Posted by Maryanne Salvat On December - 12 - 2010

gerardbutler,serena,lorenalejandroBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Those with an unrequited, inexplicable obsession with all things social, artistic, fashionable and fabulous got our annual fix last week during Art Basel 2010, where for seven straight days we were over stimulated from the rooster’s crow to the coyote’s howl-and are just slightly the worse for wear this week. At what other time of the year does the bar line at any given event seem transported from the Tower of Babel? Or does one’s daily conversation involve such derivatives of the word “Basel” as: Baseling, Baselites, Basel brain, Basel Tov, Basel hangover or Baselitis? And when else are you just as likely to bump into Academy Award winners, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon as funny men, Steve Martin and Ben Stiller; social fixtures, Andre Balazs, Daphne Guinness, Nicky Hilton; designers, Calvin Klein, Christian Louboutin; music moguls, Russell Simmons and the Estefans, or singer, Pharrell Williams; swoon-worthy beautiful people, Gerard Butler, Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell; sports figures, Alex Rodriguez and Serena Williams; art collectors Johnny Pigozzi, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Muhairi, or artistic genius Julian Schnabel, in mismatched clothing as if he’d just gone on a shopping spree at Goodwill? Far from exhaustive, here’s the short list of some of the Basel events that put the “ART” in P-ART-Y.


The week started off on Monday with a chic and sophisticated barbeque hosted by Veuve Clicquot champagne, Craig Robins and Vanessa Kay at the Soho Beach House’s Tiki Bar. The small outdoor space was packed with 200 A-list guests who could barely contain their excitement as they compared agendas for the action-packed week ahead in between delectable barbeque bites and flutes of champagne. Guests included Pharrell Williams, DJ Mia Moretti, Vice Mayor Michael Gongora, artist Mathieu Lehanneur, Sabina Belli, Christine Kaculis, Robert and Enid Kay, Trudy and Paul Cejas, Rob Brown, Todd Davis to name a few. On Tuesday, Veuve Clicquot unveiled Once Upon A Dream, an exclusive exhibit at Design Miami which afforded guests the opportunity to experience ultimate relaxation in an actual sleep capsule, as if the previous night’s bubbly weren’t enough to knock them out for a few. Designer, Mathieu Lehanneur, referenced the research of noted professor René Quinton, and findings of sleep specialist Alain Nicolas, when he created the space.

London’s White Cube party took over the Soho Beach House’s Club bar, pool area and Tiki bar on Tuesday night- banishing even its top-tier members to the eighth floor and restaurant. The White Cube party, comprised mostly of jet-set billionaire art collectors and their offspring and pretty people, proved to be a gluttonous Bacchanal with free flowing champagne and liquor, unlimited food from the menu, extensive raw bar and a grill on at the Tiki Bar featuring limitless grilled meats and seafood.

On Wednesday night, Jeffrey Deitch, director of LA’s MOCA hosted one of the biggest musical events during Basel week- a concert by LCD Soundsystem in keeping with a tradition he formed at Deitch Projects. This year’s Grey Goose sponsored concert on the sand at the Raleigh drew the one of largest crowds of the week- a mob scene with throngs of VIPs (or those who perceive themselves as such) clamoring to get past security. Artist/collector Johnny Pigozzi was reportedly seen trying to scale the back fence to gain access but was turned away. Thursday required helicopter transport between the Design District, Wynwood, SouthAnna_Mixon,_Michael_Capponi,_Jerry_Powers_&_Venus_Williams Plum TVBeach and back. Jerry Powers, Plum TV, Michael Capponi and Jeff Feldman presented the kick-off to Haiti Art Expo in the Design District, wherein 3,500 guests and supporters demonstrated their overwhelming support for Haitian culture and relief and were treated to music by the sixteen-member Haitian band Rara Lakey. Thanks in part to celebrity hosts Venus Williams and Haitian born World Welterweight Champion Boxer, Andre Bertom the event raised over $120,000 in sales including multiple purchases by the aforementioned celebs. Philippe Dodard, who flew in from Haiti to attend, showcased his world- famous contemporary pieces. Also on display were works by world-renowned Haitian artists Levoy Exil, Payas, Alix Roy, Lousiane, Sully Gutemberg and Manuel Mathieu. Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen; Haitian born founders of Bogosse, Fabrice and Patrick Tardieu; Nick Pritzker, Don Soffer, Craig Robins Deede Weithorn and Jerry Libbin, were also in attendance. Throughout the weekend, Russell Simmons made a special appearance and Wyclef Jean performed live.

N.E.R.D. concert party presented by PAPER magazine in Design District   (1)At the same time, PAPERMAG and AOL, in partnership with Pharrell Williams, Shepard Fairey and FriendsWithYou, hosted an opening night celebration to kick off the FriendsWithYou Rainbow City installation with a special performance by popular alternative rock trio N*E*R*D and DJ Mia Moretti. The special event drew a crowd of 2,000 including: Christian Louboutin, Kim Hastreiter, David Herschkovits, Noah Hilfiger, Jax Hilfiger, Lea Hilfiger, Chloe Hilfiger, Perry Farrell, Etty Farrell, Craig Robins, Sam Talbot, Michael Yo, Arturo Sandoval, Sam Borkson who experienced a multisensory event, as the concert took place amid the Rainbow City installation in a huge field in the heart of the Design District. The forty-piece installation of enormous, bright and colorful inflated sculptures-several of which were actual bounce houses for adults(!) and a few of which walked around (LSD trip, anyone?) embraced visitors, creating the ultimate backdrop for N*E*R*D performance.

Over the bridge, Interview magazine partnered with MoMA PS1 for a huge bash at the Delano which featured synchronized swimmers, and an outlandish poolside performance coordinated by artist Mariah Robertson, which featured a singer singing Hanukkah songs, a Bahamian Junkanoo marching band, a few naked performance artists, Mariachis and a parade and limbo contest out on the beach for even more free-flowing champagne. No, we are not making this up in our post-Basel stupor.

JSchnabelSPenn0055Nearby an A-list crowd gathered for Maybach Night, a formal dinner hosted by Maybach to benefit Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization.  The dinner and rooftop after party were the first events to take place at the New World Symphony Building designed by Frank Gehry.  Julian Schnabel donated five large-scale paintings created on nautical maps of Haiti for the live auction, which raised nearly $1 million dollars for the organization (roughly the cost of a couple of Maybachs).  Among the highest bidders were: Naomi Campbell, Michael Chow and Peter Brant.  Academy Award winner, Sean Penn was on hand for the festivities.

Later that night, celebrity photographer-turned celebrity, Patrick McMullan joined novelist Brian AntoniThree Stooges Antoni, McMullen, Antoni and artist Robert Chambers to host a private party at Cafeina, dubbed, “Three Stooges We Love” for over 1,000 locals and New Yorkers who showed up to view the McMullan’s So80s photo installation, a bulletproof glass sculpture showcase by Chambers, and partake in a book signing of South Beach the Novel by Antoni, who donated a portion of sale proceeds to The Trevor Project. McMullan was in full force throughout the evening, snapping pictures of party goers and friends into the early hours of the morning.

Vogue’s Starry Night under the Stars

Vogue hosted an Yves Saint Laurent fashion show on Saturday evening at JR and Loren Ridingers’ Casa de Suenos (House of Dreams), the pinnacle event of the week, and one of the most coveted invites. As usual, Loren Ridinger and Vogue’s attention to detail- right down to the YSL engraved napkins- resulted in an event that was nothing short of perfection. Paris famed fashion house YSL displayed its stunning new resort collection with special never-before-seen pieces, as models paraded around the pool, to the live sounds of the Aleksandar Djuric string quartet and delighted gasps from the stellar crowd (several pieces even drew applause from the audience).  A few onlookers considered the show to be a live-interactive version of their Christmas list (Can you guess who?)  The gorgeous show and setting were rivaled only by the well-heeled attendees, many of whom struggled to balance their stilettos on the limestone.  After the show and requisite photo ops, hundreds of lucky guests which included Gerard Butler, Natalia Jimenez, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Lili Estefan, Giselle Blondet, Daisy Fuentes, Alejandro Sanz, Paulina Rubio, Russell Simmons, Cliff and Mary Floyd, Alex Rodriguez, Donald and Lisa Pliner, Nick D’Annunzio and Tara Solomon, Belkys Nerey, Jilian Sanz, Frank Amadeo, Ingrid Casares, Dana Garcia, Serena Williams (sporting a bejeweled cast and crutches), and Kelly Rowland mingled, danced and sipped Crystal with the gracious hosts. While throughout Basel week, Miami’s glitterati were sprinkled throughout a seemingly endless myriad of dinners, art shows and parties, all roads seemed to converge at the Ridingers’ on Saturday evening.

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