There’s no place like home—or as New Yorkers call it, Bloomingdale’s. “It’s one of the happiest places on earth, isn’t it?” asked Michael Kors on his way up the escalator. “A landmark,” echoed Heidi Klum, gesturing at the scene. The NYC Department of Sanitation agreed, at least according to the one garbage truck circling the block and blasting its horn—because what’s more New York than going to work and realizing you’ve stumbled onto the biggest red carpet around?
It all happened at Harper’s Bazaar’s annual New York Fashion Week gala, the Global Icons Party that celebrates the image makers and change makers shaping style today. Celebrating our four September covers, the event took up the first three floors of Bloomingdale’s flagship location. But some things can’t be contained, and a great party is one of them… which might explain why Julia Fox hopped the velvet ropes to pose with a clique of transfixed teens on 59th street, or why Jared Leto stood grinning on Lexington Avenue while he peered into the store’s windows as if viewing the Sistine Chapel. (The actor was facing the Louis Vuitton section, so fair enough.)
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“You really can come here and worship fashion, can’t you?” asked legendary stylist June Ambrose. “You can be among people who love style as much as you do.” Ambrose wore a daffodil dress from Marc Jacobs’s runway collection. “At first, I thought about channeling Dorothy Dandridge. She was so chic. I thought it would be iconic to be Dorothy Dandridge, but in sneakers. And then I realized, I’m in a yellow dress in New York. I’m a taxi,” she laughed, “but a very expensive one.”
Just then, Grown–ish ingenue Justine Skye walked by in an azure dress by Raisa Vanessa that perfectly matched the Fiji Water bottles surrounding her… before she was surrounded by several selfie hounds, because Grown-ish is a delight and so is she.
Downstairs, Christian Siriano and Drew Barrymore raided the candy stash at the Casa Magazine stand until—just like at the real Casa Magazines downtown—they bumped into a friend. In this case, it was Real Housewife Leah McSweeney. “Excuse me, sir!” she bellowed. “Can you tell me if I’m wearing this dress right?” Of course it was a Siriano gown. Of course she was wearing it right. Of course this was an excuse to take more Twizzlers, because look, free candy is almost as good as a gown, especially during Fashion Week.
“I am always so hungry this season!” exclaimed Dove Cameron, who arrived in a show-stopping Balmain creation. “Always! Do you think I should bring a croissant to the Altuzarra show tomorrow, just in case?” (The answer is obviously, “Yes, but only if you bring enough for the whole class.”)
Designer Cynthia Rowley has her show on Tuesday, but she still made an appearance “because it’s Bazaar, how could I not?!” she smiled. “Anyway, I always get inspired at amazing parties. Like, this is a place that’s iconic New York. But I grew up in the Midwest, and there was nobody more iconic to me than Barbie. I had the original—the one with the black-and-white swimsuit. And now I’m thinking, wait, what if we made the Barbie swimsuit in real life, and put it on the runway?” Tommy Hilfiger’s show is on Sunday but his icon is a little closer to home. “You’re looking at her,” he said, nodding to his wife Dee. Everything got sweet and gooey after that, but perhaps that’s because tiny ice cream sundaes were passed through the crowd.
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Then there was a “surprise” Jack Harlow set—maybe the worst-kept secret at Fashion Week, which is saying something—that was ferociously fun, and lured a tangle of current runway deities (Ebonee Davis, Lineisy Monteiro, and Faretta Radic among them) onto the dance floor. But there was also an actual Dance Dance Revolution game where the fashion pack dared to stomp in sync… and in those giant Bottega Veneta boots. Whoa. Other games in the arcade area included Miss Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and an impromptu Skee Ball tournament which was dominated (like, destroyed) by Stanford student Phoebe Gates. “I played it all the time when I was little!” she exclaimed… but this time she did it in a Balmain dress and heels. Ms. Gates shared that her ultimate icon is Stella McCartney, because of her purpose-driven style mission, but we wonder if she’s gunning for the title herself, since her liquid liner was immaculate.
Around the corner, a claw machine from Related Group drew a steady crowd of cool kids trying hard to win stuffed animals, gift cards, and the admiration of their peers. (Top Gun and Insecure heartthrob Jay Ellis, Euphoria enigma Angus Cloud, and Gossip Girl dream date Evan Mock were all on the scene.) “My favorite video game designer is Tetsuyo Namura,” said Luster author Raven Leilani. “I consider him a style icon because he dresses his characters in these angular zippers and biker jackets that make them so cool. This,” she smiled, glancing around at the crowd, “is a little like that.”
As Broadway stars Patina Miller and Jane Krakowski made their way to the bar, Gucci muse Alton Mason greeted them… in a full Spiderman costume. “I had to do it,” he deadpanned. “I’ve been saving the city from bad guys all day. It’s a real honor to serve New York, but when I got home to change for this party, I had to keep the Spider suit on, because I realized I had nothing to wear.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.