The cavernous industrial lofts that comprise the uppermost level of Pier 59 at New York’s Chelsea Piers took on the feel of a confessional for Calvin Klein Saturday night. Klein, whose wife, Kelly, was one of 20 or so photographers plying their trade to benefit DIFFA there, freely acknowledged his role as a sit-down specialist for his wife’s work.
“Kelly will say, ‘Calvin, sit down for a little while over there,’ and practice [her photography],” he said. “I can’t say it with a straight face, but if Kelly wants to test the light, instead of using a model, I’m the one who gets to do the test. She takes nice pictures, though. She’s taken great shots of me.”
But don’t expect to see an exhibit of these shots, warned Klein. “I have all the negatives,” he said.
The Kleins later posed for Mark Hom, who along with Helmut Newton, William Wegman, Marco Glaviano and Harry Benson worked from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. taking portraits of hundreds of the guests who attended. Prices ranged from $125 for a 4-by-5-inch photo all the way up to $5,000 for a 20-by-24.
It was a busy three hours, with much scurrying around as subjects hustled between makeup and the camera, but one creature exhibited an unparalleled level of patience. It was William Wegman’s six-year-old weimaraner, Battina — who despite sitting on a stool in a tulle dress for just about the entire evening, didn’t complain once, according to her master.
“She just sort of tunes out,” said Wegman, whose weimaraners are often subjects of his work. “Of all the dogs, she’s been the most blasA. She could fall off a cliff and probably assume I’d be there to catch her. She’s been working since she was a day old — I literally took a photo of her coming out of the womb.”