“Where are the naked people? I came to see the naked people,” boomed Matthew Modine as he entered into the sea of bodies milling about the Stephen Weiss gallery on Friday night for the opening of “Skin Tight: The Sensibility of the Flesh.” The supposed “naked people” were a series of photographs by Li Edelkoort, on display with outfits on mannequins by such designers as Hussein Chalayan, Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf.
The event, hosted by Donna Karan, brought out a mixed crowd that included Cece Cord with her “punk yorkie,” Tiger Lilly; Alan Cumming; Thelma Golden, and Yvonne Force in an amazing Fendi fur with her 19-month-old son, Cuatro, and Debbie Dickinson, Janice’s sister, who asked, “I used to be a top supermodel — do you remember me?”
This was the first time Karan has loaned out her deceased husband’s studio for an exhibition. “I went to meet with [the Museum of Contemporary Art’s] Bob Fitzpatrick at Da Silvano. It was a perfect, clear day and as soon as he told me about the exhibition a bolt of lightning struck,” Karan explained. “Now my husband’s nickname was ‘Storm’ because he loved lightning, so I got ‘Whoo.’ I said, ‘Ok, Steve says Fine.’”
Very few guests were wearing the kinds of fashions on exhibit. Explained Tim Gunn, chair of the department of fashion design at Parsons, whose humorous bluntness has made him something of a celebrity on “Project Runway”: “The work is fabulous for inspiration and creating a buzz. But to be blunt, I don’t think they’re real clothes. It’s very European.”