MoMA’s foray into the fashion fete fray was no small undertaking, particularly because a busy night pitted it against other heavyweight bashes. But then, the art world is hardly a stranger to a good kegger, so it was with little surprise that the venerable institution rolled out a red carpet knock-out. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Linda Evangelista in your corner as host. The occasion was the opening of Ron Arad’s No Discipline exhibit, celebrating the maverick interior designer’s intrepid adventures in form. The impressive installation spread across the sixth floor, warping the space-time continuum with an array of mesmerizing ergonomic shapes, sort of like if you made furniture out of the wormholes in Donnie Darko.
But the pièce de résistance was the fete itself. We knew MoMA was a contender when we stumbled into Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. We expected a mostly uptown crowd, with lots of up-dos and shawls, but to our surprise there was a healthy smattering of downtown types, including designer (and stud muffin) Richard Chai and actor/jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia. Also in attendance were the inseparable and indefatigable Olivier Zahm and Andre, who clearly have bionic staminas (the gaggle of young models en tow suggested as much). Linda held court on a raised dais overlooking the garden, flanked by Pat McGrath, Josh Hartnett and assorted photogenic well-wishers.
We ran into up-and-coming accessories designer Marsha Chun of Abakus, whose Gareth Pugh dress looked like samurai body armor. “Touch it!” she instructed, and we obliged immediately, lest we incur her warrior wrath, then trotted over to the DJ booth to greet Paul Sevigny, who rolled his eyes at the cover band taking over. “It’ll be like prom!” I offered.
On the way down we shared an elevator with Cecilia Dean, bemoaning her itinerary for the evening. “At least you just have two events tonight,” she told her sympathetic companion. “I have three.” She sighed, taking a long look at her spiked Louboutin for Rodarte heels. It’s the hard-knock life.