February 29 2012

Is Colette's 150 the Modern Day Astor 400?

Members of the Colette 150 as drawn by New York Illustrator, Darcel for Colette's 15 Year Anniversary

At the turn of the 20th Century, New York high society was famously capped at 400. The number was not comprised simply of New York's richest families – the Vanderbilts were famously denied – nor was it the capacity of Mrs. Astor's ballroom, contrary to popular myth. Rather, it was a carefully curated group meant to establish the most cultured and noble families amongst the hordes of "New Money" overrunning the city.

Now, at the dawn of the 21st century (It's still the dawn right? It's like breakfast time.) a new list has just been presented. Colette, the infamous Parisian concept store, commissioned an exhibition of 150 Darcel Disappoints portraits celebrating 15 years of Colettian fashion, art, design and culture. It's a who's who of the global creative class (listed by first name only, testing your own cultural fluency). Imagine, if you will, the Rue Saint Honoré boutique as a conceptual 21st century Astor ballroom. It's probably missing a few key players; it's a bit fashion heavy and not everyone on the list is alive, but it certainly would make one hell of a fun party, something we are sure we could teach Mrs. Astor a thing or two about.