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Country Life

The Fashion Set Hits the Farm for ACRIA Benefit


Joy Bryant   
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The invite said "cocktails at sunset," but the moon arrived before most guests made it to the Bridgehampton farm of fashion photographer Steven Klein on Saturday night. Even the host was late, having decided to shower up after a long day of shooting. However, this being summer in the Hamptons (read: the one time of year when frenetic Manhattanites power down their BlackBerries and relax—maybe), a little laxness on the deadline front is forgiven. "I'm working all the time, so it's just nice to be out," aw-shucksed Bruce Weber, making his way to the bar. "I just wish I could have brought my dogs." He probably could have. Despite the hefty boldfaced contingent (Donna Karan, Daphne Guinness, and Jessica Stam included), the outdoor fête, thrown by Vanity Fair and Calvin Klein to benefit AIDS research initiative ACRIA, had an easygoing vibe—witness the stacks of hay that doubled as seats; the mini burgers, Tater Tots, and other down-home snacks; and Rachel Zoe's undone 'do. "I call it wash-'n'-go," the stylist said of her tangled mane. "In this humidity, I don't even try."

The door to Klein's taxidermy-filled studio was intentionally left ajar for curious partygoers to explore. They obliged with voyeuristic glee, incorporating it into a full tour of the surrounding grounds, which include a horse stable and a tepee. Of the latter, a regular fixture on the property, Klein said, "It's the place I go to relax." Under a large white tent, meanwhile, a DJ spun Madonna tunes (she is, after all, the photog's BFF). However, the real action wasn't on the dance floor but on the auction block, where the bidding on a Klein print of Her Madgesty from a W magazine shoot started at $10,000. "I'd love to buy that," said fashion snapper (and Naomi Watts' brother) Ben Watts, eyeing the oversize picture. "But I'm a little tapped out at the moment. I bought a Mercedes today." Recession or no recession, this is still the Hamptons.

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