PHOEBE IN TOWN: “I actually cried,” Phoebe Philo conceded Tuesday night at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The designer was cohosting, along with Marco Gobetti, a cocktail party to toast Isa Genzken, whose retrospective — underwritten by Céline — was opening at the museum.

Upon seeing the exhibition, Philo had gotten choked up. “She’s just brilliant,” Philo continued of the artist, whose comprehensive, 150-piece exhibition showcases her body of work spanning a 40-year oeuvre. Guests including Sofia Coppola, Kim Gordon and Yigal Azrouël floated through the galleries, filled with a dizzying array of Genzken-created stimuli: A passel of mannequins stood tall in the first room in various states of dress; concrete blocks with faux antennas stalking out of them were perched on a table in the next; a mobile of dented pots and pans dangled in another, and a tiny, battery-powered hula dancer wiggled in the middle of the floor a few feet away. The exhibition will be on view until March 10, then hitting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Dallas Museum of Art.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Philo told guests by the bar of daughter Maya’s latest concern. The nine-year-old had asked for a private moment when on the phone with Philo earlier that day. “I said, ‘Of course darling. What’s wrong?’” Philo said. “She said, ‘I want to change my name to Violet.’” The designer suggested Maya test-drive the switch for the weekend. “I wanted to change my name to Michelle when I was young,” Philo said. “It’s such an uncool name, it’s almost cool.”

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