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‘Stephanie in the Water’ Holds New York Premiere

The abundance of surfers and bronzed Aussie ex-pats in attendance made for a more casual vibe than the typical movie premiere.

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Asking someone if they are “goofy or regular” at a party would normally be considered gauche. Not the case at Tuesday night’s New York premiere of “Stephanie in the Water,” a documentary about world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore. And due to the abundance of surfers and bronzed Aussie ex-pats in attendance, the vibe was decidedly more casual than the typical movie premiere.

“Every single person here is, like, my best friend,” said host Arden Wohl. “It’s like our inner sanctum. It’s so much more fun, there’s no pressure, and you’re more comfortable when it’s just your friends.” Wohl is a longtime friend of the film’s director, Ava Warbrick, who grew up in Australia but has resided in New York for 14 years. Said Warbrick: “I actually grew up in surfing culture, so it was nice getting to go back to those roots with Stephanie. The partnership made a lot of sense.” Warbrick’s taste is decidedly more New York (and less beach friendly) now — she wore a form-fitting vintage Mugler dress with Jil Sander heels.

This story first appeared in the August 15, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The screening at Tribeca Cinemas brought out Yigal Azrouël, Jill Stuart, Dustin Yellin, Richard Phillips, Andrew VanWyngarden, Bill Powers and his wife (and avid surfer) Cynthia Rowley.

“That’s why I started making wet suits. I was tired of looking like a dude in the water in an ugly black wet suit,” she said. “But I will tell you — I’m a much better designer than I am a surfer.”

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