"It's Kind of Insane How Everybody's Here"
A Busy Weekend at Art Basel Miami Beach
Following a final weekend of arty fashion parties—or fashionable art parties?—the tenth installment of Miami Basel's in the bag. It was mostly around that very item—bags, that is—that Pringle of Scotland organized a dinner Friday night, fêting its colorful new accessories collaboration with Liam Gillick. Tilda Swinton flew in to co-host with the knitwear label's design director, Alistair Carr, despite a lingering bug that had her coughing and feeling, in her words, "deaf, deaf, deaf." But that didn't seem to impede the in-demand actress and Pringle collaborator's enthusiasm for the brand's latest team-up. "Pringle has much more the attitude of a kind of art-curator house than, it seems to me, some kind of fashion brand," Swinton told Style.com. "It's about conversation, about something that's constantly moving and constantly built by different people together. It's not about one person hitting the mark, constantly. There's something very loose and evolving about it."
Lanvin, too, has earned the right to pat itself on the back for an exploratory fusing of art and fashion—and that it did on Friday, with a soirée at the W's much-hyped new eatery The Dutch. For the second year running, the French house partnered with the Rubell Family Collection on a Basel opening; this year's edition was less about Alber Elbaz, who remained in Paris this time around, and more about U.S.-based artists—64 of them contributed works in all, in service of a show titled American Exuberance. "That word has to do with arrival, but I think it's kind of sad," philosophized mega-collector Mera Rubell over burrata crostini and Maine sea scallops. "The being-there can be a more dangerous place than the going-there"—food for thought for Basel participants as the fair and its various sideshows start to feel more established every year.
On the other side of the lobby, Mr. Chow was buzzing with the book party for Culo, photographer Raphael Mazzucco's ode to the female backside. With Andy Valmorbida and Sean Combs (billed as the tome's "executive editor") on the host committee, this particular booty call drew some A-list talent, including Naomi Campbell, Will Smith, and Damien Hirst.
Further down Collins Avenue, Dsquared²'s Dean and Dan Caten presided over a dinner at the Webster. They'd just shot their campaign with Natasha Poly in L.A., then prepared for their Basel visit by lying out in Cabo. "We couldn't come to Miami and be white," Dan explained. Visionaire took over the Delano's backyard to celebrate its spring/summer issue, devoted to Rio, recruiting a cadre of samba dancers in full (well, not so full) carnival regalia to parade on through. "It was kind of short," griped Yigal Azrouël, but then he and the likes of Adrien Brody and Bebel Gilberto were treated to a second lap. Meanwhile, Whitewall was throwing a party mere yards away, inside the hotel's Florida Room, that it had rather unnecessarily named "This Is New York Art Basel."
Over at the Standard, Richard Phillips showed off his series of celebrity prints, Most Wanted, in conjunction with Details magazine and Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers' Exhibition A. Supersized portraits of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristen Stewart, and co. added an element of A-list glamour to the Miami festivities.
Saturday evening at the Mondrian, MoMA's PS1 toasted star twentysomething artists Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch and threw in a Kim Kardashian look-alike competition for good measure. "It's totally not necessary" to have the real Kardashian present at such a proceeding, argued the museum's Klaus Biesenbach. "And it was really interesting to see how many people who just showed up for the party, not knowing exactly what it was for, could have been in the competition."
Later that night, Gareth Pugh headlined a dinner at Baoli-Vita, where there were pauses in the music (Madonna, Gloria Estefan) so that nude, body-painted waitresses could trot out sparkler bottles of Champagne. Host Byrdie Bell left early to nurse a case of food poisoning. (By this point in the week, Swinton was hardly the only ailing reveler making rounds.) Pugh, visiting the fair for the first time this year, offered his first impression: "It's kind of insane how everybody's here." And he wasn't just talking about fellow dinner guests Maryna Linchuk and Lily Donaldson, either. "We ran into my boyfriend's cousin, very oddly. Well, actually, it's not that odd," Pugh decided. "She works for Louis Vuitton."