Any designer can fly into a city for a personal appearance. It takes real flair to host a party from 3,000 miles away.
That’s what SA’s Isaac Mizrahi did a few nights ago when he appeared via satellite at a party in his honor at Tiffany’s in Beverly Hills. It was the kickoff of his big fashion blowout scheduled for May 5 at Mann’s Chinese Theater for AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Originally, Mizrahi was supposed to be there in the flesh, but when his schedule filled up, he decided to beam himself in. The gimmick was almost better than a personal appearance, with a chain-smoking Mizrahi bantering back and forth via television with the Angelenos, who, as everyone knows, love television and hate cigarettes.
He promised that his show — coming a year after Calvin Klein’s grand gala at the Hollywood Bowl — will “blow the roof off California.” When Mizrahi said in reply to one question that there would be no men in the show, several women moaned with disappointment. He quickly changed his tune: “There’s a huge finale of 50 naked men; then it’s going to snow on them.”
Back in New York, Julian Schnabel had an easier time getting to his opening at the Pace-Wildenstein Gallery, where the moans weren’t about the lack of men.
“Where are all the models?” asked Paul Morrissey. “There are usually a lot of models.” Twenty minutes later, Ross Bleckner came in and said the same thing. But now that model Anh Duong — whom Schnabel used to date — and her friends are out of the picture, all eyes at the opening were on Schnabel’s latest — bright, messy canvases with the words “Boni Lux” (“beautiful light” in Latin) emblazoned across them.
“‘It doesn’t mean anything,” said Schnabel’s wife, Olatz Lopez Garmendia. “I just woke up one day and it was in my head.”
“These have a nice color sense,” said Bleckner of the work. “He didn’t use those depressing colors he usually does, like brown. You might not be able to tell, but his control of the paint is really masterful. ”
Bleckner even admitted to a little jealousy.
“I’m more of a struggle artist. And I’m frantic. I have a show in a month and I only have one painting that I like.”