“I love L.A.,” said Roseberry, taking a break from life in Paris and the atelier on Place Vendôme. “I have a boyfriend here. I have friends here.”
The boyfriend is fellow designer Adam Selman, who came out in support. And a new friend in town was none other than Jennifer Lopez. The room took notice when she and Roseberry spent nearly 20 minutes tête-à-tête after she arrived to the affair — a cocktail hour held at the John Sowden House, the 1926 neo-Mayan residence designed by Lloyd Wright. It was their first time meeting.
“Very good chemistry,” said Roseberry, moments after the chat. “And, you know, it’s either there or it’s not.”
Lopez made her exit just after, donning a yellow strapless gown adorned with a gold brooch and eye earrings.
The space was filled with showstopping looks from Schiaparelli, which owes a lot of its recent success to Hollywood, having dressed Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Cardi B and many more.
“The fit is fire,” a photographer told Joey King.
“It is really good,” responded the newlywed before striking a pose.
She had been talking to Roseberry about her role in the 2019 true crime drama “The Act,” playing Gypsy Blanchard (who’s been making headlines lately as she nears her prison release date).
“I was bald, had fake teeth,” she explained, while all glammed up — in a headpiece, too. Quite the contrast.
The compliments flowed, embraces and air kisses galore.
“Oh my god, you beautiful specimen,” Taraji P. Henson told Angela Bassett, nearby. The two let out a cry, clasping hands as they hugged.
“Opa!” Henson had shouted just before as a glass shattered. “Now the party’s started.”
The party included Regina King, Gabrielle Union, Maya Rudolph, Natasha Lyonne, Demi Moore, Adria Arjona, Olivia Wilde, Janicza Bravo, Law Roach, Brad Goreski and Jeremy O. Harris.
“That’s astounding for me, absolutely beyond,” Roseberry said of the Hollywood love. “And, you know, we’ve never paid a single person to wear it. It’s just incredible that people have gravitated to it so much. I’m just humbled by that. I think of this as the service industry. So, for me, it’s about serving an artist in a moment where they have to be highly performative, highly vulnerable, highly out there. And that’s what I love to do. You know, [Alexander] McQueen said one time, ‘I don’t go to therapy, because the collections are my therapy.’ And you had the sense that sometimes designers are working out their own personal things. I couldn’t feel less like that at all. For me it’s about the client. It’s about the star. It’s about serving a moment. And that’s what I hope people feel and what I hope they’re responding to.”
He felt a sense of play among the women, he went on. “The pleasure of dressing up. And still there’s something about Schiaparelli that always feels in control. It never crosses into something campy. It never crosses into something too comical. It’s always just chic. And I think that’s the DNA, that’s the heritage of the brand. It’s an amazing thing to open up the treasures of the couture in the real world and watch people be able to participate and take it home.”
It was body-to-body inside the open-air courtyard.
Between its fantastical Mayan Revival architecture and the surrealist Schiaparelli designs that filled the estate — the moment and space seemed to be a brief escape. A pause from the discouraging news from SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP, which suspended negotiations amid the strike. And, more critically, from recent atrocities as the world watches the horrors of the Israel-Hamas war. The Academy Museum gala, which was to honor Meryl Streep, Sofia Coppola, Michael B. Jordan and Oprah Winfrey on Saturday, has been postponed due to the conflict. There was chatter about both among the crowd.
“It’s weird to be out, but it’s weird times all around,” said a guest.
“I came to see this house,” admitted another.
“I’ve never been here before,” said Roseberry. “I saw photos and loved. I love the history of the space. And I love seeing the work and the clothes recontextualized. It’s so nice to get out of the Place Vendôme and into something that feels so uniquely Los Angeles.”
Of the city, he added, “When I come here, I sit by a fire, I watch the sun go down, and I talk with my friends. This is the most social thing I’ll do for the year.”
For Neiman Marcus, it was a moment of celebration. Neiman Marcus Group unveiled Schiaparelli at its flagship in downtown Dallas last October. The collection is also available at a shop-in-shop at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. And this summer it made its West Coast debut at the Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills store.
“We have had a long-standing relationship with the brand,” said Neiman Marcus’ vice president of luxury fashion, Jodi Kahn. “Elsa Schiaparelli won the Neiman Marcus award in the early 1940s. And it was a brand that we felt like always would resonate with our clients. And many years ago, when it came back into fruition, we really felt it was the perfect opportunity, something that our clients would seek out — especially, we wanted the exclusivity. Our clients look for that and expect that from us. The scarcity is something really, very unique and special about it.”
Seeing success with its Schiaparelli offering in Texas, it was a natural next step to head to L.A. after New York, she continued. “In Dallas, it far surpassed our expectations of what we thought would happen with the brand. We’ve seen an amazing reaction, everything from the jewelry and the handbags to the ready-to-wear. Our clients have been really impressed with the collection.”
Ryan Ross, president of Neiman Marcus and head of Neiman Marcus Group customer insights, echoed the thought: “The Beverly Hills customer wants something unique, wants something that really speaks to them. And I think that’s what’s so special about Schiaparelli. When you see something, you have an immediate identification for that specific item.…It speaks to the individuality. That’s what L.A.’s all about.”
Discussing rtw, Roseberry said: “I think at the beginning it emerged as a capsule and now it’s become a whole world. And so, I just think of it as there’s nothing that we can’t do. We can do beauty, we can do fragrance, we can do accessories, we can do jewelry. It’s a whole world. And the couture is the most artisanal side of that. But there are pieces here that I want people to pick their kids up from school into, you know? I love that. I love the high-low of it. I’m a very simple person from Texas. That’s my speed.”