5 posts tagged "Barry Diller"
Camilla Morton’s new book Diane von Furstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’ New Clothes landed on our desk today, a holiday gift from von Furstenberg herself. And what a tale it is! Morton is well practiced at translating fashionable lives into fairy tales—she’s already done it with Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker and Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty—but von Furstenberg’s fairy story needs less fictionalizing than most. Consider the evidence:
The heroine’s royal pedigree: von Furstenberg is actually a princess, thanks to her previous marriage, to Prince Egon of Furstenberg.
The heroine’s trial and triumph: She did, as a young woman, consider and then reject a rival suitor: Fidel Castro. (“I didn’t,” she insisted at a talk this fall at the 92nd Street Y, “have an affair with him. I had this incredible idealistic image of him. And he was quite good looking. But after two days I must say I was very disappointed.”)
The happy ending: von Furstenberg has earned not only the keys to the kingdom—at least the kingdoms of New York and fashion, as the president of the CFDA and a friend of Mayor Michael Bloomberg—but also the crown jewels: She revealed at the 92nd Street Y talk that husband Barry Diller proposed with 26 diamond wedding bands—one for each year they weren’t married.
She also exhibits fairy-princess generosity: “Whenever a friend of mine is sad, I give her one,” she said.
Anh Duong was in Chelsea last night, surrounded by a gallery full of Anh Duongs. The painter’s new show, at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery, was devoted exclusively to self-portraits. “I decided I’m going to paint myself because I’m always available and on time,” Duong deadpanned. “So it started as an excuse, basically, and then it became a sort of diary. I’ve been painting myself for the last 20 years.” The portraits, which have the slightly off-kilter fluidity of Alice Neel’s (and the liquid eyes of Margaret Keane’s), show the artist nude and clothed, outdoors and in, with cameo appearances by dogs and stuffed toys. They also offer Duong an ample opportunity to dress up for her sittings, spotlighting a killer collection of frocks, accessories, and jewels. “I think they are also great excuses to use a color or shape or to add something to the painting, to the composition,” she explained. “That’s why I’m interested in painting objects, the bag, the shoes, whatever. I think also the clothes have a personal significance. As I child I would always dress up; I felt like it was some sort of make-believe world, where if the clothes were perfectly put together, then I was safe. It was a response to a chaos around me…I felt like it was this ideal world, so it came naturally that I would use that in my portraits.” A fashion-heavy crowd, including Barry Diller, Carlos de Souza, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, and Phillip Lim, came by for a look. Lim, a friend of the artist, found an especially good reason to keep a sharp eye open. “I think one of our trenches is in here,” he said, before spinning off to have a look. But Duong herself said she preferred to see her paintings as expressions of emotion and technique, rather than portraits, per se. After all, she added, “I really think that every work of an artist is a self-portrait—I just push it further.”
At Paul Kasmin Gallery nearby, the new show by Walton Ford was testing that hypothesis. Ford is known for his large-scale watercolors inspired by the animal paintings of J.J. Audubon and others, but several of the enormous pieces in the new show had no history at all: wall-sized paintings of gorillas mid-scream, without the context of time or place. A portrait of the beast within? The gallery was as thronged with stampeding visitors—Daphne Guinness, Salman Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi, and Olivia Wilde among them—but the artist himself was the picture of civility in a sharply tailored three-piece suit.
Coppola Walks The Aisle In Alaïa, Baby Beyoncé Is On the Way, Hurricane Irene Rains On DVF’s Parade, And More…
Over the weekend, Sofia Coppola married singer Thomas Nars in a custom-made, “chiffon with a blush of lilac” gown by Azzedine Alaïa. He also made a special party dress for Coppola’s daughter, Romy. [WWD]
Designer Walter Van Beirendonck’s clothes have always “bridged the gap between art and fashion, proving that wearable garments could also express extreme concepts and humor.” Through his clothes, he has pushed issues like AIDS activism, war, ecology, and mass consumerism. At last, his influential work will be displayed in a retrospective, Dream the World Awake, at MoMu in Antwerp. [Hint]
One of the biggest stories from last night’s VMA awards: Beyoncé is pregnant. The singer revealed her baby bump and confirmed that she and her husband, Jay-Z, are expecting their first child. Jay-Z also surprised fans when he took the stage for a performance with Kanye West. [Huffington Post]
In preparation for Hurricane Irene, cultural events were canceled and restaurants were closed throughout New York, including Diane von Furstenberg’s screening of Tanner Hall. After speaking with Mayor Bloomberg, DVF and husband Barry Diller called off their screening and party in the Hamptons for their daughter, Tatiana von Furstenberg, and Ringo Starr’s stepdaughter, Francesca Gregorini, who co-directed movie. [Page Six]