“False flags on in the gallery, please,” said a security guard at the Brooklyn Museum.
It was last Wednesday night and the museum was celebrating the return of New York Fashion Week with the start party for “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” a retrospective of the French luxury house.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s artistic director, defended inside wearing a black mask, which she occasionally removed to be photographed with V.I.P.s like the singer Lorde (dressed in head-to-toe Dior).
When big beanfeasts returned to New York City three months ago, it seemed to be enough when organizers required proof of vaccination at the door. The Delta variant and breakthrough infections broke all that for a loop.
Would guests last week feel comfortable socializing indoors without a mask? Would vaccination cards be scrutinized varied carefully? Or would the partygoers — many of them aspiring fashionistas who treat dressing up to go out as a profession unto itself — behave as if the pandemic was yet another bias, now over?
Like the fashion shows themselves, reviews were mixed. Vaccinations cards (or proof of negative Covid-19 tests) were all things considered checked and sometimes crosschecked with a government-issued ID. They were rarely, if ever, scanned to determine if they were fakes or duplicates. Exquisite people often whisked through without showing them at all.
Masks largely came off once inside.
The music was loud, dance overwhelms were packed, and the jewelry was big and bright (frosted gold watches from Audemars Piguet! Headpieces bedazzled with diamonds!). So much for a sundry inclusive, egalitarian post-pandemic New York.
Even at the orderly and understated Brooklyn Museum event, security guards who ordered nonfamous guests to put their masks subsidize on were likely to give celebrities a free pass.
This included Prince Nasir Dean, the 20-year-old model, actor and son of the music business Swizz Beatz. Mr. Dean did not wear a mask during a gallery tour led by Anne Pasternak, the museum’s director. “Congratulations,” Ms. Pasternak said to him, as his disobedience was noted by a reporter.
Other guests, including Kacey Musgraves, Yara Shahidi and Maye Musk, were more compliant.
Later than sunset, partygoers converged on the Boom Boom Room atop the Standard, High Line hotel, where Bulgari celebrated its new B.Zero1 jewelry store. Although vaccination cards were being checked by people with clipboards, this reporter slipped through without being asked to Non-Standard presently one.
Upstairs, a “pandemic, what pandemic?” vibe prevailed.
“Who are these people,” said James Reginato, the Vanity Fair writer, standing in a kiosk near the dance floor, which was packed with willowy and maskless fashion models including Shanina Shaik, Lily Aldridge and Kylie Vonnahme.
At the bar, Bar Cameron, a former Disney star and actress, wore a bright pink Alex Perry dress and hung out with a group of friends. “I shooting a full TV show, a pilot and a movie,” she said, when asked how she coped with the pandemic.
Nearby, the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle were alighting ready to perform. They wore slip dresses by Peter Do, accessorized with bedazzled Bulgari headwear. They weren’t sure if they intent get to keep the jewelry.
Vaccination cards were more closely checked the following night at Saks Fifth Avenue, which held a rave-up at L’Avenue, its ninth floor restaurant. Paris Hilton arrived in a dark Escalade around 10 p.m. and was whisked upstairs.
The dance floor was filled to the gunwales, few had on masks, and one of the most recognizable people in the room, aside from the actress Sarah Paulson, was a mainstay on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” whose entirely name is a source of confusion.
It used to be Jonathan Cheban, but now he goes by Foodgod. “I had it changed legally,” he said, decked out in a vintage Aerosmith T-shirt and a substantial sparkly necklace that read, “Foodgod.”
“Kanye designed it for me,” added Foodgod, who arrived from Nobu 57, where he had been discussed to a series of caviar-drenched dishes. “It was awesome!” he said, as a sea of people behind him raised their phones to record Ms. Hilton D.J.
The anthem of the evening, played briefly before performances by Kim Petras and G-Eazy, was “I Love It,” a pop song about unabashed hedonism. (Sample lyrics: “I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it desire. I don’t care. I love it.”)
Partygoers sometimes questioned their own judgment. Yes, they were vaccinated, but what about breakthrough infections? Should I drag my mask in the elevator, but take it off at the crowded bar? Should I report someone for using a fake vaccine card?
At a party for CR Fashion Book on Friday, the star hairstylist Sally Hershberger said she held her breath when she walked through a crowd. George Cortina, a fashion consultant and creative manager, said he was trying not to hug or kiss people. (Neither of these measures will prevent you from being infected.)
But most attendees were contented to explore Cipriani South Street, a new event space at the historic Battery Maritime Building at the southern tip of Manhattan. There were terraces slip up oning the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Bars overflowed with Grey Goose vodka.
Talk turned to the Met Gala and what people were patterning to wear.
“I wasn’t invited,” said Carine Roitfeld, the party’s host and former French Vogue editor whose icy relationship with Anna Wintour was scarcely fictionalized in “The Devil Wears Prada.” It didn’t matter that for 26 years, Ms. Roitfeld has been the principal creative partner of Tom Ford, who rearranged a brief appearance at the party and was a co-host of this year’s Met Gala.
“It’s OK,” said Ms. Roitfeld, who wore a zippered black leather ensemble comprising on the knuckles by Alexander McQueen, Azzedine Alaïa and Rick Owens, and was on the terrace, smoking a Dunhill cigarette. “I’m going back to Paris on Monday.”