Night One

Dior, Swarovski, and Ferrari Get the Party Started at Art Basel Miami Beach


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On the first big night of Miami Basel festivities, the city's Museum of Contemporary Art celebrated the opening of an exhibition called Rolling Stop—what better term for a week of art-viewing and party-hopping during which no one really, fully comes to rest? Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Julian Schnabel (the lattermost wearing paint-splattered pink Vans) made their way around giant street signs and a bent, oversize coat hanger created by Miami-based artist Mark Handforth. Vanity Fair, which threw the party with Dewar's, was giving away Italian and Spanish-language editions of the magazine at the front desk; plugged-in editors Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant have co-hosted a Basel party at the museum for ten years running, and they know their audience. "It's not just Europe and America, but it's South America. It's this great crossroads," Sischy said.

The international traffic made its way into the Design District, too, where Dior (with help from W) was toasting its recent collaboration with Anselm Reyle. The German artist's Day-Glo camouflage bags were displayed on tinted Plexiglas for the likes of Pharrell Williams and Dasha Zhukova, and a pair of manicurists inside the house's pop-up shop gave guests a sampling of Reyle's look-at-me range of nail polishes. (The accessories and beauty products hit the market in January.) Reyle confessed in careful English that the whole fashion thing is somewhat new for him. "Openings in Berlin, there's no dress code. Everyone has a T-shirt—you don't see who has money and who doesn't," he said. To help him adapt, Dior had outfitted the artist in a sharp jacket; with Delphine Arnault in town overseeing the launch, the house wasn't skimping: Dinner came hidden under thick shavings of white truffle. How's that for camo?

Meanwhile, at Cecconi's at the Soho Beach House, Nadja Swarovksi hosted a dinner for LED artist Erwin Redl, whose Design Miami installation incorporates her family's famous crystals. "I combined crystals with lights, sound, and media, which is unusual for me because I'm a purist," Redl explained to a crowd that included Damien Hirst, Ron Arad, Jefferson Hack, and Delfina Delettrez Fendi. "It's wonderful to visit when it's quiet, if there's ever any quiet around here." There certainly wasn't much silence last night, what with the crew from London's White Cube gallery partying in the hotel's garden.

Nearby, at Herzog & de Meuron's towering parking garage on Lincoln Road, Ferrari unveiled a newly commissioned work by Marco Brambilla. Titled RPM, Brambilla's kaleidoscopic, slightly psychedelic six-minute video loop combines archival footage with visuals he shot himself at the Formula 1 track in Monza, Italy. The goal, Brambilla explained, was "re-creating the concept of speed psychologically. I used 3-D to make the visuals hyper-dynamic and physically induce the feeling of being on the threshold of losing control."

Anyone trying to hit every Basel party can relate.

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