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Tuesday night, party-goers took a cultural break from post-show bashes, flocking to Washington Street for the opening of the exhibit “Richard Hambleton New York,” sponsored by Giorgio Armani. Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld and pal Andy Valmorbida hosted the affair which drew just about every black-clad, hemline-challenged girl in town, along with Lily Donaldson, Josh Hartnett, Tom Sachs and Mary J. Blige to sip champagne and check out a selection of the famed Eighties artist’s past and current work.
Restoin-Roitfeld and Valmorbida —who have been putting on shows for two years — discovered Hambleton six months ago and managed to coax him out of 20 years of reclusion on the Lower East Side.
“Andy called me and said, ‘I think I found someone who can give us credibility in the art world.’ I didn’t know who Richard was and we went to the studio and I was like, ‘This guy is fucking amazing,'” explained Restoin-Roitfeld of Hambleton, who is famous for his silhouette works and used to hang with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. “Putting him under the spotlight is something no one has ever done before.”
Roberta Armani was more than happy to lend her company’s help.
“This amazing man —I felt like I was was meeting a piece of art. He gave me goosebumps. I almost fainted when I walked in here,” she enthused.
The painter himself was swarmed with fans.
“It’s great. Vladimir and Andy were so charming and they seemed to really understand me and my potential. They gave me what I needed,” said Hambleton.
Of course no artistic endeavor during Fashion Week is complete without a raucous after-party and the hosts obliged with a jam-packed, champagne-fueled, smoky affair at Indochine. Lindsay Lohan and Devon Aoki shimmied in a corner booth, Stephen Dorff made the rounds and Mary-Kate Olsen hung out at the bar.
“There’s definitely some model-cruising to be done tonight,” remarked one guy.
At one point a slew of guys inexplicably stripped down to their birthday suits to cheers, before joining the mob scene of dancers.