The Art Crowd Dances On Tabletops at the W Party

On Monday night, W magazine held a party to celebrate its annual art issue at the brand new Edition Hotel in New York.  The guest list read like one of the mag’s famed call sheets: Iman, Gemma Ward, Caroline Trentini, Lindsay Ellingson, Emily Ratajkowski, and Chrissy Teigen all stopped by, perching on various velvet couches while Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire tried—and failed—to go incognito. (Note to male movie stars: a baseball hat and a razor boycott doesn’t really cut it in a place where half the room gets paid to post Instagram photos. Just so you know…)
As the ‘90s heartthrobs went back into their secret elevator (seriously), another fashion rule was revealed: Polaroid film is still an It Girl obsession. “I get mine from The Impossible Project,” said Scout Willis, whose first New York art show happened this weekend in Brooklyn. “I do a lot of mixed media with Polaroids,” including a series of t-shirts with her NSFW topless art, “and the immediacy of instant film is really what gets me.”
Another great accessory: the giant bejeweled pyramid clutch that Harley Viera Newton made for Judith Leiber. “We did three handbags together for Saks,” grinned the model and DJ, “the pyramid, a snake, and my name in hieroglyphics. But I’m kind of nervous to take them out because they’re so limited edition, so they kind of sit on my mantle like objets d’art… I always swore I’d never be precious about fashion, but these are special… and my Vivienne Westwood hangman’s sweaters from the ’70s. Those are like history, not clothes. I just like to look at them and pretend I was there.”
Designer Misha Nonoo had a different take on things: “Wear it all, wear it to death,” she said. “Why look at your clothes like art, when if you wear them and they become part of your being, you can become part of the art, too?” Nonoo’s most recent collaboration was with contemporary art darling Dustin Yellin; her husband, Alexander Gilkes owns the online art auction site Paddle 8. “If I had one of those paper soup can dresses by Andy Warhol, I would wear it,” she said. “Why save something that should be part of how you live? What better day do you have than today?”
“It’s great when fashion and art collide,” mused British fine artist Phoebe Collings-James, a former Vogue model who just moved to—where else?—Brooklyn. “But I don’t think anyone should be taken less seriously as an artist because they love clothes or participate in the style world.” I ask if her modeling reputation has helped her art career. “You know those standardized tests you fill out in school, and if you don’t have an answer that applies, you just write N/A? That’s what I think of that question… of course, female artists have to prove themselves more relentlessly than male artists, because that’s the world we live in… but we need to keep talking about [sexism], keep asking about it, and then we will demolish it!”
But first, several girls were demolishing the Edition’s gilded dining room—perhaps hearing Leo and the Gang were afoot, they decided to dance on the antique tables. Champagne glasses rattled. Silverware crashed to the floor. And Martha Stewart decided with one swift look that it was time to bid adieu…and we did too.

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