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NEW YORK — “It’s just like Studio 54,” exclaimed Francisco Costa, surveying the art-covered walls and mounds of silver sequins littering the floor of Skylight Studios, which was transformed for Thursday night’s Art Party benefiting the Whitney. “It’s very Andy Warhol, like the Factory.”

And if that were the conceit, then Costa was playing Warhol for the approximately 1,000 artists and art world hangers-on who mobbed the scene. He was surrounded by works on which he had collaborated with artists Vik Muniz, Ghada Amer and Billy Sullivan. Margherita Missoni, Helena Christensen and Rachel Roy jostled for a better look at the pieces as a silent auction went on.

As for Eva Mendes, she claimed to have minimal painting talent. “I have a glass of wine and I paint, and I think it’s really good. But then I wake up in the morning, and I’m like, ‘Oh no!'” she joked. Some of the girls on the host committee — including Chloë Sevigny, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Olivia Chantecaille and Alexis Bryan — started the party early, primping and prepping at hairdresser extraordinaire Ashley Javier‘s penthouse salon. While music played and drinks flowed, the girls played with Javier’s pet parrot, Rook. The sorority house atmosphere was just what Bryan needed to warm up for that most collegiate of activities, karaoke. The normally soft-spoken brunette took the stage at the Art Party and wowed the crowd by belting out “Son of a Preacher Man.”

Across town at The Fine Arts Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, Michael Eisner, Aerin Lauder, and Marina Rust all stopped by. One dealer said the price of a woman’s designer outfit is usually inversely proportional to the amount of money she intends to spend at the event. “The ladies do not come to buy,” she sniffed.

That wasn’t the case earlier in the day as a brigade of socials descended upon the Fendi store for a luncheon cohosted by Jamee Gregory honoring The Boys’ Club of New York’s Project Read. Guests included Fé Fendi, Joanne de Guardiola, Carroll Petrie and Hilary Geary Ross, who perused the fall collection upstairs before settling into their lobster salads. But that wasn’t Fendi’s only social outing last week. She also turned up at New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala along with Isabella Rossellini, Coco Kopelman and Alba Clemente.

This story first appeared in the May 15, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Tuesday evening saw a gaggle of frocked-out young’uns at the Third Annual Teachers Count Spring Fling event hosted by Zac and Alexandra Posen at The Plumm, where Fabiola Beracasa and Fiona and Olympia Scarry danced up a storm. Honorary chair Kate Bosworth was late, but arrived to an effusive reception. “I’m sorry I’m late,” she apologized. “I was being sewn into my dress.” Posen was pleased with the final effect, not surprisingly, since the creation was one of his own. “She could do a split in that dress if she wanted to.” However, the social set who attended Bottega Veneta’s luncheon for the New York Presbyterian Hospital weren’t quite up for such limber exercises. Samantha Boardman gave birth just two weeks ago, while Celerie Kemble is five months along with her first. Co-chair Sloan Barnett had news of her own. “Once I got over the shock that I was pregnant, I realized I was going to have to give birth in San Francisco,” she said. “I know it’s not Africa, but it’s not New York Presbyterian.”

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