Stella McCartney effortlessly eased the city's fashion folk into the upcoming flurry of shows with her spirited pre-fall 2012 presentation on Monday.
Held at 17 Barrow St. - better known by its more illustrious title, One if by Land, Two if by Sea - the cocktail party-style showing featured an open bar and hors d'oeuvres (vegan, natch) and swingy live jazz.
Models, likewise, worked the room, sipping their own cocktails, chatting and, in an especially charming tableau, playing a round of pool and backgammon. In fact, you may not have even known they were models if they weren't, well, models.
The rustic warmth of the candlelit locale was an ideal complement to the apparel: a spot-on mix of equestrian-style separates that recalled an English countryside or "The Hound of the Baskervilles," as well as unique vintage-monogrammed outfits. The palette was neutral, save for splashes of royal blue, vermilion and green. Evening wear was equally refined, with plenty of delicate lace, bows and mixed-metallic looks. Accessories were on display as well, notably chunky sustainable wooden platforms and a variety of faux-suede boxy bags.
The evening continued for VIPs with a private dinner at McCartney's new soHo flagship at 112 Greene St. - a "meat-free Monday" to-do curated by chef Mario Batali. Guests included Liv Tyler, Naomi Watts, Kristen Wiig, Hamsh Bowles, Anna Wintour, Lorne Michaels and Stefano Tonchi.
Follow Style/Buzz/Special Sections Editor Perrie Samotin on Twitter: @PerrieWS