Spring fever sank in among the art, social and fashion sets last week as they swilled Champagne from coast to coast.
Salvatore Ferragamo toasted its contemporary “Renaissance” exhibit on Wednesday at its Fifth Avenue store. Diane Kruger, Lake Bell, Eva Amurri, Malcolm Gladwell and Behnaz Sarafpour checked out the works on display — all variations on a floral theme by artists like Amy Beecher, Nina Bovasso and Katja Mater.
The next night, artist Tom Sachs unveiled his collection at Lever House, which features massive bronze sculptures of his favorite muse: Hello Kitty. To install the largest of them, a crew used a giant crane and flew in the piece, which was too tall to fit underneath the atrium. “It was out of control,” said Cecilia Dean, who witnessed the setup while passing by. “All of Park Avenue was shut down, and there was steel on the ground [anchoring the crane] to prevent it from crashing into the subway.” (Apparently, Kitty is very heavy.)
In the front of the room, Sachs installed two fountains with crying Kittys, the message of which has something to do with the current economic downturn. Did this mean the artist was taking a certain pleasure in the recession? “Oh no,” he said. “The recession is horrible. It’s hard for a lot of people.” Then he ran off, without elaborating. Others in the crowd included Hope Atherton, Anh Duong, Simon de Pury, Bob Colacello, Larry Gagosian, and Aby and Samantha Rosen. “He designed a rattle for our baby,” Samantha Rosen said of Sachs. “It’s really cool.”
Nat Rothschild opened up his posh West Village home that same night for Lords and Ladies who were toasting the new American Friends of the Jewish Museum of London. The institution had already raised $20 million for a major renovation (opening in June 2009) and landed HRH The Prince of Wales as its patron for its 75th anniversary, but is still looking for an American patron and president. “There are 300,000 Jews in London and two million in New York,” said Lady Wendy Levene. “You can see why we need friends.”
One person who seems to be well-stocked with social acquaintances is Valentino, who was “surprised” Friday night by a birthday bash at Allison Sarofim’s town house (her aunt, Mikki Sarofim, was one of his first clients). Princess Firyal of Jordan, Eva Herzigova, Elle Macpherson, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Daphne Guinness helped the designer celebrate turning 76 — or 32, as he preferred to call it. After a brief one-course dinner, guests were treated to a performance by New York City Ballet’s Tom Gold, who choreographed a piece specially for the designer set to music by French composer Erik Satie.
In Los Angeles on Wednesday, MaxMara, Women in Film president Jane Fleming, and Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith cohosted a luncheon for Ginnifer Goodwin at West Hollywood’s Sunset Tower Hotel. “I was so nervous when I gave my speech at lunch, I was shaking,” said the actress, who received WIF’s MaxMara Face of the Future Award. “Everyone thinks that as an actor you just have it down, but it’s easy to say someone else’s words. Something what comes from the heart is much harder.”
Not surprisingly, many of the event’s attendees wore MaxMara, including Goodwin and Rose McGowan, who was wearing an orthopedic boot due to a recently broken toe. The actress sported one pink Manolo Blahnik and was determined not to let her injury affect her fashion sense. “My doctor said I’m only allowed to wear heels that match the height of the medical boot. I think I’m going to put a platform on the bottom of it before I go to Cannes so that I can wear one Louboutin with it,” she laughed.
And finally on Friday, hundreds of women sporting bright patterned Tory Burch frocks swarmed the Beverly Hills Hotel at the annual The C.H.I.P.S. luncheon. The social-slash-designer herself wasn’t hard to spot. For one thing, she was clad in a dress not yet available in stores (the advantage of designing one’s own clothes) and another, she was a good head shorter than guests like Angie Harmon, Molly Sims, Jamie Tisch, Stephanie Murray and Gwen McCaw. “I prefer hanging out with people my own size,” she joked. “Especially when everyone’s in heels.”
CHIPS, WOMEN IN FILM PHOTOS BY TYLER BOYE; VALENTINO BY BILLY FARRELL/PMC; ALL OTHERS BY STEVE EICHNER