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Though guests at the Hammer Museum’s eleventh annual Gala in the Garden on Saturday night donned formal attire to fête the artists Robert Gober and Tony Kushner, the evening’s celebrity presenters and chairmen set a more casual tone. Longtime Kushner friend Viola Davis ditched her heels before paying tribute to her former Juilliard classmate, co-chair Rita Wilson paired her Valentino dress with a J.Crew jacket, and for her part, the crooner K.D. Lang belted out a three-song set—including the hits “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray” and “Hallelujah”—barefoot. Before taking the stage at the Bottega Veneta-sponsored affair (and still sporting shoes), Lang shared her thoughts on Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1993 play Angels in America. “That was a heavy year,” Lang told Style.com. “The play was very important, because the late eighties and early nineties were wrought with homophobia, and Angels really helped to dispel stereotypes and got people to start shifting their outlook.”
Spotted among the revelers were Diane Kruger, who arrived with longtime beau Joshua Jackson, co-chair Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta, Will Ferrell, Jodie Foster, China Chow, Richard Buckley, Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg, and Liz Goldwyn, who recounted a recent fashion week mishap. “I was supposed to attend Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent show, was packed, ready, and taking a bath when I looked at my Instagram account and saw a message from someone saying that they were waiting for the show to start. I was so overwhelmed with work that I got the date wrong! It was really embarrassing. But I sent flowers, and everything turned out just fine.” As did the rest of the night’s festivities—bare feet and all.
If they were tired, they didn’t look it. With Paris fashion week barely over, a cluster of young designers, including Guillaume Henry, Ligia Dias, and Piece d’Anarchive’s Priscilla and Deborah Royer, gathered last night in the Ministry of Culture in the Palais Royal to whoop and cheer their friend, Ami designer Alexandre Mattiussi, winner of this year’s ANDAM prize. “I’m not just taking this personally; it’s great recognition for my team,” said the man of the hour after short speeches by the minister of culture, Aurélie Filippetti; the minister for industrial renewal, Arnaud Montebourg; and ANDAM president Pierre Bergé. Mattiussi has already used some of the 250,000-euro prize to redo Ami’s Web site, prepare an
e-commerce platform (launching this month), hire an assistant, and dream up a few capsule projects. As for his whispered-about women’s line, he said, yes, it’ll happen: “But not quite yet.”
Christine Phung, Mattiussi’s onetime classmate and winner of the 75,000-euro First Collections prize, was thinking along similar lines, and her research into new prints and fabrics is already under way. The ultimate dream: “We’re a team of seven in less than 300 square feet—I’d love a bigger space at some point!” Elsewhere in the crowd, Renzo Rosso, whose mentoring is part of Mattiussi’s prize, told Style.com, “[Alexandre] is very much like me. We’re both Virgos, we even share a birthday [September 15], and we have the same mentality about creativity, democratic fashion, and supporting noble causes. I like building with people who share my mentality.” So…might Rosso consider formalizing their friendship financially? “Ami is still very small, but never say never—and if the French don’t get there first!”
Leave it to Miuccia Prada to do things differently, in parties as in fashion. Rather than occupy the latest hot boîte of the moment, the designer chose the once-opulent, decadent Le Carmen. Built in 1875, this rococo landmark was the Le Baron of its day—an after-show haunt for dancers from the Moulin Rouge and the men they favored (today, in homage, a golden cage is mounted near the entry and a daybed sits in the corner of one salon). It’s also where Bizet is said to have composed his last opera. Ordinarily Le Carmen doesn’t pack in the crowds; it’s more of a discreet watering hole just a block south of Pigalle. “I love this place; it’s beautiful and out of time,” said Olivier Theyskens, who has been known to drop in when he’s in town. Last night, though, he was ready to get back home to New York. “Our show was only three weeks ago but already we’re on to winter, and I’m excited about all our great projects coming up,” he said. One of those is in Paris: A Theory boutique will open on the Left Bank next month.
Although buoyant and crowded, the spirit of this last hurrah was laid-back. The hostess slipped in quietly around midnight, a handful of starry guests in tow, including Michelle Dockery, Rashida Jones, and Dianna Agron. Dockery reeled off some favorite looks from the show—”the red coat with black lapels, the red two-piece, all of the coats actually, and the cats…,” the feline-printed items that were one of the sensations of the collection—before sighing and admitting, “I loved it all.”
Not bad for a party that only took shape last week. “It’s been a while since we threw a party,” said a spokeswoman. “We just wanted to do something cool and different for friends and family.”
“Fashion is fun, you can’t take yourself too seriously, and true friendship is possible.” There, in a sentence, was Carine Roitfeld‘s summation, for a bank of French TV reporters, of the new Fabien Constant documentary about her, Mademoiselle C, which premiered in Paris last night. And those friends were out in force, both for the screening—where Karl Lagerfeld sat front-row—and the after-party at the Pavillon Ledoyen.
Roitfeld’s bashes have become PFW’s most reliable power magnet: Lenny Kravitz, Katy Perry, and Ciara all showed, as well as a slew of models (Cara Delevingne, Miranda Kerr, Magdalena Frackowiak) and designers (Riccardo Tisci, Haider Ackermann, Peter Dundas). Everyone was eager to share their memories and favorite moments with Mademoiselle. (“Madame,” to her granddaughter, apparently, but never mind that.)
“When I first met Carine, we had a mutual love of eyebrows—hers are incredible,” deadpanned Delevingne. “But seriously, Carine’s just an amazing woman, in addition to being an incredible stylist.” Longtime pal Tom Pecheux had one of his memorable Roitfeld exchanges memorialized in the film: The time he wished his best girlfriend fat ankles in her next life. “She was shocked at the time, but that day, like many others, she drove me crazy,” he said, laughing. “She knew that one day it would come back to her.”
Like Pecheux, many of those present reckoned that Roitfeld put “almost everything” into Mademoiselle C. But the hostess herself left a little room for mystery. “There won’t be a follow-up, but I haven’t said everything. You have to keep some things secret, non? We’re not doing reality TV!”
“Literally, just about the only person not in black here tonight is Hillary,” one male guest said to his tablemates last night at the inaugural Save the Children gala presented by Calvin Klein. He was referring to the one-and-only Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state was sporting a bubblegum-pink number, but she was all business when she accepted her National Legacy Award from the children’s rights and relief organization at Cipriani 42nd Street. As she made her way to the stage, the crowd, including Caroline Kennedy, Victor Cruz, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jennifer Garner (also an honoree for the evening), got to their feet to give Clinton a standing ovation.
“Whoopi Goldberg and I were just talking about how people in today’s world know what their favorite celebrity wore to dinner last night because of social media,” Clinton said. “Let’s use social media in a more effective way, to convey what brain scientists now know about brain development. Help us to try to build the best brains we can in America’s children, because there isn’t anything more important than doing that.”
She was followed by Garner (the recipient of the Advocate Award), who had brought her daughter Violet out for the first time to a public event. “I told my daughter that I was a little nervous to speak in front of a crowd like this, and she gave me a great piece of advice,” said Garner. “She said to imagine that you are all our dogs, Martha Stewart and Gandhi, and to imagine that you are all wagging your tails waiting for a treat, and the treat is my speech. Thank you for that, Violet.” The tails wagged—and, more important, the dollars of support came flooding in.
—Kristin Tice Studeman