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blasblog: richard avedon’s former home gets a second life as party central

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Although Barbara Bui and Charlotte Sarkozy are technically new acquaintances, they have all the makings of a fabulous fashion friendship: “We have many friends in common and she looks fantastic in my dresses,” Bui explained. “And her house is perfect for parties.” Sarkozy, whose husband, Olivier, is the half brother of a rather famous French politician, made good on all counts Thursday evening when she hosted a small party at her Upper East Side town house—a rather important pile of bricks, since its previous occupant was Richard Avedon, who lived and worked in the same space for three decades. Among the guests were Amanda Ross, Shala Monroque, Joanna Coles, Cory Kennedy, Genevieve Jones, and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, the last two of whom proclaimed they were working a Givenchy retrospective for the evening (Jones was in 1970′s Givenchy couture, and Restoin-Roitfeld was in a Riccardo Tisci-designed lace number from Fall). And while the party was for Bui—with many of the evening’s ladies in dresses from the designer, and Bui herself wearing a large, attention-grabbing neck piece—for many it was all about the digs. “This place is fantastic,” Jones sighed as the Sarkozy children, dressed in pj’s with hair wet from a shower, scurried around the party. “Not just in real estate terms, but in the realm of fashion history,” she added. As a testament to the house’s previous occupant—the Sarkozys moved in after Avedon died and renovated the residential floors two and a half years ago, but they left his street-level studio relatively untouched—the photographer’s infamous image of an eerily vulnerable Marilyn Monroe holds a place of honor near the kitchen table. “We could have had Avedon’s giant three-picture collage of Andy Warhol and the Factory,” Olivier Sarkozy explained. “But I don’t think my wife would have wanted the kids to look at a couple of naked transvestites every morning at breakfast.” Trannies and cereal don’t mix, but apparently Avedon and a handful of Keith Harings do.

Photo: Amber De Vos/PatrickMcMullan.com

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