A Dixie-Style Shindig for Manhattan’s Fashion Crowd
The Alabama-based designer Billy Reid threw a post-fashion-show bash at the Beekman hotel with southern charm—plus grits and jazz—to spare
ON THE OPENING night of the recent men’s fashion week in New York City, designer Billy Reid airlifted a good old southern bash into the swanky confines of the Beekman hotel. “We have this festival called the Shindig that we host in Alabama,” said Mr. Reid of his Florence, Ala. studio. “It’s friends, musicians, chefs, artists. We wanted to bring that vibe here.”
Mission accomplished. Following the designer’s fall runway show at the Beekman, which included a performance by blues musician Cedric Burnside, attendees filtered into a “speakeasy” in the hotel’s cozy brick-walled basement. As bourbon cocktails flowed, guests two-stepped to a DJ set by Winston Marshall of British folk band Mumford & Sons and a live set by Nashville singer-songwriter Russ Pollard. “Billy’s the unofficial mayor of the south,” said British model and singer Karen Elson, now based in Nashville, who performed during the fashion show. “He really builds a community with his brand.”
While fashion parties rarely provide sustenance beyond microscopic canapés, the southern tradition of feeding guests well held sway. Chef Tom Colicchio, a friend of Mr. Reid’s who also owns the Beekman’s restaurant Fowler & Wells, orchestrated the menu, which included shrimp and grits, citrus-cured salmon and oysters Rockefeller.
The Colicchio-made nibbles lent substance to the genial, stylish affair. “I’m here for the fashion,” said “Mindy Project” actor B.J. Novak, attending his first ever fashion-week event, “but if there’s food around, why not?”
Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com