Style.com - Fashion Feed
There were Gatsby parallels aplenty at amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS fund-raiser at Antibes' legendary Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc last night. The lush property, remember, was where F. Scott Fitzgerald escaped in winters, recasting it as the Hôtel des Etrangers in Tender Is the Night. On top of that, there was the glittery attire, the bottomless flutes of Moët champagne, a businessman serendipitously named Milutin Gatsby, and even Leonardo DiCaprio himself, but the gala's muse was Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
This was the twentieth anniversary of Cinema Against AIDS, and Taylor's involvement and support of it until her death, in 2011, was one of the evening's big talking points. Jessica Chastain spent part of the pre-dinner cocktail explaining how she felt wearing Taylor's jewels (purchased by Bulgari at the icon's estate auction) to the Cleopatra anniversary party two nights earlier. "It was like she was next to me the whole time, saying, 'Gimme back my necklace!'"
Taylor's likeness also appeared in the illustrations that showed off the thirty-eight outfits for the runway interlude: "The Ultimate Gold Collection," curated by Carine Roitfeld. Significantly larger than last year's "Perfect Black Wardrobe" show, this one combined Roitfeld's homage to Taylor—specifically, Cleopatra—with the sexy swagger of a Victoria's Secret production. "One of you lucky people will take home all of these dresses, all of these suits, and not one of these models," quipped Sharon Stone. Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Karolina Kurkova and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley all vamped as if dancing in a music video. In fact, the show was simultaneously Webcast on lovegold.com.
By the time Stone had eked out a final bid (she shared auction duties with Simon de Pury), the dresses had sold for 1.2 million euros ($1.56 million) to South African business tycoon Patrice Motsepe and his wife Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe. The former doctor and current humanitarian said she plans to exhibit the collection as inspiration for emerging African fashion designers. "AIDS in Africa has been a big problem," said Moloi-Motsepe. "I'd like to use fashion to deal with issues that are important in the world."
Other auction lots—orbiting space on a Virgin Galactic flight with DiCaprio, a family portrait by Annie Leibovitz, and a Bulgari watch off of Adrien Brody's wrist—might have contributed to a delayed dinner, each course served atop Roberto Cavalli-dressed tables. But by the time Duran Duran performed, around midnight, guests were more enthusiastic about the entertainment than the mille-feuilles.
Sally Morrison, an amfAR veteran and confidante of Taylor who is now LoveGold's director of jewelry for the U.S., reflected on the organization's twenty years. "[Liz] would have loved it. She would have been amazed that a little dinner that she started in a small, secluded restaurant in Mougins had grown up to be the biggest and most glamorous event at the Festival." Or, as eight-time chairman Kenneth Cole explained to Style.com, "Tonight we celebrate how far we've come and reflect on how far we still have to go." When asked what could possibly come after gold, Cole replied with the obvious, "Platinum."
"This is what you call a full-circle moment," Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough said at Parsons' Fashion Benefit last night. He was onstage with Lazaro Hernandez, accepting an award from their alma mater eleven years after Barneys New York bought their graduation collection. Earlier, McCollough remembered the spring of their own senior year. "Narciso Rodriguez came to talk to us. We were in awe." Rodriguez, Tracy Reese, and Prabal Gurung were among the alums in the 900-person-strong crowd.
It was an evening of milestones, professional and personal, small and large. Gurung revealed that Gwyneth Paltrow wore a dress of his for the first time this week, and Catherine Malandrino told Style.com that she hadn't yet come down from the high of skydiving for the first time. The annual fund-raiser, which features a runway show of women's, men's, and children's clothes designed by the school's graduating class, and which also honored the Hudson's Bay Company's Bonnie Brooks, raised a whopping $1.7 million. As Simon Collins, the dean of the School of Fashion, put it, "You never leave Parsons."
Nothing quite brightens up a Tuesday like a room full of champagne and crystals. Last night, the 2013 nominees for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent gathered at uptown boutique Fivestory to present a range of creations they had covered in Swarovski Elements. Each nominee designed something that spoke to his or her own aesthetic—for instance, Tim Coppens bedazzled a Ducati Formula One racing helmet, and Creatures of the Wind's Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters produced a glittering pinup print. The collection, on sale now, will benefit Free Arts NYC.
"We did a real cactus," said Suno's Erin Beatty, standing next to her glittering plant with co-designer Max Osterweis. "We were thinking about what would be unusual and what would be fun, and ultimately, the most beautiful things come from a place of contrast," offered the womenswear nominees, adding that their intern nearly skewered her eye on a cactus needle while helping them apply the crystals. Worth it, though, as their item was the first to sell.
Womenswear nominees Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs also went a dangerous route, producing a shimmering set of razor-sharp knives. "They're just sleek, badass objects," said Cushnie, insisting that the knives were meant to be used in the kitchen (surprisingly enough, they're also dishwasher safe). Apparently, there were a few less benign mishaps in their creative process. "Michelle's a bit accident prone," chuckled Cushnie. "But she's still got all ten fingers!"
—Katharine K. Zarrella
With Memorial Day around the corner, Lorenzo Martone hosted a party for his new Martone Cycling Co. at the Paramount Hotel in Times Square last night. Marc Jacobs, Brian Atwood, and Marjorie Gubelmann—who now deejays as Mad Marj—turned out in support. "I care about how you look, the posture, and how you sit on the bike," Martone told Style.com. You can't say he hasn't done his research—those Dutch handlebars come in handy on a girl's bike. "You don't want to lean forward and fall out of your blouse!"
A few blocks away, at the MoMA, patrons came together for the annual Party in the Garden, which this year honored Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cindy Sherman, and Ellsworth Kelly. After dinner, Kelly remarked that he's been waiting for this party for a while. "It's immodest to say, but I always knew it would happen." He got an inkling about fifty years ago, when the museum eagerly scooped up some of his early paintings.
"'These Girls' deserve my favorite word," said Gloria Steinem last night as she introduced Glamour's Night of Monologues event at Joe's Pub. "'These Girls' are fan-fucking-tastic." Fantastic, and also fearless. The young women in question—Zosia Mamet, Dianna Agron, and Emma Roberts, among them—performed spoken-word pieces before a room that included Steinem, Meg Ryan, Amy Poehler, and their director Kathy Najimy. Discussing a recent heartbreak, Alexa Chung won a few new ones remembering the time she drunkenly asked Marianne Faithfull, "Marianne, how did you get over Mick?" Agron, in Glee mode, got the whole crowd singing "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow." And the comedian Amy Schumer played against type, breaking down in tears as she recalled a freshmen-year-in-college bootie call gone bad. To wrap up the evening, Poehler took the stage. "We've learned a lot tonight," she started. "We've learned that Sam Cooke can get you through any bad lay. And we've learned that we are OK, because young people, they got this."
Across town, the Sean Kelly Gallery opened its doors for ACRIA's annual Unframed fund-raiser. Auction lots included works from Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, and Arthur Elgort, but Vincent Gagliostro's "60 Reasons to Take the Paris Metro" elicited the strongest response from the crowd. A composite of sixty voyeuristic Instagram pictures of young men on the Paris metro, the work prompted the evening's host, Olivier Theyskens, to think about his own interest in the social medium: "I love to discover the lives of people through Instagram," he told Style.com. "It's very intimate, but it's also very decent in a way, because people show you only what they want to show."
—Nicole Phelps and Todd Plummer
Donatella Versace clearly wants to make some noise with Versus. Last night, her collaboration with J.W. Anderson came down the runway at the Lexington Avenue Armory between bursts of live music from hip-hop artist Angel Haze, hard-rock band Dead Sara, and electro-pop sensation (and latest Versace darling) Grimes. The glitziest musical talent in the house didn't get anywhere near a stage—or a camera, for that matter—but Lady Gaga was, several sources confirmed, somewhere on the gigantic premises.
Admittedly, the clothes had a bit of atmosphere to compete with. But Brian Atwood, for one, left looking satisfied. "Very Donatella, very Versus," he declared—and, presumably, he would know, having served as the label's designer in the nineties. "I did feel some vibe from the old archives, which was very nice to see," he said.
Here, more of the show was on display than usual. The models did their final prep inside a transparent cube, making very much a spectacle of Anderson as he appraised each one of them with a deeply furrowed brow. "I'm usually screaming backstage," Anderson said later, in the actual backstage area, but then he caught himself. "And I was here, too!" Call it, to borrow a phrase, a glass case of emotion. When Versace herself plopped down inside of the fishbowl to take in the Grimes set, a sea of camera phones spun around to greet her.
Maxwell took over as singing DJ, and The Misshapes came over to hang out with Grimes. Models—Maryna Linchuk, Alana Zimmer, Eniko Mihalik—danced, and the party was still going when the clock struck one. No one had another fashion show to dash off to, after all. When it comes to showing, not many labels out there take this radically different approach to the how and when. But as Anderson put it, "This is the house of Versace. Everything is possible."