The Belgian View

Raf Simons talks Brooklyn vs. Manhattan, and other things we heard on the party circuit


Sidney, Katia, Alan, and Ines Toledano   
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Raf Simons arrived at last night's Dior Cruise after-bash at the Top of the Standard just a few minutes before 1 a.m. The effect wasn't unlike the appearance of a homecoming king—had said king just brought an archetypal French fashion house across the murky waters to Brooklyn. Simons' latest offering earned him quite the entrance, as much of a sizable crowd made bids for their moment (or Instagram snap) with the man of the evening. Guests including André Saraiva, Michel Gaubert, Alexandra Richards, and Malgosia Bela bent elbows and took to the dance floor for some slow jams—alongside one or two rogue twerking elements. Though Dior CEO Sidney Toledano's moves went sadly unseen, he offered up his thoughts on the show: "It was, for Dior, the right vocabulary. It's the new New Look. It's right on the target." Simons, for his part, answered the question on so many minds: Why Brooklyn? "New energy! And it's nicer to have a view of Manhattan than the other way around."

Nearby at Highline Stages, the Whitney was dispensing its 23rd Annual American Art Award. Receiving accolades were Dorothy Lichtenstein, wife of artist Roy and president of his foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the quarter-billion dollars in art-related grants it has distributed since 1987. But the real star was Maria Giulia Maramotti, third-generation member of the family who founded and still operates Max Mara, who accepted an award on her family's behalf. In 2007 they converted a factory into a public museum to display grandfather Achille Maramotti's prolific collection of contemporary art, and Max Mara has underwritten the Whitney's Art Party for the past two years. "My mother called me from Italy this morning to tell me how proud my grandfather would have been," Maramotti told the crowd. "And I thought, Oh, thanks, now the pressure is really on!" The evening raised more than $1.6 million for the Whitney.

Across town at Lafayette, meanwhile, Burberry and W magazine joined forces with the New Museum's Lisa Phillips to honor the artists Hannah Sawtell, Roberto Cuoghi, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Camille Henrot. Among the art enthusiasts who turned out to celebrate: Naomi Campbell, Suki Waterhouse, Dianna Agron, and Hollywood newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

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