It's common knowledge that punctuality is a very vague term in the worlds of fashion and music. That's why most people guffawed when told that Grace Jones—the special musical guest at Viktor & Rolf's five-year anniversary party for its scent Flowerbomb—would grace the stage at Le Meurice hotel at 10:30 p.m. on the dot.
Not that there wasn't still heavy anticipation. For more than an hour leading up to the legendary disco diva's performance—which happened around midnight (practically early, in other words)—attendees jockeyed to get close to the front for a better view. Just to the right of the stage was a makeshift VIP area, where the designers huddled with friends like Jessica Stam, Karolina Kurkova, and Renzo Rosso. "It's Grace Jones, and she is definitely worth the wait," Rolf Snoeren started to say. Just then, burly men split the crowd, sending Champagne glasses in the air as they cleared a path for a black unitard-clad Jones. "She is a vision," Snoeren added, now standing next to Viktor Horsting in awe. The 62-year-old didn't disappoint, hitting her high notes, shouting inappropriate comments, and doing her trademark booty shake in the audience's face. At one point she climbed the staircase that had been constructed for her two-song set, pulled the back of her leotard into a thong, bent over, and announced, "I'm ready when you are!"
The entire presentation—the shock and awe, the Philip Treacy headpiece, and so on—seemed familiar to more than one person in the VIP area. When somebody murmured, "She is the original Lady Gaga," Horsting smiled back: "She would probably agree with you." (For the record, it should be noted that Jones ultimately went from provocative to sweet, calling the designers to the stage and singing them "Happy Birthday.") As guests started to file out, Kristen McMenamy had a good question: If this is what they're going to do for their fifth anniversary, what do you think the tenth will be like?