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No Bull

The Party Circuit Heats Up in New York

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Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld and Giovanna Battaglia   
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"I have ridden a lot of bulls in my day," said filmmaker Casey Neistat as he arrived at the Art Production Fund's annual hoedown last night. But at the event, honoring artist Kiki Smith, art dealer and adviser Mark Fletcher, and Sotheby's auctioneer Tobias Meyer, the bull was mechanical—a no-go for Neistat. "If it's not going to put me in danger," he said, adjusting the brim of his cowboy hat, "I don't want to ride it."

Though it was lacking live animals, Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen's bash had all the other makings of a genuine country hoedown, with hay on the ground, a family-style BBQ spread for dinner, and a room full of cowboys and -girls (Steven Klein, Tara Subkoff, Erin Wasson, Michael Stipe, and Lake Bell among them). Not everyone received the chaps-and-boots memo. While Michelle Harper admired Giovanna Battaglia and Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld's all-in getups, she said, "I am party-hopping tonight, so I had to go more classic. Personally, I am over wearing themed outfits—I feel like chic always wins. Can you imagine if I tried to ride the bull in this?"

Farther south, art was being celebrated in Tribeca, too—along with a newly minted doctor of arts. Robert De Niro was the honoree at the New York Academy of Art's annual Tribeca Ball, where he accepted an honorary doctorate in front of guests like Naomi Watts, Damian Loeb, Jeff Koons, and Roxanne Lowit. "My parents would be so proud," he said—perhaps, especially, his painter father.

The night was a hot one—literally. Unseasonable summerlike weather had guests huddling around the occasional AC as they roamed the school's five floors and checked out student work, but not everyone minded the tropical conditions. "I like it hot and humid," said Nora Zehetner, who was appropriately clad in a wispy Calvin Klein slipdress. "I've always thought there was something sexy about the hot nights in New York. But then again, I grew up in Dallas."

From artists to martial artists…Ultimate Fighting Championship contender Rashad Evans was the guest of honor at a spring dinner Reed Krakoff held at the Crown restaurant uptown. The designer, a longtime fight fan who has produced his own book of photographs on the subject, introduced Evans and some of his UFC colleagues to a small crowd of art and fashion world heavyweights, including singer Patti Smith, photographer Max Vadukul, and critic Cathy Horyn. The two groups have more in common than you'd guess. On hearing about the fight world's favored method of "making weight," i.e., sitting in a sauna and using a credit card to scrape off the sweat, one wag surmised that it could easily become a fad for fashion types.

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