It's a long way to go to see a girl who lives up the road, but then Lorde isn't at home that often these days, so where better than New York City to catch up with New Zealand's breakthrough star.

Between collecting Billboard Awards in Las Vegas and heading off to perform in Europe, Ella Yelich-O'Connor launched her first big brand collaboration, as I reported in the Herald last week. Now we take you inside the invitation-only party, thrown after she spoke to international media about being a lipstick heroine for M.A.C.

Viva was the sole New Zealand media invitee at the event which included a six-song set from the 17-year-old Devonport singer-songwriter. Around 300 fashion, entertainment and media types congregrated at M.A.C's headquarters in a converted Flatiron District loft. Standing around sipping champagne, the crowd - including model legend Pat Cleveland, celebrity offspring Ireland Baldwin and a swag of musos and models - was the picture of Downtown cool.

But as the wait to see the Grammy Award winner perform stretched out, jockeying for position began. By the time, Lorde emerged in her favourite performance uniform of a black suit and a white shirt, it was cellphones at the ready.


Seems the New York "in" crowd is as celebrity obsessed and keen on selfies as the kids at a teen concert I took my daughter to last year. Singalongs ensued and not just for No. 1 song Royals.

A tight version of White Teeth Teens stood out and Lorde played up to the intimate atmosphere, to the delight of front-row fans recording the show, especially one who had purple lips pressed on her cheek. The 17-year-old singer is increasingly composed and confident as a performer.

She told me she enjoyed New York, where pressure from paparazzi was less intrusive than at home. Although she was snapped the day before the M.A.C launch heading to lunch with Taylor Swift, Yelich-O'Connor said she considered when on tour that was "part of the job".

So too in a New York minute, a meet-and-greet with former Prime Minister Helen Clark at the United Nations and an appearance on the cover of the latest issue of Teen Vogue.

See who was at Lorde's launch here: