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WWDStyle issue 03/14/2011

On Thursday night, at the Frick Collection’s annual Young Fellows Ball, Rachel Roy, a co-sponsor of the evening, explained that a family connection had her frequenting another of the city’s cultural institutions as of late.

“When I’m lucky enough to venture out, I do go to the MoMA,” the designer said. “I must say, I’m a little biased. I know this is going to be terrible, but my brother is the film curator there. He’s the chief film curator. I’m so proud of him, and he just gives me the nicest tours and I do get so inspired, but I need to start venturing out from the MoMA.”

This story first appeared in the March 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Roy stood just outside the Frick’s Oval room, currently home to a recently restored Rembrandt self portrait from 1658.

“My 11-year-old,” she said, “I give her art lessons on the weekend, and she was becoming quite frustrated with how her image looked. She didn’t think it looked like mine and so I brought her to the MoMA and I showed her [the work] right over the ticket booth, actually, and it didn’t look like a house to her and I told her, that this is what the artist thinks… that changed her entire perspective on art and for that, I am eternally grateful.”

The designer became a bit more elusive when asked about her rumored apparel collaboration with Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks.

“Yeah go Knicks! We’re inspired by how hard they work, and they’re artists as well,” she said. “My first artist collaboration was with Estelle and then I moved to Jessica Stam to get a little downtown cool in my life, and I’m always looking for artists that I can collaborate with. I want them to be able to do something that I know nothing about. So they bring in something new to what I do so that I stay inspired.”

So the next field of inspiration is basketball?

She paused.

“I mean the games are quite fun!”

Elsewhere on the evening, partygoers took the night’s Chinoiserie theme to varying (and sometimes questionable) ends: from hand fans to Chinese-print dresses. One man made the rounds in a skullcap and faux braid.

“I had a longer dress; I was looking for something a little more Chinoiserie,” Adelina Wong Ettelson said early in the proceedings, before waving her hand in front of her face. “But I figured I had enough Chinoiserie with this.”

As per the event’s custom, guests were free to roam the museum’s galleries. As the night wore on, and the high culture was digested, a considerable contingent moved to the dance floor where a DJ kept the pop fare in steady supply.

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