For most Millennials, BCBG Max Azria brings to mind the pinnacle of American teenage-dom: prom. Just ask AnnaSophia Robb. “My very first high school dance, I got BCBG shoes,” she said on Monday night. “And then my first prom, I tried on a few BCBG dresses and I fell in love with this one, but it was a little too saucy for me. Now, I am of age.” The petite starlet, decked out in a monochromatic look from the label, was out to celebrate BCBG’s sponsorship of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Robb, along with Arden Wohl, Chelsea Leyland, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Amanda Ross and Dalia Oberlander, had gathered at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Gramercy Terrace for the intimate dinner party.
The meal, hosted by Lubov Azria and Adam D. Weinberg, acted as part one of the Biennial’s kickoff. Part two — the opening reception — took place at the museum on Tuesday evening. “It is our last Biennial in the Breuer building uptown,” said Weinberg. “We are really ending with a bang. We did something that we’ve never done before. We invited three outside curators to each do a separate floor of the museum.” The three curators — Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms and Michelle Grabner — were on hand to greet guests and tease what was to premiere the following evening. Weinberg noted this year’s Biennial featured 103 artists, up from the previous 53.
Over grilled branzino and roasted chicken, dinner chatter ranged from the unremitting cold weather to the previous evening’s Academy Awards. Padma Lakshmi, dressed in a Narciso Rodriguez bustier and The Row leather pants, had been underwhelmed by the red-carpet fashion. “It was a great Oscars, but not fashionwise,” she said. Any favorites of the bunch? “I mean, Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Lupita [Nyong’o].…” The list trailed off. Lakshmi, a friend of Whitney curator Carter Foster, would not be attending Tuesday’s opening, having met her “night out” quota for the week. “I try not to go out two nights in a row,” she said. “I have a small kid, so she doesn’t get it. I don’t blame her.”