PARK CITY, UTAH — Making a fashion statement at Sundance got even trickier last week. The temperatures plummeted to merciless single digits at night, making unflattering layers and big coats mandatory for survival. Plus, the climate didn't bode well for people on the wrong side of the velvet rope at Marquee, Teddy's and Hyde. This year, half a dozen New York and L.A. nightclubs opened pop-up lounges in the mountains. And, somehow, a few brave souls managed to break out the minidresses.
Over at Marquee on Friday night, a power outage on Main Street only heightened the giddiness. While British socialite Sadie Frost -- wearing crimson tights and a black sheath from her label, Frost French -- danced away, Mary-Kate Olsen and Samantha Ronson played it low-key and skulked close to the walls. Nightclub mogul Brent Bolthouse popped in -- like a mafia don paying respect -- before leaving to oversee his own gig at the exclusive outpost Hyde. "Check it out. I'm wearing five layers," he said, lifting a sweater to reveal a thermal to reveal a tee beneath his tweed coat (his fingerless gloves were impractical but cool). "Layers are key."
Getting into Green Door Mansion, the chalet-cum-club hosted by Hollywood impresario Chris Breed, required connections and clout. "Say 'Barry Manilow' to the driver of the white van," whispered publicist Yosi Sergant, who was surrounded by club kids on Main Street. Guests who got the secret password were ferried up to a posh mountain house, where Moet flowed. Dom Perignon was served by scantily clad vixens in a VIP library. Two ladies at Green Door, wearing sleeveless black dresses with plunging necklines, huddled by the outdoor fire pit and tried to look sexy. Their goosebumps gave them away.
On Sunday night at midnight, the scene at ultra-exclusive Hyde -- which was at a lumberyard converted into a mega-lounge called the Village at the Yard -- was just getting underway. (At Sundance, the night life starts at 1 a.m. and ends at dawn.) Jessica Alba sat in a tufted leather banquette that offered a panoramic view of the dark, sexy club.
With its red velvet curtains and black-and-white snapshots of such rock idols as Lou Reed, Hyde paid homage to music, not the mountains. There was gossip too. The night before, Kirsten Dunst had made out with Josh Hartnett and then headed outside to sled at 3 a.m. Meanwhile, Paris Hilton danced on a table -- how shocking! -- and cozied up to Jared Leto. Clearly, she needed some body warmth, because her sequined halter and ruffled miniskirt just weren't cutting it.