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April 21 2014

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Dior Doubles Down in the Name of Art

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Raf Simons, Elizabeth Olsen, Willy Vanderperre

“Of course I’m ready. Are you?” responded photographer Willy Vanderperre last night when asked if he was prepared for Dior’s two-night-in-a-row extravaganza at the Guggenheim. The house has underwritten this year’s international gala, which, set for this evening, celebrates artists James Turrell (his mesmerizing light installations were featured earlier this year) and Christopher Wool (whose paintings will be on view at the museum through January 22).

Yesterday evening served as an amuse bouche—or an amuse oreille, if you will—as the main event was an electro-deejay set by Plastikman. His beats were accented by a giant flashing LED pillar, which lit up the jam-packed space.

“This is one of the first places I visited when I came to New York many years ago,” offered Dior CEO, and this evening’s cochair (along with Raf Simons), Sidney Toledano. Olivier Theyskens, too, has a special relationship with the museum. “I used to look at it in books before I was able to come to New York,” the designer recalled. “I was always intrigued by its shell-like structure. And I remember when Nam June Paik put all those TVs on the floor. I wanted to jump from the ceiling!” he offered before giving Simons a hug. “I’m very impressed, seeing all of Wool’s work in one place,” said Simons, referring to the artist’s multilevel exhibition of black-and-white paintings. “He was a massive influence on a whole generation—on all the artists I kind of grew up with—so this is very well deserved. Bravo.”

In addition to guests such as Elizabeth Olsen, Gaia Repossi, Daria Strokous, Pat McGrath, and Guido Palau, How I Met Your Mother‘s Cobie Smulders turned out for the pre-party. Naturally, she was dressed in tip-to-toe Dior. “I’ve actually never been to the Guggenheim,” admitted the actress. “It’s kind of…amazing,” she gushed, looking out from the third floor of the rotunda. Smulders is flying off to Toronto this evening, so she won’t be joining Dior and co. for the gala. But Simons has his hosting duties cut out for him. Is the designer up for round two? “Always,” he said.

Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFAnyc.com

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