Last Thursday, the designer Phillip Lim and his good friend Amanda Cutter Brooks, the socialite and former creative director of Tuleh, hosted a Michael Jackson dance party at Collective Hardware on the Lower East Side. Aside from a brief mention in Vogue‘s William Norwich‘s blog, there was practically no preliminary press about the party, for which several hundred invitations were sent out. “The gang made a no-press pact,” a rep for Mr. Lim told the Daily Transom when we tried to pry our way inside that evening.
Event producer Tom Palmer, a friend of the hosts—he has produced Mr. Lim’s fashion show for the past four years—was given less than a week to orchestrate the bash.
“They wanted it to be a celebration of having lived in the time of an influential and an inspiring person. That was the only creative direction they gave me as far as the spirit of the party,” Mr. Palmer told the Transom by phone the morning after the party. “It was meant to be something that would make Michael proud.”
Mr. Palmer worked for free, with some resources donated by the hosts’ friends and acquaintances. “Phillip really liked the idea of a smoke machine,” he said. “He thought it would be a very Michael Jackson thing to have.”
About 300 hundred guests were expected; upward of 500 showed up throughout the course of the evening, including designer Carlos Mota and Richard Chai; socialites Genevieve Jones, Bee Shaffer, Derek Blasberg and singer Lissy Trullie; plus “lots of fashion assistants,” reported one guest, “which is always fun.” (Another attendee thought he spotted socialite Allison Sarofim in the crowd. Volunteer DJs played “Thriller” and “Beat It” and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” while the accompanying videos were projected on the wall.
Mr. Palmer wore black loafers, a black jacket with zippers, and a white T-shirt. “I did my best to have that bad look,” he said. Mr. Lim was also outfitted in a ripped white T-shirt, loafers and sequined white socks. Ms. Brooks wore a black fedora and a vintage ’80s jacket, which Mr. Palmer guessed was probably Oscar de la Renta.
“The spirit was exactly what we had hoped. It was just a simple celebration in that nothing was being shilled,” the planner said. “Everyone who was there danced, and it got a little hot and it got a little sweaty, but everyone just let go of their egos and embraced it. Even the wallflowers that come to so many of these parties and usually just sit and watch got into it.”
Anyone with especially enviable moves?
“There were a lot of earnest attempts,” Mr. Palmer said. “And there was some spontaneous moonwalking.”