On Monday night, Amber Valletta was standing at her party at the Park Avenue Armory, zipped into tight Azzedine Alaïa couture and surrounded by drive-in-movie-scale screens on which her face was projected. W magazine had thrown the fete in honor of Valletta’s September spread and film project with Steven Klein, “Time Capsule.” It’s difficult to communicate what the space looked like, because it was agreed upon by most that it was like nothing they’d seen before.
“I’m obsessed with this,” Rose McGowan said, taking in the emptied, dark armory, the effect of being encircled by huge screens of Klein’s film and the pulsating minimalist beat of the music. “It is so cool.”
This story first appeared in the September 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Karolina Kurkova agreed. “It’s really beautiful; It’s overwhelming.”
The space was packed. Daphne Guinness and Courtney Love were there, as were Carine Roitfeld and her two children, Vladimir and Julia Restoin Roitfeld, along with their assorted entourage. Naomi Campbell and Klein embraced toward the middle of the event.
“You’re wonderful,” Campbell told Klein. “A genius.”
Martha Stewart was on hand, as were Jason Wu, Arden Wohl, Shala Monroque, Lydia Hearst, Vera Wang, Shalom Harlow, Leigh Lezark, Olivier Zahm, Terry Richardson, the Courtin-Clarins clan, Susanne Bartsch and some people named “the Zand collective,” who arrived with very little clothing (what there was of it was lace or leather or bejeweled and corseted or all of the above at the same time) and under a very large black satin parasol. Lady Gaga was invited but didn’t show.
During Klein’s film, Valletta is aged (by the magic of makeup and technology) 120 years in dramatic fashion — though always dressed in luxurious fabrics and surrounded by attractive, libidinous younger men.
“Don’t be afraid of aging,” Valletta said. “Firstly, you get wiser as you get older. Secondly, it’s just the physicality of you that’s changing. The outer part of you. The inner — I’m a spiritual person, I mean, I live spiritually. And you will always be youthful on the inside. Sure, it’s going to suck when you can’t walk and everything, but I mean, you are who you are on the inside no matter what.”
Valletta grabbed what looked like a little green macaroon from a passing tray. She chewed, and a pall passed over her face.
“Oh, my god, that was disgusting,” she said. “But don’t be afraid of aging. Wear sunscreen. And drink water and moisturize and you’ll be fine.”
The 150-year-old version of Valletta stared into the middle distance, projected above her as she spoke. And probably should have listened regarding the moisturizer.