Pérez Art Museum Miami combined a couple of the city’s famous assets for its Art of the Party presented by Valentino on Saturday. Whether PAMM director Franklin Sirmans’ star status or the excuse to escape freezing rain up north, the benefit, which raised $1.1 million for the education program, attracted the likes of Usher and Grace Raymond, Thelma Golden, Noah Horowitz, Martina Navratilova, Sir David Adjaye, and a slew of artists including Lorna Simpson, this year’s honoree, Chuck Close, Rashid Johnson and Glenn Ligon. As the crowd of more than 1,000 people wondered if Usher would perform — just one number, please — the entertainer set his sights on a much bigger collaboration with PAMM.
“I’m an artist, so I’d rather do an immersive experience here,” he said, though admitting it’s hard to get out of vacation mode in the tropical paradise. “Who wants to come to Miami to work?”
If anyone upstaged his natty suit from Dries Van Noten and Gucci fur slides, it was cochair Alexa Wolman in her Valentino tribal caftan and dusty pink locks that matched the welcome daiquiri on the red carpet.
“I dyed my hair for a breast cancer gala in 2008 and kept it since it makes people happy,” she said, adding a streak of pink glitter to her center part. “I discovered it’s a great way to cover up your roots when you don’t have time to get to the salon.”
Before sitting down to dinner, Michele Oka Doner discussed her spring-themed menu in detail for two Sicilian princesses she and Judith Thurman are hosting in New York this week.
“My last four days in Miami have been so packed that I have to go back to New York to rest,” she said.