Ariel Foxman, Alice Smith, Babyface
See All Photos Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

What’s the best way to kick off New York Fashion Week? With a party of course! And InStyle‘s first-ever Fashion Week celebration was the place to be last night, where fashion tastemakers and editors—including our very own Ariel Foxman and musician Babyface—brushed shoulders at Bar Nana in New York’s Meatpacking District for an intimate evening with singer-of-the-moment, Alice Smith. “The moment I saw her perform I texted our celebrity bookings editor and asked how quickly can we get this woman into the pages of our magazine,” Foxman explains to his guests. “Our 10 million readers need to know about this woman and her music and we rushed as quickly as we could to the photo studio to get her into the February issue. It’s all about spreading the words, the magic, getting her music out there. I’m so excited to have her here tonight.”

The soulful crooner serenaded the crowd with her signature blend of jazz, blues, and R&B, all in a sparkling Dolce & Gabbana emerald frock no less. But what got guests cheering aside from her powerful vocal cords? A surprising rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the one and only, Mr. Foxman!  “I wasn’t going to,” Smith excitingly explains to InStyle.com. “I like Ariel and I’m really grateful to him for putting me in the magazine, and he’s really nice and it’s his birthday! So why not? And why wouldn’t I? I really wasn’t gonna. I was gonna say happy birthday and move on because I’m very serious about my thing, but it was nice and I’m glad I did it.” As for the birthday boy’s thoughts? “It was amazing and it was such a surprise!” 

With Fashion Week dawning (now in full gear!), guests mixed and mingled as they enjoyed what InStyle.com’s Senior Fashion Editor, Violet Gaynor calls “the calm before the storm,” while sipping InStyle-inspired cocktails compliments of D’ussé cognac and Marquis Vodka. “Everything with InStyle is very much about enjoying fashion, looking good, and feeling good about yourself,” says Style Director Melissa Rubini. “It shouldn’t be that makes you feel stressed, it should make you feel happy.” To get your very one VIP pass to last night’s event, take a look through our gallery

MORE:
Celebrate InStyle‘s 20th Birthday 
• How InStyle Editors Survive a Cold Fashion Week
• Our Stylish Ode to Mr. Fox!

Josephine Cusumano, with reporting by Andrea Cheng