Florent's Anniversary Celebration, Fashion Wire Daily


An entree of a bared-on-stage “talking” vagina served over a waitress’s exposed breasts was complemented by a heavy, nipple-tasseled Dirty Martini, a scene only topped by entirely naked priests simulating sex.

“You paid over a hundred bucks to see this, you schmucks!” noted Murray Hill, co-host of the Bi-Decade(nt) Ball and Miss Meat Market Gown Contest, put on at the Roxy in celebration of downtown restaurant Florent’s 20th anniversary.

The crowd hooted in reply, seemingly pleased with the various R- to X-rated, circus-freak cabaret acts, all performed by past and present wait staff of Florent, paired with a final runway competition of Meat Market Gowns, by designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen, and House of Field.

The happy audience lounged on all of the glowing, flowing furniture of the disco-esque club; despite the rainy Saturday night and the over-a-hundred-bucks tickets (which started at $150), the dance floor was sea of folks, littered with cheap glittering wigs, sequined anythings, and the occasional nine-to-five suit of some “schmuck” dressed as if they were attending a charity event.

Which was actually fitting, as the Bi-Decade(nt) Ball’s proceeds benefited non-profit Friends of the High Line. Though co-host, drag queen Flotilla deBarge, apparently didn’t know it — when prompted by her co-host Hill to chat about the High Line, s/he said, “I was not briefed about this” — and while the night’s tributes and chat on stage wrapped around Florent, the event was largely attended by friends of Friends of High Line, and other fans of the community development.

Attendee Alexander Gorlin, principal of Alexander Gorlin Architects, whose design was selected for the High Line presentation booklet, “came to salute Florent,” and also pay tribute to “the High Line, which will be the only linear elevated park this side of Paris.”

Weren’t briefed on the High Line either?

For Flo and other of those who don’t know, the High Line is an elevated, historic railway that runs through Hell’s Kitchen, West Chelsea, and the Meat Packing District of New York City. Built in the 1930’s when these Manhattan neighborhoods were largely industrial, Friends of High Line — along with supporters like Leonard and Evelyn Lauder of the Estee Lauder Companies, TV host Charlie Rose, Martha Stewart, and more — want to turn all 22 blocks of the High Line into a public promenade to bring more customers to the new restaurants, art galleries, clubs, and residences of these areas.

As 21 years ago Florent established itself as a 24/7 diner of solid French fare, laying seeds for the Meat Packing District’s gentrification, it’s fitting the restaurant paired its anniversary celebration with Friends of the High Line, who plan to further develop the neighborhood.

“When deciding what to do to celebrate the anniversary, I wanted to avoid the cheeky narcissistic twist Florent has always had,” said Florent Morellet, owner of Florent. “My dear friends, [founders of Friends of the High Line] Joshua David and Robert Hammond, suggested we combine efforts and co-host a celebration with the fundraiser they were already planning. From the start, I have always seen the Meat Packing District as a diverse neighborhood where so many walks of life cross another. The High Line project will further secure this melting pot and bring the daytime as alive as night in the area.”

Keywords for “Florent’s Bi-Decadent Anniversary Celebration,” Fashion Wire Daily: Florent, Florent Morellet, Florent restaurant, Florent Meatpacking District, Meatpacking District New York, Meatpacking District NYC, Meatpacking District restaurant, Fashion Wire Daily, FWD