NEW YORK — If there was ever any question that photographers rule the fashion industry, it was settled Thursday night at the Phillips de Pury gallery, where Drew Barrymore and Anna Wintour were hosting a party on behalf of the Peruvian shutterbug Mario Testino. A bevy of models turned up to pay respects to Testino and admire the glossy pictures of themselves adorning the walls.
“He found me on the street,” said Jacquetta Wheeler. “I was on my way to get my hair done.” “I think we met on an elevator,” said Gisele Bündchen, who was just 16 when Testino discovered her.
Vera Wang, Narciso Rodriguez, Lars Nilsson, Michael Kors and Francisco Costa all made appearances, while Harvey Weinstein walked around with his girlfriend, Georgina Chapman, co-designer of the Marchesa label. A pregnant Gwen Stefani showed up with Helen and Tim Schifter and said she felt “fine.” And co-host Simon de Pury was beaming because sales have been through the roof. “They’re selling like hotcakes,” he said of the images, which included a 1998 Madonna album cover, an Allure magazine spread with Bündchen and a Gucci ad campaign in which a man is writhing on the floor, licking the foot of a woman who’s wearing a pair of gigantic red patent leather stilettos.
De Pury, unsurprisingly, swore that making a purchase was a solid investment. “In five years, they’ll be worth $500,000!” he said.
As for the guest of honor, Testino was walking around his own party taking photographs with a miniature camera and seemed pleased with the turnout. “A great party is all about the mix,” Testino said. “Beauty, minds, humor, decadence and intelligence.”
The statement could have applied to the party the New York Botanical Garden and Badgley Mischka hosted at Saks Fifth Avenue last Tuesday evening in celebration of the designers’ new Platinum Collection. A slew of models showed off the goods while ladies like Arianna Boardman, Alexis Bryan, Zani Gugelmann and Debbie Bancroft enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The following afternoon, Jane Carroll, Meera Gandhi, MaryAnne Gilmartin and Elyse Newhouse hosted the New York City Ballet’s Annual Luncheon. After taking in a t ribute to legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins, the predominantly female audience, wearing enough tweed to outfit a St. John trunk show, streamed upstairs to a seated luncheon and raffle. Guests like Fé Fendi, Tory Burch, Gigi Mortimer, Deeda Blair, Coco Kopelman and a pregnant Jill Kargman enjoyed their chicken and wild rice dishes. And not all of the ladies had show-going on the brain during fashion week.
This story first appeared in the February 4, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’m very lucky to get all these invites, but I’m not going to any shows,” explained Nina Griscom. “I used to say yes and not end up going. This year, I just said, ‘Oh grow up!'”
In London, another design house, Lanvin, and its designer Alber Elbaz held a party at Harvey Nichols for its new jewelry concession that drew Jade Jagger, Joan Collins, Miranda Richardson and Zadie Smith. Linda Evangelista wanted it known that her getup was bought and paid for. “This is all my own,” she said of her stunning white velvet Lanvin trench. “Whenever you see me in Lanvin, it’s always my own.”
Elbaz, meanwhile, worked his crowd of fans who were sipping lychee martinis and pomegranate cocktails to the tune of a Twenties jazz band.
“I’m inspired by people, by love and by life,” gushed Elbaz, who was less forthcoming about his upcoming fall collection. “We never talk about the future in fashion — we’re very superstitious.”
Across town in Mayfair, Max Mara was honoring the American film artist Margaret Salmon, winner of the first Max Mara Art Prize for Women, with a black-tie dinner at the Italian ambassador’s residence.
Guests included artist Gillian Wearing, Juergen Teller and a posse of London gallerists as well as Teller’s better half, Sadie Coles, Victoria Miro, Molly Dent-Brocklehurst and Iwona Blazwick.