“Claridge’s asked us to create this year’s Christmas tree, and we were delighted because London and Claridge’s are two of our favorite places, and Christmas is such a magical time,” Stefano Gabbana told Style.com last night at the annual Christmas tree unveiling at Claridge’s, an event that, for many Londoners, marks the beginning of the festive season. “To be asked was such an honor considering the great designers who have taken part before. We just hope that we have achieved our goal of bringing a bit of Italian artigianalita [artistry] to London.”
Well, they can tick that box. The beautiful ornaments that were painstakingly hand-blown, carved, and painted in an Italian workshop included pupi (wooden puppets), toy soldiers, medieval knights, and even orange, lemon, and watermelon wedges that transported us directly to a Sicilian garden. This collaboration carries on the tradition established by Claridge’s in 2009 of inviting a fashion house to dream up a tree, with Dior and Lanvin rising to the challenge at Christmases past.
Eva Herzigova, David Gandy, Poppy Delevingne, Joan Collins, and more sampled Italian canapes out of festively wrapped gift boxes and were treated to a moving tenor performance that held the entire crowd in rapt attention. “The environment they created is so very special—the atmosphere here is absolutely rich with this infusion of Italian culture,” offered Herzigova. “I think with this, the boys have outdone even themselves, if that is possible.”
If it was Monday night and you were in an apartment just like yours, only infinitely nicer and better situated, then you’d found yourself at the opening reception of Paintings by Hanuk (one name only, please). Because Hanuk is an inescapable enthusiast of the New York party scene, you were shoulder to shoulder with half of the people you’d find out on any given night: photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Vogue editor Sally Singer (cohosts, with art PR Bettina Prentice), designers Prabal Gurung, Eddie Borgo, and Camilla Staerk, TV personality Bevy Smith, W‘s Vanessa Lawrence, and everyone else Hanuk has, by way of his party photos, made a momentary celebrity. (The artist, in fact, was flitting around, grouping portraits and snapping as usual—”It wouldn’t be a party without it,” one guest quipped—despite being the main attraction himself.) Hanuk is so well-known as a party documentarian—his signature shot includes him kissing his subject on the cheek, and he’s bussed everyone from James Franco to Philip Crangi to Mickey Boardman—that it might have been news to a few of the attendees that he paints at all. But there, on a large wall at The Line, Vanessa Traina Snow’s apartment-turned-store, were thirty canvases in not-quite-matching pairs. They are brightly colored flat planes with undulating shapes and dots, a bit like Miró filtered through pop. All around, would-be buyers were calling out the color combinations of their favorites.
Before painting, before photography, Hanuk trained as a fashion designer. (He once won an Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation grant for his collection.) But life wended him away from toiles and toward canvas. “I didn’t want to make clothes anymore,” he said last night. “You know, I love making clothes. But that shit costs, like, $8,000. No one’s going to buy it. So I said, You know what? Painting.”
Those paintings, when sold as pairs, did in fact cost $8,000. But Hanuk loved the idea of them splitting up, having them find new partners and new homes, so they were sold individually, too. He was visibly energized by the prospect of new meetings and new acquaintances being made between them. Which, no coincidence, could also describe his entire social M.O., not to mention his party. (He is forever introducing one partygoer to another as he smashes them together to take a picture.) “Like with a key?” he said mischievously when the idea was presented to him. And with that, and camera held high overhead, he dove into a new crowd for the next photo op.
For information, visit hanuk.com.
“Welcome to the fine art of separating people from their money,” joked Bono at the Saturday-night opening of Jony Ive and Marc Newson’s auction for Project (RED)—the seven-year-old charity dedicated to fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. “The amount of money we raise tonight is important—it pays for lifesaving pills—but tonight is also about [generating] heat and excitement,” the rock-star-cum-philanthropist told Style.com. “We really could see the beginning of the end of AIDS in the next couple years, but only if we keep concentration.”
Held at Sotheby’s, the [Project] (RED) auction drew the likes of Harrison Ford, Helena Christensen, Jenna and Barbara Bush, Misha Nonoo, and a few regulars such as Larry Gagosian and Peter Brant. Indeed, the bidders brought the heat, raising over $26 million—in a matter of hours—for the fund. Predictions had forecast closer to $2 million.
“People don’t know who they are!” exclaimed Bono of Ive—the man behind the iPod, iPhone and Mac Pro Air—and famed industrial designer Newson. “These are people who changed the world, and these are two of the most important artists and designers in the world—they really like to do difficult things. This is their drug of choice.”
An Ive-and-Newson-customized Steinway went for $1.92 million—but not before Chris Martin took the stage to pound out “Beautiful Day,” with Bono on vocals (“Just to see if it works,” quipped Martin). Christy Turlington modeled a pink ruffled Azzedine Alaïa—”Just so we’re clear, we’re bidding on the dress,” joked the auctioneer. And a few items—a razor-thin, polished-steel desk ($1.7 million), a pair of solid rose-gold Apple EarPods ($380,000)—were designed specifically by Ive and Newson for the event.
A raucous party, with performances by Nile Rodgers (“Le Freak,” anyone?), Angélique Kidjo, and Bono and the Edge followed the auction. “By the time I wanted to bid, the prices were already too high!” shared André Saraiva from his post near the very well-stocked bar. Tough luck for Mr. André, but at least he was priced out for a very good cause.
While the subtle sparkle of diamonds is often the finishing touch on a red-carpet look, a few of the best ensembles of the week were doused with glittering crystals. Elizabeth Banks continued to hit the sartorial nail on the head as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire tour came to a close in New York on Wednesday. She shimmered in a bedazzled black ensemble from Jenny Packham’s Fall ’13 runway. The same evening in Las Vegas, Kate Bosworth chose a scintillating Spring ’14 Fendi frock completely covered in geometric Swarovski crystals for the premiere of her new film, Homefront.
Before finishing its whirlwind press tour in New York, Catching Fire held a star-studded premiere in Los Angeles on Monday, which brought out notables including Kiernan Shipka, Zoë Kravitz, and Sarah Hyland. Shipka charmed in a black silk sleeveless blouse and skirt embroidered with green and blue floral beading from Miu Miu’s Spring ’14 collection, and Kravitz opted for a Balenciaga Spring ’14 LBD with a wide neckline and buttons up the side. The nod for best dressed of the evening goes to the film’s leading lady, Jennifer Lawrence, in a daring sheer Dior Fall ’13 Couture gown with a full skirt over a strapless black bodysuit. We appreciate that Katniss is as fearless on the red carpet as she is in the arena.
“At the heart of [Africa's HIV/Aids pandemic] is an acronym that is seriously problematic: PMTCT, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power in a speech during last night’s launch of BORNFREE, a new initiative that aims to eliminate just that. Hosted by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg at her studio in New York’s Meatpacking District, the affair drew scores of fashion insiders—Alexander Wang, Bruce Weber, Jenna Lyons, Andrew Rosen, and Angela Lindvall all turned up to show their support.
“BORNFREE is a slogan that captures the need for children—babies—to begin life with a fair chance at living life. It’s the urgency of making sure that the baton passed by one generation to the next is not tainted by the poison of HIV/AIDS,” Power continued.
In order to further its cause, the organization has asked 23 female designers—all of whom are mothers—to create clothing and accessories for women and children. Von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Donna Karan, Lyons, Stella McCartney, Miuccia Prada, and Vera Wang, among others, have all signed on to participate. The wares, which will incorporate custom prints produced by Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, will be available for purchase on Shopbop.com on Mother’s Day 2014. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to BORNFREE. Continue Reading “New York’s Fashion Industry Rallies Behind BORNFREE” »
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- style file covers all the news in style, from high street to high fashion, with dispatches from new york, l.a., london, paris, milan, tokyo, beijing, and more