An eclectically stylish crowd descended upon Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon for the 22nd annual Armory Show. On its VIP preview day, the modern and contemporary art fair, now open to the public until March 6, drew several recognizable faces. Among them: Steve Martin, Matt Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris, Vivienne Tam, Glenn O’Brien, Yvonne Force Villareal, John Waters, Kiki Smith and Dustin Yellin, many of whom could be spotted sipping bubbly in the venue’s Champagne lounge.
This year marks an unprecedentedly international array of vendors for the fair, with 205 galleries from 36 countries worldwide, as well as a symposium and a special exhibit on African artists.
Not unlike the art world itself, the see-and-be-seen crowd’s looks tended to divide into two main camps: uptown chic and downtown eccentric. Exemplifying the former were ladies in lush fur coats, Chanel tweed suits, knee-high snakeskin boots or Gucci kangaroo fur loafers, with Hermès Birkin bags dangling from arms. The quirkier contingent displayed a preference for clashing prints, statement hats, bold jewelry, colorful eyeglasses, and lots and lots of leather. But among both groups, the hottest accessories were the giveaways: canvas totes by Canadian artist and novelist Douglas Coupland from his “Slogans for the 21st Century” series — emblazoned with one-liners riffing on digital culture, such as “You and Your Selfie are Merging” — and South African artist Ed Young-designed black balloons, stamped with the words “Your Mom.”