Eye

As If, Audemars Piguet Bring Stimulating Talk to Beautiful Setting

At As If magazine’s event on Thursday, it was education before pleasure.
Introducing its inaugural speaker series, launched with Audemars Piguet, As If editor in chief and cofounder Tatijana Shoan said, “It’s our duty to deliver real estate in the magazine to art.” She was preaching to the converted, but it reached a whole other level since the venue was the Brooklyn Museum. Moderated by András Szántó, Audemars’ art adviser, the museum’s director Ann Pasternak and the prolific and outspoken artist Mickalene Thomas let loose on issues such as the patriarchal nature of the art world.
“Corporations want to take advantage of artists,” said Thomas. “Some don’t want to work with people of color and women. Especially if it’s a six-figure [campaign], it’s a white male like Jeff Koons, who is so used and saturated.”
The large-format, biannual As If published a 26-page story about Thomas, whose work encompasses paintings, installations, collages, photographs, film and video and sculptures. During the conversation with Pasternak, Thomas mentioned her handbag design for Dior‘s capsule collection bowing in Miami on Dec. 4, in time for Art Basel Miami Beach.
“Oh yeah, absolutely I’d like to work more with Dior,” said Thomas. “There are a few brands I would collaborate with…Gucci

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Benno Opens in The Evelyn Hotel in NoMad

Good things come in threes.
This week, chef Jonathan Benno is opening Benno, his third concept within the newly remodeled Evelyn hotel on 27th Street in New York’s NoMad neighborhood. The fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant taps into the chef’s roots, marrying his experience cooking in the kitchens of Per Se and Lincoln Ristorante further uptown, as well as in the South of France.
“I knew I wanted to do my own restaurant, and when I saw this space it was a lot more than [just that]…with the retail space on 27th Street, lobby lounge, casual restaurant,” says Benno, describing the various venues of the hotel; he runs all three of the F&B concepts. Despite the space for Benno being in general disarray when he first connected with the hotel’s partners about the project, he was won over by the charm of the landmarked building’s history. And as they began peeling back the layers, many original design details emerged — a domed skylight in the main dining room, original tiled floors and millwork. “We discovered all these things, but we didn’t know these things when we negotiated and signed the lease and got these things funded,” he added.
His newest restaurant is located in a

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Jacqueline Bisset Is Having the Time of Her Life

Even Jacqueline Bisset couldn’t pass up an opportunity to meet cultural icon Sarah Jessica Parker.
“I said yes because it was her, and I thought it’d be fun to meet her, having watched her so much on television,” says Bisset of taking her role in “Here and Now.” The upbeat 74-year-old actress was concluding a full day of press for the new drama, which stars and was produced by Parker. But first, Bisset needs a piece of chocolate. Rifling through a glass jar of candy options in a suite at the Essex Hotel, she ultimately settles on a small Cadbury.
The adage that you should never meet your heroes didn’t ring true in this case. “She’s very warm, very friendly, very welcoming — perfect,” Bisset says of her costar.
In the film, Bisset plays Parker’s “overbearing” mother; although it is a smaller role, Bisset enjoyed playing around with the idea of a “bad” mom. “I love playing bad mothers, actually — or supposedly she’s a bad mother, because she has a life of her own and she’s selfish. But it makes for a funny character,” she says of her part. “It amused me that she was so oblivious with what was going on with her

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Kane Brown Breaks the Country Music Mold

Kane Brown is a man of few words. But while he may be reticent in person, his song lyrics and social media presence speak volumes.
Two years ago, the now-25-year-old started turning heads within the country music community. He was different — he’s biracial, has visible tattoos on his hands, knuckles and neck, wears diamond studs in his ears and sports a fade haircut. Instead of Wranglers and cowboy hats, he’s more partial to Off-White, Amiri and Yeezy sneakers, and is the only country music entertainer to be signed as a brand ambassador for New Era caps.
He didn’t take the traditional road to stardom either. Instead of cutting his teeth in church and dive bars throughout the South, Brown made a splash on Facebook by releasing several covers of country classics — George Strait’s “Check Yes or No” and Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance” among them — that soon went viral.
“I was working at FedEx and Target and just doing it for fun,” he said of the videos. “I put it on social media and got around 50 likes. Then I woke up one day and saw that it had gone viral overnight.” He said in addition to his rich baritone

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Kate Hudson, Michael Kors Celebrate World Food Programme in Beverly Hills

“We couldn’t wait for tonight,” said a beaming Kate Hudson as she entered the party in Beverly Hills on Wednesday night — her first since giving birth to daughter Rani Rose five weeks ago. She wasn’t referring to the clutch of family with her — stepdad Kurt Russell, son Ryder Robinson and partner Danny Fujikawa — but to Michael Kors, her longtime friend and now fellow World Food Programme ambassador.
The two spoke earlier at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Hudson — not surprisingly — gushed that her daughter is “so cute!” While moderating the conversation, NBC journalist Natalie Morales noted, “If she is taking herself away from her daughter just five weeks later to be here today, it tells you how important this cause is to her.”
“— and how much I need a break,” the mother of three added, prompting laughter from the audience.
While Hudson has been working closely with the organization for two years, she was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme on Nov. 1.

Michael Kors and Kate Hudson in conversation for the World Food Programme in L.A. on Nov. 7.
Chelsea Lauren/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

“I connect to it on so many different levels,” Hudson said,

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Cancer and Cultural Values Get Personal at Valentino, MSKCC Fall Party

The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York held its annual fall party with Valentino on Wednesday night at the Metropolitan Club on 60th Street and Fifth Avenue. Young and old alike, the guests of this event transformed into peacocks — they were out and fanning their feathers. Glittering Empire waist dresses, drop diamond and emerald necklaces, sequins and velvet — you name it, it was sparkling at the Metropolitan Club, which itself is a pretty shiny place. The walls and floors in the entrance area where the cocktail hour was held were white marble, while the coffered ceiling gleamed golden. Inside the dining room: red velvet drapes and a sky scene painted overhead that vaguely resembled parts of the Sistine Chapel. In essence, this was New York high society at its absolute zenith.
Gillian Hearst, Indre Rockefeller, Mia Moretti, Dani Stahl and Shiona Turini all turned out in support. Members of the society including Clé de Peau ambassador Annelise Peterson Winter, Amanda Waldron, Jamee Gregory and Virginia Tomenson also attended. Most of those in attendance said they had been personally affected in some way by cancer, whether it was a family member, a friend or themselves.

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Balmain and Mytheresa.com Celebrate Capsule at Paris Club Les Bains

PARIS — “If you show up wearing Balmain, you own the party,” said Lottie Moss.
The 20-year-old model and half-sister of Kate was part of the youthful crowd that flocked to cult Parisian club Les Bains on Wednesday night to celebrate the launch of the brand’s capsule collection for German e-retailer Mytheresa.com.
Gesturing to her Balmain x Mytheresa white tweed dress, Moss, who will be dropping the second installment of her clothing line with Pacsun on Feb. 14, added that for her, the Balmain look was for “boss b—hes.”
“You walk in and you’re like — yes. This is what I’m wearing and I own this s–t,” she said.
Creative director Olivier Rousteing seemed to like the description.
“The Balmain woman is strong and believes in herself,” he said, stealing a quiet moment by the hotel’s famous underground pool. “She defies taboos and compromises. She can be controversial, but in any case, she really knows what she wants. That’s what I love about her.”
Additionally, the Balmain woman clearly loves to party. Guests danced to DJ Kiddy Smile’s retro R&B tunes. Naomi Diaz, the singer of the music duo Ibeyi, even took to the stage for a quick shimmy to Eve’s “Let Me Blow Your Mind.”
Models Natalia

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In Broadway’s ‘King Kong,’ Not a Distressed Damsel in Sight

In the hallway outside her dressing room at the Broadway Theatre, Christiani Pitts, the star of the new blockbuster production of “King Kong,” has hung framed photographs of a collection of actresses and comedians from the 1930s, who serve as both a welcome into her space and a guiding light for her performance onstage.
Most notable of the bunch is Moms Mabley, who Pitts learned of as she was researching her role as Ann Darrow in the legend, which opens tonight on Broadway. “I didn’t know that there were female comedians or black female comedians in the Thirties; I had no idea,” Pitts says.
Pitts, who is the first actor of color to take on the role of Ann Darrow, has turned her dressing room into a world of her own. The room is draped in dusty pink furniture with touches of gold accents; a fish — named Fishy — holds residency on one of the shelves. Pitts greets each of her visitors with a hug, and two more upon departing, as she welcomes them into the space she’s created for herself.
The role of Ann Darrow, though she didn’t know it at the time, was just what she had been praying for,

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Five Fashion Brands Competing for This Year’s CFDA, Lexus Fashion Initiative

Five contenders are vying for the top award in this year’s CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative.
Competing for the top prize of a $100,000 grant will be Abasi Rosborough’s Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough; Araks’ Araks Yeramyan; Jonathan Cohen Studio’s Jonathan Cohen and Sarah Leff; Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, and Tracy Reese. Win or lose, each brand will take part in a nine-month business residency in the Lexus-underwitten program. Sustainable innovation is a key goal for this third installment, which also aims to spur thought leadership and meaningful change. The nominees, CFDA officials and Lexus executives planned to toast the competition Wednesday night at Blue Hill NYC.
Rosborough’s five-and-a-half-year-old company has always had green roots. From the start, the founders have used dead stock fabric to make their men’s wear, which is manufactured entirely in New York. Limited production runs and minimal use of plastic bags and other shipping materials are a few other environmental safeguards in place.
Committed to advanced tailoring, the pair strive to create performance-oriented styles that ease wearers’ range of motion. Although the pair met at the Fashion Institute of Technology, they fell into design from diverse fields. Abasi served in the U.S. military for eight

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Behati Prinsloo Takes a Break From the Gym to Toast Ryan Korban

Supermodel Behati Prinsloo took a break from her exhausting Victoria’s Secret training schedule last night to toast interior designer to the fashion set and longtime friend Ryan Korban’s new book.
“I think we met in 2007 in Miami at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which is so funny…It’s been such a long time,” she said sipping Champagne at the gathering at Barneys New York. “He came to my bachelorette party. He came to my wedding. He is an amazing, special individual.”
But despite their close friendship, Korban still hasn’t designed any of her homes, with Prinsloo joking that she couldn’t afford him when they first met. Now that she’s one of the top-earning models in the world and married to Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, “never say never.”
As for tomorrow’s Victoria’s Secret show in New York, which will be her 10th time strutting down the catwalk for the brand after a two-year hiatus during which she had her two daughters — Dusty Rose and Gio Grace, she’s excited, but nervous.
“I’ve been working out so much. I’ve been doing normal, boring things — eating healthy, waking up at 7 in the morning to work out, which is 4 in the morning for me

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Big Wins for Bottega Veneta and Cannupa Hanska Luger at MAD Ball

The artist Cannupa Hanska Luger wasn’t dressed like other attendees of the 2018 Museum of Arts and Design Ball at Cipriani’s 42nd Street on Tuesday night. While guests wore floor-length gowns and bow ties, Luger came in traditional Native American finery: beaded necklaces, a headband and round, beaded earrings.
“If I was invited to one of these places, I like to represent myself rather than submit to the will of this environment,” said Luger, who is of Lakota and Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Native heritage. “This is black tie. This is about as black tie as I could get.”
But what Luger wore didn’t matter as much as his being named the winner of the Burke Prize — an honor that also awarded him $50,000. Luger, along with the 15 other Burke finalists, all have work on view at MAD as part of “The Burke Prize: The Future of Craft Part 2” exhibition.
“It is a level of appreciation to the effort that I’ve made thus far in my practice, without this sort of support,” Luger said prior to the announcement of his win. “It’s really nice to feel supported by a society at large [for which] you’re attempting to help perpetuate issues

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Waiting Out the Midterm Results with Spaghetti and Sofia Coppola

“Is there any news yet?”
Sofia Coppola was asking the million dollar question Tuesday evening — election night — from The Garage in Manhattan, where nonprofit contemporary cultural arts space Ballroom Marfa was celebrating 15 years. Rather than sit home glued to CNN for hours, Ballroom Marfa gathered a crowd of New York art folk to come together in celebration of art, over tequila — and spaghetti and meatballs.
Max Mara partnered with the organization for the “Spaghetti Western” themed night, which drew many a wide-brimmed hat and fringe-adored garment. An “I Voted” sticker, though, proved the must-have accessory of the night.
Though the midterm election results were heavily on the minds of Ballroom Marfa’s guests and organizers — the event was pushed back an hour to allow for end-of-day voters to get to the polling stations — the evening aimed at providing a diversion, by celebrating the positivity art can bring in challenging times, political or otherwise.
“I feel like it’s a nice camaraderie of people who are here together; I think its a positive thing to put art into the world, so I think in these times we all need that,” said Coppola, the night’s big honoree.
She and her 11 year-old daughter,

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WWD Report Card: A Rubberneck Fashion Crash

The best and the worst of this week’s efforts, below.
Jared Leto: C

Jared Leto
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

It’s as if Bianca Jagger and Big Daddy from “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” had a baby. The white number fits him well, but the oversized boutonniere and fedora push the effort into silliness overdrive.
Zoë Kravitz: A

Zoë Kravitz
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

This is what timeless elegance is all about. The black off-the-shoulder gown with pearl embellishments runs the risk of looking matriarchal on someone else, but Kravtiz’s cool edge — and arm tattoos — makes it amazing.
Rami Malek: B+

Rami Malek
James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

This is the right way to pull a white suit off. Pairing it with the black shirt with white detailing and shiny black shoes adds enough pizzazz while keeping it minimal. The only thing we’re missing is the Freddie Mercury moustache.
Tilda Swinton: A-

Tilda Swinton
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Don’t try this at home — no one does Italian couture like Swinton. The hot pink silk palazzo pants with matching shoes are dreamy, and are the ideal dramatic pairing to the sharp black blazer with surrealist hand closures.
Dakota Johnson: B+

Dakota Johnson
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

She is basically communicating that she is a fashion girl. She’s a great choice to debut the new Celine on the red carpet;

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Fashion Designer Michael Vollbracht’s Artwork to Be Spotlighted in Sale, Show

Michael Vollbracht retreated from the New York fashion scene in the Aughts, but he continued to build his portfolio with paintings, writing, sketches and other artwork.
Drafts for books, plays, photographs, sketches, paintings and mixed-media art are part of the trove of keepsakes his niece Tracy Stanley has been trying to piece together. As the executor of his estate, she has been on a fact-finding mission, when she isn’t working as a nurse and pharmaceutical rep in Kansas City. Adding to the challenge is the fact that she hadn’t seen her uncle, who died in June at the age of 70, in more than 20 years.
“This is just another way for me to understand my uncle better. When I went to Safety Harbor [Fla.], so many people have so many stories. It just really paints a picture of who he was,” she said. “I’ve got letters and plays that he wrote [including one starring him and Liz Taylor]. He started two or three different books. He was just a completely talented individual beyond measure. Even his house was overwhelming. He had painted every wall and every ceiling in this design. He would have major pieces of artwork mixed in with thrift-store

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Francis Ford Coppola Honored at 2018 NYPL Lions Awards

On Monday night in Midtown Manhattan, Gay Talese was inside the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, the NYPL’s Library Lions event — an annual celebration of patrons of the arts.
“I’m an old Lion,” he said. “Every year I come, there are new people. And every year I come, there are old people who died. And I’m still around. I’m 86. Wow, what an old person I am.”
Talese was one of a handful of former Lions wearing their medals, attached to the thick, signature red ribbon, proudly around their necks at the party. They’d put on their black-tie finest and gathered within the confines of the historical building to honor this year’s set: Francis Ford Coppola, historian and biographer Ron Chernow, opera singer Jessye Norman, poet Claudia Rankine and novelist Elizabeth Strout.
Sofia Coppola, who will receive her own award from Ballroom Marfa at their Spaghetti Western Gala Tuesday night in Manhattan, attended to support her father. Lauren and Andrés Santo Domingo, David Remnick, The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee (who’s a library ambassador), Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rory Culkin were also in attendance at the party — which was truly a sight to see, interior design-wise. Cascades of

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Francis Ford Coppola Honored at 2018 NYPL Lions Awards

On Monday night in Midtown Manhattan, Gay Talese was inside the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, the NYPL’s Library Lions event — an annual celebration of patrons of the arts.
“I’m an old Lion,” he said. “Every year I come, there are new people. And every year I come, there are old people who died. And I’m still around. I’m 86. Wow, what an old person I am.”
Talese was one of a handful of former Lions wearing their medals, attached to the thick, signature red ribbon, proudly around their necks at the party. They’d put on their black-tie finest and gathered within the confines of the historical building to honor this year’s set: Francis Ford Coppola, historian and biographer Ron Chernow, opera singer Jessye Norman, poet Claudia Rankine and novelist Elizabeth Strout.
Sofia Coppola, who will receive her own award from Ballroom Marfa at their Spaghetti Western Gala Tuesday night in Manhattan, attended to support her father. Lauren and Andrés Santo Domingo, David Remnick, The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee (who’s a library ambassador), Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rory Culkin were also in attendance at the party — which was truly a sight to see, interior design-wise. Cascades of

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The Elton John AIDS Foundation Hosts Annual Enduring Vision Awards Gala

Twenty-five years and counting. The Elton John AIDS Foundation has outlasted the careers of many pop stars, thanks to the unwavering dedication of its founder, Elton John and his husband, EJAF chairman David Furnish.
“When you visit people who have had the benefit of the money raised that we’ve given them, and see the gratitude they have, no matter how worn out you might feel, it just fills you up with energy,” John said during the EJAF’s annual An Enduring Vision gala benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street on Monday night, a few nights before his Farewell Tour performances at Madison Square Garden. “They’re so grateful that people care who don’t live in their country but from abroad and people give them money to have a decent life, decent medicine and hope. And when they’re very happy, they make me very happy. So you come back and start the process all over again.”
As for the foundation’s plans for the next 25 years, Furnish offered a direct goal: “Just to end AIDS by 2030. That’s the milestone that we have, and we think we’re on our way to doing it,” he said.
The well-attended event honored Patricia Hearst, Joe McMillan and Darren Walker, with a

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Introducing The Scope, Set to Change How Millennials Design Their Homes

Design-minded Millennials — who might be in the market to drop $50,000 on a coffee table — have a new online destination, The Scope.
Launching today from freelance fashion/design journalist Alicia Brunker, the site is self-described as a “shoppable editorial platform showcasing design from established and emerging talent” that is both an e-commerce site mixing the likes of 1stdibs and The Line, and a membership club for designers with an off-line, IRL component.
Brunker, who has written for T Magazine, Architectural Digest, Elle and, yes, WWD, found herself transitioning somewhat naturally into design stories over the course of her freelance career.
“More than fashion, I feel like it has a bit more substance and it’s more everlasting, where the fashion cycle, it just goes so fast,” Brunker says. “I’ve been hearing this a lot from my designers: one of them used to work in fashion and it’s like, you put out a product, and in a six-month period it’s already over. With design, it lasts for decades; people are still using Hans Wegner chairs that are from the mid-century. That part really intrigued me: the history, and then the timeless quality.”
She also sees home design as a more personal form of self-expression.
“With fashion,

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Olivier Rousteing Champions Diversity, Inclusivity, Social Media and Couture

From an orphanage in France to the epicenter of the international fashion scene, Olivier Rousteing’s career has rocketed to fame since he took on Balmain’s creative director role eight years ago. In a Q&A with WWD executive editor Bridget Foley, he spoke of plans to add couture as of January — bringing back the upper echelon category for the house for the first time in more than 16 years. With a Rue Saint-Honoré flagship set to bow in mid-January, and accessories getting more attention, Rousteing spoke of the importance of being dialed in to the business side of things.
Selling Balmain’s top brass about the upsides of social media took some persuading, but Rousteing insisted many of his Millennial followers appreciate craftsmanship. And his message of diversity and inclusivity is one that he wants to live on. Hopeful that the kids of tomorrow will recognize the Balmain name, he also wants future designers of all ethnicities and upbringings to understand that dreams really do come true when you believe in yourself and stay true to yourself. “Sometimes they put you on top and sometimes they really put you down. And you have to deal with it,” Rousteing said.
WWD: Congratulations for the Fashion

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Pierre Bergé Sale at Sotheby’s Paris Raises $31 Million

PARIS — An auction of Pierre Bergé’s personal possessions raised $31.3 million, setting a record for a “house sale” at Sotheby’s in Paris last week.
Named “From One House to Another,” the sale on Oct. 30 and 31 featured 975 lots from the French businessman’s homes in Paris, Normandy, Provence and Morocco, with 95 percent of lots selling at figures above their highest estimate.
It also brought in a record number of participants: The businessman’s personal collection drew 2,500 buyers from 72 countries, while the four-day exhibition of the lots attracted 4,000 visitors.
Bergé, who died Sept. 8, 2017, was known to be a passionate art collector. Twelve paintings by French Expressionist Bernard Buffet, who was Bergé’s life partner from 1950 to 1958 before he met Yves Saint Laurent, went for 4.4 million euros. Some of them were personally dedicated to Bergé.
Nine Orientalist paintings, chosen by Bergé to decorate his Parisian hôtel particulier on Rue de Babylone, went for 5.5 million euros. A painting by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ, “The Harem’s Gate: Souvenir of Cairo,” was sold for 2.4 million euros, setting a record for the French painter.
Other lots included a photograph by Man Ray of writer Marcel Proust on his death bed,

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