a short distance to the dance floor inside the hotel’s Paradise Club. The star attraction there was an enormous dragon sculpture with a gaping mouth, which looked as if it might breathe fire. Its tail snaked through the bar top before landing at the DJ booth where model Soo Joo Park could be found mixing beats.
The room was a buzz with silk fan performers, aerialists and hostesses who made their rounds, Hennessy in hand, dressed by Lim. But with a fall collection to present the next day, the designer lingered on the terrace a while to spend the wee evening hours with family, some of whom he only sees once a year on this very occasion. “Tomorrow is for the business side,” he said. “Tonight is more personal.”
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