Not a chilly wind nor the threat of a downpour deterred a slew of bold-faced Burberry fans from ascending 54 flights to the New York Palace Hotel's rooftop to help the iconic British fashion house celebrate its new Madison Avenue headquarters Thursday night. "It wouldn't be a true Burberry party without some fog and mist now would it?" mused the brand's creative director Christopher Bailey, who hosted the affair with company CEO Angela Ahrendts and personally greeted guests like Molly Sims, Harry Connick Jr., Carla Gugino, Helena Christensen, house face Lily Donaldson, and a late arriving Blake Lively on the white carpet. "This is 100% genuine London fog — imported in for the night."
In photo: Lily Donaldson, Christopher Bailey, Hugh Dancy, and Claire Danes
In a testament to life pre-recession, up on the roof the celebrities were joined by a mix of fashion editors, designers, and socialites for ever-flowing Champagne and smoked salmon canapés — indeed the perfect lead-up to a live performance by One Night Only and the countdown to the unveiling of the 50-foot neon signage said occasion was toasting (think of it as fashion's equivalent of New Year's Eve, complete with showering confetti and a live countdown).
Being that it was officially Burberry Day — as decreed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg — VIPs sported their finest Burberry Prorsum attire and were followed about the untented space with their own PUH (that's Personal Umbrella Handler to you and me). "I live in my Burberry trenchcoat the minute the weather turns foul," said Danes, who spent much of the night huddled with Orlando Bloom, Rose McGowan, and Emmanuelle Chirqui against a magnificent New York skyline to tunes deejayed by recent British transplant Alexa Chung.
Alas, reality set in at 9:30 p.m. when the alcohol supply ran out, prodding a few guests to call it a night. "The true sign of a genuine English party," joked Penn Badgley. "The liquor's all gone."
Photos from Wire Image