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The social season returned to its Energizer Bunny state last week — it just kept going and going and going. The first major stop was the LVMH-sponsored opening of the Richard Serra retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, which drew in about a thousand of the artist’s closest friends (also known as people the artist lambasted or snubbed at one point or another). Indeed, when approached for comment on the exhibition, Serra simply replied, “I’m not going to do that now,” and walked away. Yvonne Force Villareal succinctly noted the main similarity between the sculptures and the man who makes them: “Steel.”
“Where do you put his art?” queried Bryce Marden. “You put it outside where he tells you to put it.”
Joe Vilardi, the artist’s head rigger, described his boss as follows: “He’s really, really intense. He doesn’t want a lot of distraction.”
Neither did the guests atop the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel on Wednesday night for the second annual quiz night benefiting Darna, hosted by Jacquetta Wheeler and sponsored by Oscar de la Renta and Vogue. “This is hard. I’m a wreck,” lamented Becca Cason Thrash. The cause of her frustration were trivia questions like, “What was unusual about the Crusaders led by Nicolas of Cologne?” and “What was Madonna‘s first single?” Cason Thrash competed against the likes of Michael Kors, Gilles Mendel, Cameron Silver, Georgina Chapman, Marjorie Gubelmann and a few teams of investment bankers, by whom the fashion crowd was duly intimidated. “We’re screwed,” said Andrew Saffir, motioning over to a group from Goldman Sachs.
Just before Lily Allen and Jamie Burke showed up for the after party, it was announced the Goldman Sachs guys did, indeed, take home first prize. Nevertheless, everyone seemed pleased. “We did much better on the science section than fashion people should,” Kors laughed. Meanwhile, André Balazs celebrated the reissue of Kelly Klein‘s book “Pools” at Hotel QT.
The following evening, while John Lithgow, Bette Midler and Marcia Gay Harden picnicked on the Harlem River to celebrate the Cherry Tree Project at Swindler Cove Park, the Paris Theatre was the site of a screening, hosted by Chanel, of “La Vie en Rose,” the biopic of famed French chanteuse Edith Piaf. A crowd including Lauren Hutton, Lily Cole, Allison Sarofim, Liya Kebede, Nina and Chiara Clemente and Olivia Chantecaille dabbed their eyes through the heart-wrenching film before heading to the Chanel store afterward for much-needed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
“I knew of her but didn’t know her story was like that,” said a pregnant Karen Elson, who, despite her state, was still in need of some liquid comfort. “Cheers to you!” she said with a wink toward her belly, Champagne glass in hand.
The film’s star, Marion Cotillard, understandably needed more than a few drinks to recover from her experience of playing the tragic Piaf.
“I went to Morocco and French Polynesia,” she smiled. “I had to get it out of me somehow.”