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July 24 2014

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blasblog at frieze: blondes and birkins at the VIP preview

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The description VIP is thrown around quite liberally these days (personally, I think a true VIP needn’t require a stamp or a wrist band, but that’s besides the point). So even though I managed to wrangle myself a VIP pass to the Frieze Art Fair and its haughty preview day, my hopes weren’t that high for the turnout. But even in a recession, it seems, the fancy-pants art set take their VIP-ness quite seriously. In the pavilion in Regents Park on Wednesday, you couldn’t spit without hitting an Oscar winner or a fashion legend. There were the three famous blondes: Sienna Miller, Kate Bosworth (who said she was particularly fond of the wares at the Barbara Gladstone and Gagosian booths), and Gwyneth Paltrow (who gave Rivington Arms co-founder Melissa Bent quite the kick when she asked, “Haven’t we met before?” Yes, they had, and kudos for remembering, Gwynnie). Valentino filed in with Carlos de Souza and Giancarlo Giammetti, sending tongues wagging about his perma-tan (is it spray or sun? Only his aesthetician knows for sure). Young art aficionados Alex Dellal and Tyrone Wood said, tongue in cheek, that they were just “out shopping for something for the walls,” and Suzy Menkes shuffled between booths—notepad in hand, of course—before settling at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery. W‘s Dennis Freedman was there seemingly all day (already working on next year’s art issue, perhaps?), artist Marco Perego told me he had just come for the soup, and Jacquetta Wheeler swung by in the afternoon (she’s still got the white-blond thing going on). So while Gavin Brown observed that this year’s VIP day wasn’t as packed as last year’s (“People are just freaking out,” he said about the financial crisis), I think art will survive. At least at this fair. As Jean Pigozzi said, there are still people coming to the art fair and they still have Birkin bags—”but they don’t look like new Birkins.”

Photo: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

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