Inside InStyle's Exclusive New York Fashion Week Kickoff With Alice Smith

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Photo: 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-inspiredcocktails 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 WeekOur Stylish Ode to Mr. Fox!Josephine Cusumano, with reporting by Andrea Cheng

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Alice Smith Hits the Stage

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The soulful crooner sang a quick set for the crowd, but as a surprise, she sang a sweet rendition of "Happy Birthday" for Foxman, who is celebrating his 40th birthday. "I wasn't going to," Smith says about the unexpected song. "Generally, as a rule I'm against it because it feels whatever. It's interesting, even to me, oh I'm just going to sing 'Happy Birthday,' it just came out."

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Ariel Foxman, Alice Smith, and Babyface

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Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

came together to celebrate InStyle's very first New York Fashion Week kickoff party at Bar Nana. "It was impossible to pass up on an opportunity to do an event that dovetailed with our feature in the February issue with Alice," explains Foxman. "When we heard she was available and was interested in doing something with us, (we said) let's do something on the calendar with a reason."

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InStyle-Inspired Cocktails

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Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

It wouldn't be a party without an imbibe scene thanks to D'usse cognac and Marquis Vodka. The InStyle-inspired cocktails included 'The Code' made with D'usse cognac and fresh pineapple juice, and 'Virture amp Vice' with Marquis Vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice.

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Alice Smith

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The guest of honor arrived in an animal-print dress, but before she hit the stage, she slinked into her emerald Dolce & Gabbana frock. The 36-year-old singer also stars in the February issue, where she shares her ultimate playlist on page 226.

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Eric Wilson and Bob Morris

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"I'm super excited because it's my first Fashion Week with InStyle so I'm already jumping out of my shoes to come and see what the shows are like this season," says the Fashion News Director. "It'll be great to see it from this perspective and I think it's going to be a good season despite the snow."

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