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A Fashionable Start to the Lunar New Year


“It feels like my wedding,” said the designer Phillip Lim on Tuesday night, as he greeted about 40 guests to a highly art-directed, made-for-Instagram dinner celebrating the Lunar New Year.

The dinner was held at a new three-story showroom for Genesis, the luxury Korean automaker, in Manhattan’s meatpacking district.

All guests were sent a Covid-19 test via messenger), and most arrived promptly at 7 p.m., making their way downstairs, where they hugged each other like members of an extended family.

“Once Phillip says come out, I come out,” said Laura Kim, the co-creative director of Oscar de la Renta. “Same,” said the restaurateur Ezra J. William, who had texted Ms. Kim hours before to coordinate their complementary pink outfits. “We do it all for him.”

They were joined by the comedian Ronny Chieng, the designer Prabal Gurung, the influencers Vanessa and Tina Leung, the artist Sho Shibuya and the fashion consultant Dario Calmese, many wearing one red item, the traditional good luck color in many Asian cultures.

After cocktails (and a fire alarm set off by the smoke machine), guests entered a futuristic room wrapped in LED screens. A long table was decorated with bowls of mandarin oranges covered in gold leaf and bright orange floral arrangements.

Each place setting featured a red envelope with the words “Hope You Get Rich” — a nod to Mr. Chieng’s Netflix comedy special, in which he jokes about how Chinese people wish each other a happy new year with the phrase “gong xi fa cai” (or “gung hay fat choy” if you’re Cantonese), which translates to “I hope you get rich.”

It wouldn’t be a Lunar New Year dinner without a lion dance, so Mr. Lim secured a troupe from the Chinatown Community Young Lions. To the beat of drums and cymbals, the lions danced up and down the table, flirting with the guests, which made for good social media fodder.

The main event was a five-course meal by Onjium, an offshoot of the Michelin-starred restaurant on the top floor of Genesis House overseen by the c​​hefs Cho Eun Hee , Park Sungbae and Andrew Choi. The royal Korean menu featured suranchae (chilled abalone, snow crab and scallop in a pine nut cream) and seolyamyeokjeok (grilled Wagyu sirloin with sunchokes). Each course was paired with Dom Pérignon Champagne, Ao Yun wine or Hennessy Paradis, a rare edition of the cognac that costs more than $1,000 a bottle.

Genesis House and Hennessy also donated money to Feed Forward and Heart of Dinner, two organizations in New York City that fight food insecurity. “They feed our parents, and the fact that they look after and care for the most vulnerable in our communities is heartwarming,” Mr. Lim said. “So for me, these organizations are run by real life superheroes.”

Activism was also top of mind for Mr. Chieng. “I’ve seen Asian businesses, activists and creators rally,” he said, referring to the Stop Asian Hate movement that took hold last year. “Tonight is a part of that rally but instead of another event where we’re talking about being downtrodden or begging for mercy, it’s also important to show us being dope and doing cool things.”


Circassia News

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