My friend Alisa Morov, she of the cookbooks and Sweet Pea Baking, and her partner Louise Brody of the gallery Atelier 7, launched their new project the other night and we jumped right in. Very Swell is an underground concept party project that will be putting on themed parties, teas, and events on a regular basis in Paris, with guests paying to take part. It sort of takes off from the underground restaurant idea that's been growing so popular in the US, as well as in Paris.
Their launch was a Mad Men Cocktail Party in the very mid-century modern environs of Atelier 7, once Picasso's studio.
Guests were asked to dress in the spirit of the time and classic drinks and hors d'oeuvres were served. Ladies with French twist chignons and bright red lipstick chatted with men in suits and narrow ties. Don Draper himself would have fit right in. Luckily Gene had a suit here and looked spiffy in his gray striped tie.
Alisa's updated twist on canapés and rumaki went perfectly with the old-fashioneds and gin gimlets bartender Brian was turning out at warp speed. It was a lot of fun, with a mixture of anglophone and French guests; très cosmopolitan (although Cosmos themselves would have been anachronistic). We felt like grown-ups.
The next Mad Men Cocktail Party is on May 20 and then come Tea and Arsenic and the Beat Generation Coffee House night at Coutume Café, the very hot new coffee roaster/shop. Tom, the extremely tall and charming Australian owner of Coutume was a guest at the launch and made me anxious to drop into the café, if only to gaze at him again. (Shhh, don't tell Gene that's why we're going).