Mary J. Blige and a Perfume Take Over Rockefeller Center
Chanel No. 5 celebrates its 100th birthday with a big party.,
Last Friday night, logomania swept Rockefeller Center as the luxury fashion house Chanel celebrated the centennial of its ever-popular fragrance No. 5 (also known as Marilyn Monroe’s favorite thing to wear to bed).
It was a night of Chanel everything. Its double C logo decorated the ice skating rink; behemoth mock-ups of the perfume’s familiar silhouette lined a passageway; celebrities including Lily Allen, Jemima Kirke and Sadie Sink wore head-to-toe Chanel; and Mary J. Blige performed.
The party was intended to promote a product that sold more than half a million bottles in the United States in 2019, according to Chanel representatives. The exhibition is open to the public until Friday.
“I’ve never felt this beautiful before,” the actor Tommy Dorfman said. The “13 Reasons Why” star, who came out as transgender last year, wore a Chanel tweed blazer with a sheer black skirt.
“To have an opportunity to collaborate with, or even wear on a red carpet, a heritage brand that holds so much history as a different kind of woman in society feels like a responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” Ms. Dorfman said with a megawatt smile. “I’m just grateful to be included.”
Lauren Ridloff, who stars in “Eternals” as Marvel’s first on-screen deaf hero, also spoke about greater inclusivity in fashion. “I feel like fashion has space for everybody, and it’s about time that we start to see that,” Ms. Ridloff said with the assistance of an American Sign Language translator.
As the party got underway, masked waiters appeared with trays of chicken potpie, butternut squash soup, cheeseburgers and French fries (more winter lodge fare than typical fashion party chow). Over at the bar, guests shouted out orders for a vodka-based apple cider, wine and cocktails decorated with sage. Brass Queens Band, a New Orleans-inspired all-female band, blasted out bright, buoyant tunes near the rink.
Around 8:30 p.m., Elladj Balde, a former Olympian figure skater from Canada, zoomed onto the ice and executed vertiginous back flips, spins and kicks to the Bruno Mars hit “Uptown Funk.” “I wanted to bring a fun, easy, groovy vibe,” Mr. Balde said before his performance.
Just as the temperature dropped and heat lamps were brought out for shivering guests, Mary J. Blige appeared onstage, which was set up in front of the Prometheus statue. For about 20 minutes, she performed her major hits, including “Real Love” and “Just Fine,” while dressed in, of course, more Chanel.
At one point, Ms. Blige paused and spoke to the audience. “We’re going through a lot of stuff right now,” she said. “And I hate to say it, but I think we’re going to be going through more stuff. That’s why we have to take care of ourselves and each other.”