Barbie Has a 60th Birthday Party in SoHo

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Barbie turns 60 this year. And, like some of the guests who turned out last Friday for a birthday party in her honor, she’s had some work done. (She now comes in different body shapes and skin tones.)

“Shockingly, Barbie is 60, which is exactly my age,” said Candace Bushnell, the “Sex and the City” author, who was dressed entirely in “Barbie pink.” “Everybody is fascinated by Barbie. Girls get together to play with their Barbies, and it ends up being a storytelling experience.”


For the occasion, Mattel transformed a large SoHo storefront into an Instagram-optimized playground. Visitors could explore Barbie’s fabled Dream House, sit behind the wheel of her convertible or pose inside a giant packaging box like Barbie herself.

There was no place for cynicism inside the pink, throbbing aorta of Barbie fandom. Even the clean-cut waiters, who served vodka cocktails garnished with rose petals, personified the neutered charm of her eternally chaste boyfriend, Ken.

Guests included the young actresses Yara Shahidi, AnnaSophia Robb and Lena Hall; as well as fashion designers who created outfits for Barbie, including Diane von Furstenberg, Cynthia Rowley and Anna Sui.

“Barbie is more diverse now, and there’s over 200 career Barbies, so she is up there in terms of representation,” said Gabriella Wilson, a singer who performs as H.E.R. “And it’s important in a young girl’s childhood to have something that helps her envision her future.”

And is there room for a nonbinary, gender-queer Barbie in this progressive and enlightened universe?

“There is no Barbie L.G.B.T., but we are looking at a Dream House for an L.G.B.T. couple,” said Ynon Kreiz, the chief executive of Mattel, before a public relations executive shut him down.

He declined to answer follow-up questions, and the P.R. executive later said his remark “may not be accurate.” But if Barbie Dream House: Fire Island Share ever does come to pass, you read it here first.

A dream house of a different type opened in Times Square on Tuesday night.

Ian Schrager held a party for the Times Square Edition, a 452-room hotel operated in partnership with Marriott International that wafts 42 stories above the touristy throng, as if held aloft by the heat of Broadway lights.

“This is a combination of highbrow and lowbrow,” said Mr. Schrager, 72, in his gravelly, Jimmy Durante voice. “It’s a very sophisticated sanctuary. Pristine on the inside, but all the outside spaces are right there in the middle of naughty and bawdy Times Square.”

It was also something of a return for Mr. Schrager to the neighborhood. Studio 54, the infamous 1970s discothèque of which he was a founder, is a quick stroll away. Four decades later, celebrities were still beating a path to his door.

Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber, the models and social media potentates, were there, each with plunging necklines, along with Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls and Elsa Hosk. Peering at one another through the indoor palms were Suki Waterhouse; the sisters Alexandra and Theodora Richards; the brothers Harry and Peter Brant Jr; and numerous night-life denizens including Susanne Bartsch, Nur Khan and Chelsea Leyland.

Dylan McDermott, the actor, was besties with Maxwell, the singer. Also present was Matt Tyrnauer, who directed the documentary “Studio 54,” which received positive reviews for its candid portrayal of Mr. Schrager.

“I have an 8-year-old son, and we wouldn’t let him watch it,” Mr. Schrager said. “But he saw it when I wasn’t there, and he said, ‘Oh, so you had money and drugs in the ceiling?’”

Busted.

Dinner was swordfish, cauliflower and steak, prepared by John Fraser. Afterward, guests moved downstairs to the Paradise Club for performances by Nile Rodgers and the band Chic, followed by Diana Ross.

They were habitués of Studio 54 a generation ago, but they still enthralled the young audience, many of whom were vaping with one hand and taking puppy-faced selfies with the other.

Mr. Schrager took to the stage for the final number. Appropriately, it was “I Will Survive.”



By BEN WIDDICOMBE

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