“It’s always a great honor to be recognized by all these great creators of art,” Carolina Herrera said Wednesday night. The designer was at the epicenter of the Art Production Fund’s White Glove Gone Wild gala, held at an uptown Manhattan town house, where she and Linda Yablonsky were being toasted. A sea of Herrera-clad beauties — Dianna Agron, Karlie Kloss, Emmy Rossum and Dita Von Teese to name a few — orbited around her. “Doesn’t everyone look so beautiful?” the designer asked.
The bash, as the name implies, is a sort of tongue-in-cheek take on clichéd, stuffy Upper East Side galas. The art-world scenesters certainly had fun with the dress code, requiring gloves. Allison Sarofim wore a wing-tipped set while Von Teese chose a pair that went well past her elbow, nearly covering her entire arm. While lacy bandelettes were handed out at the door, most guests — Patricia Lansing, Fabiola Beracasa, Athena Calderone, Marina Abramovic, Aaron Young, Jeffrey Deitch, Amy Sacco, Jennifer Creel, Lisa Perry, Bob Colacello, Jamie Tisch, John Demsey, Kiki Smith, Nate Lowman — went glove-free.
In a side alcove, partygoers got to test drive tattoos at a temporary tattoo station, with eight different Wangechi Mutu designs to sample. Rossum customized hers, sniping out a single willow tree from one of the drawings and branding it on the nape of her neck. Herrera was hoping for a custom look, too. “I wanted to ask for a bracelet with a CH charm on it but they couldn’t do it,” the designer said. “Maybe also with a big diamond.”
“It’s nice, I like the placement,” resident ink expert Scott Campbell said, examining a fellow guest’s new tat: a flock of birds flapping up her forearm. “It’s delicate. It’s not one of those tattoos that would make your mom cry.”
Fellow aficionado Max Snow checked out the station but shied away. “He has enough ink,” Vanessa Traina smiled. “The places I have them, you don’t want to see,” Snow laughed.
In the next room, Marilyn Minter took portraits of guests — at least those willing to cough up $1,000 for the shot. Chris Salgardo and Tisch each took turns sitting on a stool behind a sheet of fiberglass and mugging for the artist, who had Windex, aloe and paper towels handy to achieve the right balance of blur and clarity. “I can’t believe that’s me,” one reveler said in disbelief, looking over her photograph drying on the fireplace mantle. “I look so artsy.”
After a live auction — during which Gigi Mortimer made off with Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Venus,” a hot-pink polyurethane resin piece, for $57,000 — guests began to scale the stairs to the third floor for supper. “We made it,” Sofía Sanchez Barrenechea sighed, blowing in with fiancé Alex de Betak just as the crowd was heading up. The art director looked ever the street-style star, toughening up her flowy Herrera gown with a leather moto. “I cannot do a gown without a leather jacket,” she said.
On the way up, many made a pit stop on the second floor to take in Vanessa Beecroft’s performance art piece. Curious guests sifted into a quiet side room, where a dozen or so stone-faced and super-still models, most dressed in wispy sheer gowns and fluorescent-hued wigs, stared out onto the crowd. “Isn’t this amazing?” Sarofim whispered, taking it all in.
Up a floor, partiers were well into munching on the first course — a mushroom and white truffle risotto cake — and discussing the piece. “I thought it was very ethereal,” Zani Gugelmann said before dabbing her napkin into her water glass and applying an additional tattoo to neighbor Claire Distenfeld’s right bicep. “I though it was very fitting for the room itself. I think it was about the role of women and how that should be questioned. I just loved it.”
Between courses, some guests stepped out for a smoke, huddling under the town house’s awning as the rain dumped down. “I just got these today but when am I going to wear these again?” one female partygoer asked, yanking off her pair of gloves — a Cinderella-esque, white satin pair. “But I mean, I will say,” she continued, after taking a long drag. “I do love a good theme party.”