When Marni, the funky-cool Italian fashion label created by Consuelo Castiglioni, comes together with H&M, the giant Swedish low-priced mass retailer, the result is 48 pieces of clothing for women and men, plus plastic jewelry, sandals, sunglasses and hats, that will be launched March 8 in 260 H&M stores. No doubt the pieces will go flying off the shelves within hours, but the launch party Friday night in Los Feliz will go down in Hollywood social history as one of the coolest retail launches ever. It was obvious just how much thought and detail went into it.
The affair was hosted by Sofia Coppola, who brought her French husband Thomas Mars of the band Phoenix and a large French entourage; Castiglioni, who brought her entire Italian family; and Margareta van den Bosch, creative adviser to H&M. And it had all the elements of a world-class amazing event:
* An incredible location: The Lloyd Wright Sowden House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's architect son, which was festooned with hundreds of candles, flowers and Marni for H&M pieces on display.
*Food by Akasha: Fresh artisinal pizzas popping out of the oven, quinoa salad with veggies, etc, plus endless bottles of champagne that were somehow always strategically nearby.
* Stars in great-looking surprisingly chic Marni for H&M pieces: Coppola in a gold two-piece pants look; Jessica Chastain in a printed dress; Freida Pinto in a top and skirt; Milla Jovovich; Winona Ryder; Drew Barrymore; Lily Collins in a short pale blue Marni dress with a tight waist; and Andrea Riseborough, in the night's most exotic outfit.
* Left field celebs: What on Earth was Mel Gibson doing there?
* Great music: Bryan Ferry played for a whole heavenly hour, with backup dancers, singers and a kick-ass girl drummer.
The combo of the food, the gorgeous locale under the stars (the house has many rooms and courtyards), the people, the outfits — the entire Marni for H&M collection was displayed in a back room — the multitude of champagne magnums and of course Ferry was all so overwhelming, it could have been the go-go '90s in New York all over again. Marni PR extraordinaire Karla Otto gives events like no other fashion PR in the world. Worthy of Ab Fab, darling! It's not like these clothes wouldn't have flown out of the H&M stores, but now, they'll fly faster.