Party Post-Mortem: The Neiman Marcus Gala

Frequent Boston magazine stylist J. Sybylla Smith weighs in on fashion’s new playground, the new Neiman Marcus:

Neiman Marcus began branding whimsical and bold luxury retail before any of us were born. One hundred years later they deliver sophisticated elegance for their discernible followers. Last Friday, Nancy Larson, the General Manager of the new Natick store, graciously welcomed an A-list crowd at a chic cocktail party.

Neimans catered to its flock with supernatural attention to detail. I found Paulina Neely modeling the store’s own line of 150-karat emerald and diamond pendent earrings, while nearby, Marilyn Riesman tried on cashmere knits by Chanel. A plasma TV that hovered over the Armani suiting and Prada crewnecks in the men’s department projected the Sox’s tough bout with the Yankees. Cocktails and mini chocolate baseballs were at hand to ease the pain.

The store itself is gorgeous, all gleaming white marble, bright lighting, and unobtrusive glass and steel fixtures, accented with thousands of silver metallic signature butterflies.

Style diehards will worship the outstanding selection in the Designer and Advanced Collection. Vera Wang’s Lavender line—one of my perennial favorites—is here. I pray her black bubble hemmed, square-strapped, delicately beaded top makes it into my wardrobe and that I can carry it off with Dolce & Gabbana black pencil pants. There’s also 6267, the hot new label out of Milan that combines the comfort of Donna Karan, the intelligence of Yohji Yamamoto, and the wit of Comme de Garcons; an exhaustive election of Gucci RTW and accessories to boot; and designer deities Martin Grant, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Zac Posen, Prada, and Roberto Cavalli.

Twenty 8 Twelve, Sienna Miller and sister Savannah’s debut collection, includes a sand colored French cotton trench that crosses a fencing uniform with a straight jacket. Cinched at the waist, with a full skirt and deep side pockets, it’s heavenly.