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Stella McCartney Talks Met Ball Gossip at Her Saks Opening

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Yesterday evening, a coterie of high-spending clients (at this level, they're not customers) gathered in midtown along with probably every fashion blog in New York, a smattering of looky-loos, and a luminous Liv Tyler to fête Stella McCartney and the opening of her shop within Saks Fifth Avenue. The event also benefited the The Naked Heart Foundation, the non-profit founded by Natalia Vodianova to build safe environments for children to play in urban Russia.

Fittingly, the bash was set in a whimsical, fun-filled playground setting. Guests noshed on kiddie-friendly vegetarian passed hors d'oeuvres (Stella is a famous veg), county fair–style popcorn, and bubblegum-pink cotton candy, and drank prosecco and spiked iced tea cocktails. A doo-wop band provided entertainment by bursting into song at random intervals.

We caught up with Stella—who was clearly the most popular girl in the room—in her second floor shop-within-a-shop. The Met Ball, which she co-chaired, is still on everyone's mind, so we were curious what her favorite part of the evening was.

"Just hanging out with my friends, actually. Just soaking it up and trying to live in the moment and enjoy it," she answered casually. Of course, we suppose it's not just any old hang out when your pals are Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Hudson.

Stella also dressed fellow Brit Kate Winslet for the Met Ball and Kate's been going around town proudly telling everyone that she went commando under her Stella designer confection. "That's what I hear!" Stella exclaimed when we brought it up.

We were wondering if Stella had any suggestions for what proper undergarments to wear under one of her designs. "I think whatever they want to wear," she told us democratically. "To be honest, I have a thousand answers in my head for that and I'm not going to say anything." Darn.

Dressing all those starlets and co-chairing the event sounds pretty draining. So to kick back after the ball, Stella chilled out, she said, "with a grilled cheese and fries with my husband." Nice to know we're not the only ones enjoying a post-drinking midnight snack in good company.

The Stella McCartney Saks debut shop resides on the second floor and is filled with Stella's gorge day and evening designs plus bags, a small selection of shoes and a wardrobe of kids' wear. Last night, guests were treated to a preview (and pre-order) of the fall and winter 2011 collections. The Stella-designed Met Ball gowns were also on display, with a main grouping featuring the pleated electric blue Eva Mendes, the commando-requisite Kate Winslet, the one-shoulder and side-baring lace Rihanna, and the sparkly nude body-con Gwynnie. We also spied the youthful toffee-hued princess mullet gown worn by Hailee Steinfeld in the shop. We didn't come across the Kate Hudson baby-bump-friendly frock or the killer embroidered Madonna gown, but then, it was crowded inside the party.

The host of the evening, Liv Tyler, was wearing a fall 2011 peplum LBD with sheer polka dot detail (similar to the number Kate Winslet wore to the Mildred Pierce premiere). The glamorous duo left the party together with some talk of going to the airport. They were escorted by their entourage into an elevator and quickly disappeared into the night—presumably in a fleet of chauffeured high-end SUVs. Maybe they'll make a pit stop for some grilled cheese on their way to JFK.
· All Met Ball Coverage [Racked NY]
· Saks Fifth Avenue [Official Site]
· Stella McCartney [Official Site]

Saks Fifth Avenue

611 5th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10022 (212) 753-4000 Visit Website