Noot Seear, the Canadian model and a child of international social worker parents, has come up with a novel approach to fundraising. “No more slideshows and sit-down dinners,” she said at Milk Studios last night, where she was hosting a Be Bare fashion show and auction. “Plus, I think this will help get the boys involved.” And why would the boys be so interested? Because the highest bidder got the clothes—literally—off the backs of the models. Not that the ladies were entirely denied an opportunity to have some fun—there were a couple of male models in the show, too, which featured looks from designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander Wang, Elise Øverland, and Marchesa. Such, ahem, naked ambition definitely begat a certain debate: Are you here for the philanthropy, in the form of Rose Charities, a volunteer-based organization that tackles poverty both in the U.S. and in countries like Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam? Or are you here for the ladies? For Brendan Shanahan, the former Rangers wingman, it was the former—or at least that’s what he told us. “I explained to my children as I put them to bed that Daddy was going to raise money for a great organization,” he grinned. The fashion photographer Magnus Unnar was more candid: “I’m here for the booze and the babes.” Regardless of the intentions, the end result—like when Seear stripped out of her first look and down to her Kiki de Montparnasse knickers to the tune of $2,500—was more money for those in need. “And that’s all that matters,” the hostess smiled.
It was apparent at last week’s party for The Last Magazine, when all of New York’s cool kids piled into the ground-floor gallery to celebrate a brand-new fashion publication within the first minutes that the doors were open, just how important a certain building on West 15th Street is. Not only for the production of pretty pictures (its top-floor studios are responsible for many of the images in glossy magazines around the world), but also for having a good time. This season, Milk Studios is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and those in charge have thus decided to spend more time patting themselves and their friends on the back. “Milk would be nothing but an empty space without the photographers, the stylists, the designers, the models, and everyone else who keeps this place running and consistently a creative hub,” said Mazdack Rassi, one of studio’s founding members. To celebrate, this season Milk crammed as much into the space as it could, from small presentations (like Band of Outsiders and Victor Glemaud) to intimate dinners (Naomi Watts hosted a sit-down for her brother Ben’s photography) to full-scale dance parties (like the aforementioned Last boogie fest). The fashion week events were such a success, in fact, that Rassi has renewed his focus on entertaining. In the upcoming weeks expect to see gallery openings and dinners in honor of the likes of Alexi Lubomirski, Norman Jean Roy, Hunter Barnes, and Greg Kadel. “We consider our artists to be part of the Milk family and we do our best to get them a lot of buzz. I love being inspired by the brilliant people around me.”