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CALVIN SAYS HOLA, MIAMI: Calvin Klein has another Miami manse. “It’s all white, of course,” said Klein on Saturday night at Paul Wilmot’s poolside dinner party during Art Basel Miami Beach. “And there is no art on the walls, but a few people on Friday night said they were relieved that they didn’t have to look at any more art!” The house, which is located in North Miami, overlooks the bay and was originally a Twenties Spanish-style villa. “I wanted it to feel like you were on the Mediterranean, say in Greece or something.” Klein, who spent Art Basel at various fairs and parties, isn’t totally antiart, however. “I collect antiquities, things that you wouldn’t hang on the wall,” he said.
In addition to his new home — which took almost a year to perfect — Klein kept a small apartment closer to the South Beach action on lower Collins Avenue. But he hasn’t always been a Florida fan. “Not at all,” he admitted. “I used to have a house in Palm Beach, but I had decided I never wanted to be in Florida again. After five or six New York winters, I changed my mind.” Klein also has a house in Rio, where he plans to spend the holidays. “I like hearing people speak Spanish,” he said. And maybe a little Portuguese, too.
TWINKLE TOES: On Saturday, a fantastical confection of children, candy and costumes took over the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center for the Nutcracker Family Benefit, hosted by the New York City Ballet and School of American Ballet. Organized by chairmen Christy Turlington, Pamela Schein Murphy and Kristen Kennedy Clark and attended by Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner, Mariska Hargitay, Michael J. Fox, Donna Karan and their families, the benefit raised money for the School of American Ballet’s scholarship fund and the NYCB’s education and outreach program. “The performance brings you back to a time in your life when everything was enchanting and magical,” said Hargitay. Of the benefit’s sponsor, Marc Jacobs, Turlington said, “It was only natural for him to be a sponsor. He makes beautiful clothes for kids.”
After the matinee performance of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” excited children — dressed to the nines in kiddie couture — had the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. Meanwhile, the luncheon resembled a hectic family holiday party more than the usual society event, complete with dancers from the performance dropping in to sign autographs and tables bedecked with gingerbread house centerpieces decorated with frosting, gum drops and sprinkles.
JEWELED INSPIRATION: Georg Jensen enlisted designer David Alexander to dream up dresses inspired by the jeweler’s Cave collection and presented them last Wednesday night at its Rodeo Drive store. Alexander drew from the Jacqueline Rabun-designed collection’s abstraction — and relied on plenty of Red Bulls — in his creative process. “I sat there one night and sketched as much as I could,” he recalled. What resulted was three dresses valued at up to $14,000 that will be housed at the Georg Jensen store for the holiday shopping season. Playing mannequin for the occasion, store manager Risa Misawa donned a black Alexander number that exposed her stomach. “It is comfortable, but my shoes are killing me,” she laughed.
FROCK AND ROLL: “There’s nothing in the world like the energy before a gig,” said Rich Ascott of the London design-duo-turned-rock-band Rodnik, before taking to the stage at London department store Selfridges. The store was the last stop on Rodnik’s world tour — which was intended to plug the label’s spring collection, alongside the designers’ nascent rock careers — which kicked off at Barneys New York in September. “We wanted to get the word out about Rodnik to the actual people who are buying,” Ascott said, explaining why he’d opted for a livelier choice of personal appearances than a round of sedate trunk shoes. Still, the designers don’t take their rock posturing too seriously — they played out their set on a $60 kids’ drum set, and mannequins wearing Rodnik’s tailored dresses stood in for backup singers. And the best part about their low-key approach to pop stardom? “When we’re done with the drum kit, we can just smash it,” said Philip Colbert with a laugh.
ALWAYS DIVINA: Thirty years after the death of Maria Callas, the town of Milan and the Italian Chamber of Fashion are paying homage to the soprano by staging an art exhibition called “Divina! Maria Callas Between Fashion and Myth.” The exhibition celebrates the style and elegance of the legendary artist and 23 fashion houses ranging from Valentino, Prada, Versace and Gucci to Roberto Cavalli, Antonio Marras and Moschino designed gowns inspired by Callas. “I’m fascinated by that special allure that only Maria Callas had,” said Moschino’s creative director Rossella Jardini, who created a red silk evening gown inspired by a corset the soprano wore during a performance in Philadelphia in 1959. Mario Boselli, head of the Chamber, said the soprano “embodies style, class and elegance and, for this reason, the fashion industry has joined in on this initiative.”
The show runs until Jan. 20 at the Museum of Contemporary History located in the central fashion district.