Forget the Garden Party with boozed-up trustees. MoMA took it up a notch last night with a couture-clad closing dinner for Marina Abramović, celebrating the run of her sprawling retrospective The Artist Is Present. Of course, nothing short of a Roman spectacle could befit the exhibition, which featured a changing guard of nude performers and the artist herself in silent communion for a total of over 700 hours. Givenchy and Riccardo Tisci hosted the extravaganza, stuffed with models, Serbian folk singers and gilded everything—a summer bacchanalia for the reigning empress of performance art.
Despite her eternal stint on a chair, Abramović was jovial, an all-feline splendor in a slinky column dress and python jacket from Givenchy’s couture collection. It seems, unlike most of her dour art-world counterparts, she’s not averse to a little glamour, saying, “I love vanity and I love fashion and I don’t have shame to tell it!” In fact, almost all of the attendees were all decked out in Givenchy’s best, including Bjork, looking like dessert in a frothy gold concoction, a statuesque Ciara, Christina Ricci, a mostly upright Courtney Love, dreamy yet weird James Franco, Terence Koh (sans Bei Bei), Patti Smith and Michael Stipe. Kembra Pfahler, who usually sticks to body paint only, even managed to pull a couture headband and black veil. That’s dedication. The fiesta continued at the Boom Boom Room, packed with enough supes to give a George Michael video a run for its money. If this is a sign of things to come, we can’t wait for the September.