NEW YORK — “I’m Heather Frocklear,” announced photographer Jessica Craig-Martin, who had donned a rather risqué plunging green Versace dress for close friend Yvonne Force Villareal‘s 40th birthday bash Tuesday night. “I photographed Heather Locklear in this dress several years ago,” Craig-Martin explained. But she was more modestly dressed than many, who had taken the evening’s “Dynasty” theme to heart. For her part, Rachel Feinstein wore a dress that deserved to be revived — a baby blue vintage Zandra Rhodes. “I’ve been waiting to wear this for years,” she confided. “I got it cheap because no one else wanted it.”
Villareal — who herself chose a Donna Karan gown for the occasion — is certainly not one to go down quietly, and so, for her big day, the art consultant and woman-about-town had a party thrown by a committee, including best friends Amy Sacco, Mark Fletcher, Craig-Martin, Feinstein and Lisa Yuskavage. “She is fearless,” said Todd Eberle, while guests gazed upon an image of a pregnant and nude Villareal, one of 722 Eberle had snapped over the past seven years that were playing in a continuous slideshow. “Not once has she ever said no.”
While Tara Subkoff spoke of the difficulties of keeping her hair in Eighties-style angel wings, art-world heavies such as Alex Katz, Jeffrey Deitch, John Currin, Cecily Brown and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn mixed with social fixtures Amanda Brooks and Gigi Mortimer in the Stephan Weiss Studio, which Donna Karan had lent to her friend for the evening. Villareal’s latest discovery, Ryan Bingham — a cowboy singer from Marfa, Tex., on his very first trip to New York — serenaded the crowd. Uma Thurman was happy to rock out on the dance floor with David Kuhn while her boyfriend André Balazs caught up with Karan, but others were ready for bed. Peter Bacanovic, still recovering from a trip to Los Angeles, begged his friend: “Please take me home.”
This story first appeared in the February 2, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Uptown, Ashley Olsen stopped into Bergdorf Goodman’s fifth floor to check out the latest spring frocks at a party for What Goes Around Comes Around, her beloved downtown vintage store, while a few blocks away, Gaynor Rupert, Russell Simmons and artist Harold Riley hosted a dinner at Rockefeller Center to benefit Imibala, an organization devoted to helping the underprivileged in South Africa. Star wattage was added to the otherwise low-key event, which was underwritten by Cartier, with the arrival of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, close friends of Rupert’s. She was able to lure them from Los Angeles specifically for the event, but only for a few days — they’ll be jetting back before fashion week’s frenzy ensues. “I’ve got to go see my babies,” Zeta-Jones said sweetly.