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Blasblog: The Inside Line On The Venice Biennale

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Venice may be known for piazzas full of fanny-pack-wearing tourists these days, but as Karl Lagerfeld reminded fashion fans last month when he put on Chanel’s Cruise collection there, the canal city was once a hot spot. It’s where Coco brought her lovers, where Cole Porter entertained legions of gay merrymakers, and starting tomorrow, it’s where art fans by the boatload will decamp for the 53rd Biennale. And even if they wanted to feed a few pigeons in San Marco, they wouldn’t have time by the looks of the schedule. Wednesday night is British artist Steve McQueen’s opening, followed by a late-night cocktail hosted by the Times‘ Stefano Tonchi, David Maupin, and Brian Phillips. Thursday evening is the starriest night of the week, with an opening party for a museum owned by François “Salma Hayek’s father-in-law” Pinault, an Interview magazine shindig, and Angela Missoni’s deck-top dinner aboard a yacht. On Friday, the Prada Foundation hosts John Wesley’s big opening, and Mrs. Prada herself is coming to town. For many Biennale-goers, Venice is a jumping-off point for continued travels—I’ve heard reports of such jealousy-inducing destinations as Capri, Paris, and Ibiza—but others will stick around on Saturday for Dasha Zhukova’s birthday party. Check back for more Venice scoops later in the week.

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