If you're meeting Sylvana Durrett, Vogue's director of special events, and a gaggle of her friends for dinner at the Breslin, and are looking to make a good first impression, might we offer you this piece of advice: bring Band-Aids. All of a sudden I have a table of new best friends as Sylvana and Co. attend to their Miu Miu-and-Louboutin-ravaged feet. "These are so cute -- who makes them?" Sylvana asks, examining the chic little box. "Duane Reade!" I offer.
It's clear that the 29-year-old -- who got her start at Vogue as Anna Wintour's assistant and rose through the ranks to become the accessories editor and then, at the impressively young age of 28, the magazine's head party-planner -- has an eye for detail. Which is good, considering her job (as she puts it) is to "execute Anna's vision" when it comes to throwing events for the magazine, from Fashion's Night Out to the annual Met Ball.
Tonight, she's fresh off of working the 170-model-strong Fashion's Night Out runway show, and she's glowing, not only because her skin is really nice (and positively Vogue-worthy), but because she was able to talk with "Rodge," aka tennis champ Roger Federer, for a whopping 20 minutes earlier today. With her long, honey-brown hair flowing just-so over her Fashion's Night Out T tucked into pleather Topshop shorts, paired with Miu Miu leopard-print heels, Sylvana (known as Sylvana Soto-Ward before getting married last year) is that perfectly Vogue combination of accessible and slightly inaccessible at once. It's the accessible side that dominates tonight, though. Of her controversial decision to order a glass of chardonnay, she says, "I know, I sound like a 45-year-old divorcee, but what can I say, it's delicious!" Over various sausage-y appetizers and Arctic char (for the record, this Vogue staffer ate her dinner), conversation flows casually from the merits of the West vs. East Coast (she's an L.A. girl) to her recent jaunt to Carroll Gardens for dinner with her husband, Adam, a principal at a private equity firm (who stops by the Breslin briefly before he has to head back to the office). Sylvana has the waiter wrap up his lamb burger, which she takes with her in a doggy bag.
After dinner, it's off to the Gansevoort Park Avenue, for The Romantics premiere party. "I swear I'm not a premiere hopper," she says, explaining that we're going to support her sister, one of the film's producers. While Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and the like hold court, Sylvana's more comfortable talking to her sister's friends and chatting briefly with model Karolina Kurkova, who walked in the Vogue show earlier in the evening. As the party dies down and the celebrities start to trickle out, we decide to call it a night. Sylvana changes out of her high heels into more comfortable sandals, and with a Duane Reade band-aid peeking out, she hails a cab and heads home to the West Village.
Favorite places to party in New York:
WXOU is the best dive bar, the Ace Hotel lobby is great for drinks and the Boom Boom Room is the best for good music and dancing....
Best night to go out:
Saturday night -- I need Friday to unwind.
Times a week you go out:
For work sometimes twice a week, and for fun, once a weekend. Otherwise I'm trying new restaurants with my husband!
Cassidy is the best.
Drink of choice:
Favorite party jam:
"Teenage Dreams" by Katy Perry. Awesome.