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Though sales at Art Basel Miami Beach have been less than stellar, there have been dozens of parties where dealers could drown their sorrows. Celebs, though they may not be buying, are everywhere, from Marilyn Manson to Alex Rodriguez. By the look of things, somebody must still be doing well.

Fendi kicked off the fair with a dinner Wednesday night celebrating Design Miami, hosted by Silvia Venturini Fendi and Design Miami director Ambra Medda at Aqua, the new development from Design District mastermind Craig Robins. Becca Cason Thrash and Rebecca Carcelle arrived together, having bumped into each other at the Convention Center earlier. “After a while, you just want to look at a blank wall,” said an overwhelmed Thrash.

Over in the Design District, Puma cohosted a dinner for the Rubell family, which annually exhibits its personal collection. This time around, the “30 Americans” show, focuses on African-American artists, many of whom were in attendance, including Kehinde Wiley.

This story first appeared in the December 8, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Meanwhile, things were getting raucous over at Casa Tua, where Allison Sarofim and Stuart Parr held a dinner for Edmiston yacht company’s Diego Marroquin. Parr, wearing the same Takashi Murakami-inspired suit he wore to Sarofim’s Halloween party, stood on a banquette inside the restaurant and began roasting many of the partygoers. “I’m only buying Chinese artists under 21, that’s what Simon [de Pury] told me to do,” he said, before imitating Larry Gagosian, who was standing next to him. “Someone asked Larry how he was learning Russian, and he said, ‘One ruble at a time,’” said Parr, cracking up Dasha Zhukova. While most in the crowd begged for more, some snuck out to catch Grace Jones’ set at the temporary Le Baron inside the Delano’s Florida Room.

On Thursday, after fairgoers such as Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z made their purchases, some headed over to the Miami Art Museum’s cocktail with Interview magazine. The biggest VIP there was Jeff Koons’ giant silver bunny balloon, direct from the Thanksgiving Day parade. “It’s one of its last appearances,” said MAM director Terry Riley as the rabbit floated over his museum’s plaza. “Jeff thinks it’s starting to lose its shine.”

Over at the Setai, India Hicks was hosting a dinner for A. Lange & Söhne watches that drew Cornelia Guest and Franca Sozzani, while at the Cartier Dome, David Lynch screened the film he specially created for the temporary structure. The result — psychedelic computerized abstractions of floating diamonds in a very high-end version of a planetarium show — took three years to put together. Among those who came to pay their respects were Naomi Campbell, Zhukova and Kirsten Dunst, who came as a guest of her friend, Art of Elysium founder Jennifer Howell.

In the Raleigh Hotel’s ballroom, Benicio Del Toro was celebrating his starring role in “Che,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, which was shown earlier in the night. “Everyone has been asking me, ‘Why would you screen this here?’” said the director, referring to Miami’s heavily anti-Che Cuban population. “I have gotten a lot of threatening e-mails.” Luckily, his next few projects should be a bit less controversial, including a remake of “Cleopatra” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And, while Del Toro finished off the night by fending off admirers at the hotel’s balcony bar, Dunst and Mary-Kate Olsen headed to dive-y club Bella Rose where Alexandra Richards, Yigal Azrouël and Katie Lee Joel danced until early morning to Nineties hip-hop beats.

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