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July 30 2014

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4 posts tagged "Russell Simmons"

Timberlake And De La Huerta Get An Eyeful

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It’s been a boom week for art in New York, between Frieze, the auctions, and a spate of openings, and it shows no signs of ending quietly. Last night, Jerusalem-born artist Roy Nachum unveiled an exhibition at New York’s Joseph Nahmad Contemporary gallery that was, quite literally, an eye opener. In part, that was courtesy of the big-name guests who had turned out for the occasion. The crush of flashbulbs that followed every step of his longtime friend and collaborator Justin Timberlake (Nachum did the interiors for Timberlake’s Southern Hospitality restaurant) and Russell Simmons’ every smiling exchange with models were blinding experiences.

Exploration of vision and perception, however, were exactly what Nachum had in mind for the project. “I wanted to look at blindness and different ways of seeing things,” said the artist of his new exhibit, Open Your Eyes. Large-scale paintings inspired by color blindness tests and Braille messages floated above an installation piece of a sea of 1,800 golden crowns in the center of the room, each sold to benefit the Lighthouse Foundation. “There’s a kind of metaphorical blindness that comes from taking the world for granted.”

So hectic was the scene that Paz de la Huerta nearly slipped through unnoticed. She revealed that she, too, has been looking at things differently—by taking her place behind the camera, rather than in front of it. “I directed my own version of The Red Shoes, which I’m also starring in,” she said. “It’s part of a series of films I’ve been working on since I was 16.” A bigger surprise, though, is that, unlike with many of her other roles, she plans to remain clothed. “I always have to do what’s unexpected,” she quipped, “so I think next I should play a nun.”

Photo: Will Ragozzino / BFAnyc.com

In The Lotus Position

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Fashion’s favorites have been hitting the track lately. Designer/car collaborations have been on the rise for a year or more, from Victoria Beckham’s “creative design executive” appointment at Range Rover to Gucci’s limited-edition Fiat. Last night, Lotus celebrated its new partner-in-design, producer, rapper, and front-row fashion watcher Swizz Beatz, with a party at Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in New York, which also served to toast the fourth and latest issue of Lotus Magazine.

The crowd was largely split between business suits and Timberland boots, but it wasn’t gentlemen only. There were several women in long evening dresses queuing up for photos next to the shiny red Lotus Evora. Evora duties for the magazine’s cover had been taken by Sasha Grey, the porn star-turned-actress of The Girlfriend Experience, who was painted driving one by artist Richard Phillips. He seemed as impressed by his automotive subject as his flesh and blood one. “These cars are as badass as you can imagine,” he said admiringly.

Beatz is the company’s newly appointed vice president of creative design and global marketing, making it his second creative appointment; he holds a similar title at the footwear company Reebok. (He also performed at the event, alongside rapper T.I.) But he was eager to clarify that this wasn’t a pay-for-play arrangement. “I wanna make clear that this was not an endorsement where I’m just getting paid money to be here,” he announced, standing next to Lotus CEO Dany Bahar. “This was a true creative collaboration where I was able to creatively step outside the box.” Cheers, applause, and camera flashes flooded the room soon after the two men, along with Russell Simmons and Beatz’ wife, Alicia Keys, revealed the Swizz-designed chrome-colored Evora GTE.

Photo: Shareif Ziyadat / FilmMagic

The Cult Of Cavalli

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“I love women and they love me,” Roberto Cavalli told Style.com last night, surrounded by a throng of female admirers at his newly renovated Madison Avenue flagship store. They had flocked uptown to the Italian couturier’s shop to kick off the annual Casita Maria gala honoring Cavalli this November.

The shop—outfitted in new crystal-dusted flooring, tufted python ottomans, and chocolate ponyhair rugs—quickly filled with the likes of China Machado, Hannah Bronfman, Melissa George, Denise Rich, and Michelle Harper. Never mind the Indian summer; when Mr. Cavalli throws a party, the dress code calls for two things: leopard and fur. “Russian women love to dress,” quipped soprano Anna Netrebko, the star of the Metropolitan Opera’s Anna Bolena, who arrived swathed in an aqua animal-print number and a matching mink bolero. “All that fur and bling, we love it.”

The designer, who recently celebrated 40 years in business, revealed no plans to hang his bedazzled coat (ahem, jeans) anytime soon. And why should he? His Spring ’12 gold sequined collection was jaw-dropping. “This is my life,” he said. “I started working in fashion because I love femininity, and to me the most important thing is to make women feel more beautiful.” Mr. Cavalli, mission accomplished.

diamonds, still a girl’s best friend

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Gossip Girl‘s Taylor Momsen thinks that diamonds are not only forever, they’re for everyone. “I don’t know if it’s a generational thing; I think it’s just personal style and taste,” said the 15-year-old actress on Tuesday night at Haunch of Venison Gallery, where Christie’s and Alberta Ferretti presented a preview of the Ponahalo diamonds, two hefty glass cutters—102.11 and 70.87 carats—that are to be auctioned off on October 15. Momsen was among a young set—Stephanie LaCava and Dabney Mercer were also in the crowd—feasting their eyes on the gems, which, placed under glass, were illuminated by the most flattering of halogen lights in a chamber otherwise quite dimly lit. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Ponahalo diamonds will be donated to the Diamond Empowerment Fund, co-created by Russell Simmons. But would they make Momsen’s outfit complete? “I could probably use some earrings,” she said. “I didn’t find any when I was rushing out of the house.”

Photo: CHANCE YEH /PatrickMcMullan.com