3 posts tagged "Ben Watts"
Photographer Ben Watts (pictured, left) knows how to throw a party—and last night was no exception. Despite the threat of thunderstorms, a line of guests snaked around the block from Milk Gallery for his latest project, the Ben Watts’ Mix Tape exhibit co-hosted by HTC and MADE Fashion Week. The exhibition, which features Watts’ signature sun-drenched shots of Montauk surfers and beach-bound models, drew a packed audience including sister Naomi Watts (pictured), Liev Schreiber, Alessandra Ambrosio (pictured, below), DJ Chelsea Leyland, and Emilie de Ravin. “Today it’s all about instant gratification,” said Watts, who created the techno-hued collages using his phone and his new “WattsUpPhoto” app, which launched last week. “I used to use Polaroids, but we’re living in a digital world—I like to share what I do with as many people as possible.” When partygoers started snapping their own pics of the work, Watts quipped, “When I see people using their phones creatively, it makes me smile.”
Among the crowd favorites? Surfboards flaunting life-size shots of barely-clad beauties including Behati Prinsloo, Chanel Iman, and Dree Hemingway (pictured, below)—the latter of whom revealed her personal mantra for fashion week. “The less serious you are about it, the better,” she demurred. “Fashion is all about having fun.” To that end, around 10 p.m., Hemingway and her boyfriend, The Fat Radish’s Phil Winser, decamped to the Standard Hotel for the celebratory dinner, where André Balazs, Sean Avery, Andy Cohen, Constance Jablonski, and Waris Ahluwalia fêted the photographer.
As for Watts’ sister Naomi, who has been filming in London and flew in for the occasion, runway shows were far from her mind. “I had no idea it was fashion week,” admitted the Diana star to Style.com. Has playing the style-savvy Princess of Wales crept into the Aussie actress’ personal wardrobe? “The double-breasted, shoulder-padded suit has been featuring heavily in my life, but it’s really not my thing. I don’t think I’ll be bringing that one back.”
The lure of skate culture drew Jude Law, Sean Avery, and Scott Lipps to denim shop 3×1 on Mercer Street to celebrate photographer Ben Watts’ (pictured, left) new project last night. Admittedly, the presence of topless models may have helped. Watts photographed Lake Bell, Chanel Iman, Jessica Hart, Behati Prinsloo, and Elsa Hosk—several of whom turned out for last night’s party—and emblazoned their undressed frames on limited-edition skateboard decks. “I don’t skate,” he admitted. “Well, maybe in the eighties. But I’ve always liked the tie-in with skate culture and sunny weather. My aesthetic has always been very much about summer.”
The deck designs, Watts said, were no-brainers: “It doesn’t take much imagination. The pose is always a winner.” And even though she’s a Victoria’s Secret regular, Prinsloo confessed she still was surprised to see herself immortalized in quite this way on a skateboard. “I’m practically naked and on a skateboard,” the model said at the celebratory dinner at Soho’s Jack’s Wife Freda. “I don’t think that’s ever not weird.” (Weird or not, her work was for a good cause—all proceeds went to the charities of the models’ choosing.) Asked for any tips for aspiring models, she demurred. “I don’t know if there are any tips to being topless,” she said. “But it’s definitely about being comfortable with the photographer.”
Post-Impressionist, Cubist, Modernist–we’ve had to debate our fair share of artistic periods while working the Manhattan party circuit. But a new genre of contemporary art caught our ear at a dinner that Naomi Watts hosted for her photographer brother Ben at Milk Studios last night. MAC head honcho John Demsey, who was a co-sponsor of the swanky meal, arrived with a smile on his face. The reason? He’d just bought two pieces of Watts’ work in the downstairs gallery, including one of the late Heath Ledger holding a gun. “I’m a fan of Paparazzi Art,” Demsey proclaimed, adding that he also owns works by Ron Galella and has a 12-foot-high print of a Patrick McMullan snap of Grace Jones. (Unfortunately for us who trawl those embarrassing gossip sites—you don’t want to see my Favorites list—Demsey maintains that ordering prints from online wire services or printing out posts from Dlisted.com doesn’t quite make the cut.) “I started my collection probably 15 years ago with a pretty glamorous picture of Brigitte Bardot, and it’s kept growing from there,” he continued. Though Watts hasn’t shot for Demsey’s cosmetics empire, the MAC man said he really liked the pieces at Watts’ show. “The grainier stuff reminded me of Avedon’s work.”
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