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Shedding light on life after dark

International Playground Throws Noise Complaint-Worthy Opening

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    NEWSLETTERS

    James Jung

    Apparently when pop-up shops go permanent, they create a party-going frenzy, because that's the only way to describe last night's bustling scene outside of International Playground, a hip new boutique along Stanton St.

    After cutting their teeth with two temporary stores in NYC (one during last fall's Fashion Week and most recently during the 2009 Holiday season), as well as a showroom in Paris, partners Virginia Craddock and Johnny Pizzolato decided to put down roots. And from there, things moved quickly.

    "We were actually preparing to move into a basement space on Howard St. and serendipity sort of changed the plans at the last minute," Craddock explained while holding a cocktail in front of her very busy, brand new storefront. "A friend was showing her wholesale collections in here and said it was available, and within 24 hours we had the space."

    And what a cool space it is. Past the bottleneck of good-looking guests jockeying for entry, the party opened up into two bright, intimate rooms full of designs by Ravishing Mad, Vibe Johansson and Cut-It-Out. Michael T manned the decks at the back of the store, Nicky Digital mingled with a gaggle of girls and a dapper Gavin McGinnes (of Vice fame) dazzled in an off-white blazer. There was also a giant verdant installation dubbed the Living Wall that was designed by local artist Brian Hammox. 

    "Up until now everything has been so impermanent that for this shop we wanted to do something that was permanent and growing, and that was the idea to have the Living Wall," Craddock said.

    There was liquor too, which was served at a bar in the rear courtyard, meaning guests had to trudge through the otherwise residential building’s foyer to wet their whistles.

    But, despite putting up fliers well in advance and inviting their new neighbors to the shindig, there were grumblings of an impending noise complaint afoot.

    No matter. Following the party’s 10 p.m. conclusion, guests shuffled off to an LES after party at a private venue so secret, we had to give our Scout's Honor not to print its name.