Cassavetes and James Truman, made a pilgrimage uptown for the battle of the nudes at New York Academy of Art’s annual “Take Home a Nude” auction held at Sotheby’s on Tuesday. The art on the walls faced some stiff competition from the live almost-naked dance troupe, Naked Spin, whose glistening MAC makeup covered all the right parts.

“They don’t have parties like this in L.A.,” observed Barbara Guggenheim, just back from Tom Cruise’s 40th birthday party in Santa Monica, who along with Ghislaine Maxwell, made it her mission to seek works by unknown artists.

This story first appeared in the July 1, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“In 20 years, one of them could be the next Picasso,” said Maxwell crossing her fingers.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night at Etoile on the Upper East Side, a raunchy invitation lured not only downtown types like Chloë Sevigny and Benjamin Cho, but a flock of scruffy boys — who started a fistfight at the club — and hipster chicks from the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge for a rollicking party hosted by wild child Liz Goldwyn and her bandmates in Hot Lunch, Glynnis McDaris and Nicole Lombardi. The trio, who spent the evening frolicking on the dance floor, have formed the coolest girl band no one’s ever heard. But they weren’t quite ready to make their debut.

“We had computer problems, and the 15 songs we recorded got corrupted,” said lead singer Goldwyn, looking every inch the decadent deb in a petal-pink vintage Nolan Miller couture dress. “Our music touches on a lot of different styles — the Mamas and the Papas, the Ronettes. But we all have day jobs.”

Rockers on hand — all dressed in their own DIY fashions — were treated to a preview of the band’s sexy, campy music video, shot earlier that day in Tiffany Dubin’s apartment and directed by Goldwyn, in which the bejeweled bandmates vamp for the camera and gorge on a plate of pork.

“The songs I write, like one called ‘Ladies Who Lunch,’ are about rebelling against the New York social scene,” said Goldwyn. “I’ve straddled the worlds of uptown and downtown for years. It’s so stratified here. We really want to mix the two.”

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