Monday, October 17, 2011

Frieze Trifecta

The fusion of art, fashion, and design reached such critical mass during the five days of Frieze in London that it felt like a new social order was forming. On Tuesday night, Alber Elbaz co-hosted a dinner at the home of David Collins to celebrate an exhibition and auction at Christie's on behalf of the charity Women for Women International. Art world nabobs like Larry Gagosian, Julia Peyton-Jones, and Michael Craig-Martin joined Baillie Walsh, Mike Figgis, Jade Jagger, and Kristen McMenamy. Nice thing about London dinners at this time of year is the reunions. Phoebe Philo was chewing the risotto with old flat mate Jerry Stafford (now that's an apartment wall I'd like to have been a fly on). Feeding and watering the evening were Giorgio Locatelli and team. What does it take to get Locatelli out of his Michelin-starred kitchen? "I like cooking for David at home," said gorgeous Giorgio. And waging war on
waistlines while he was at it.

Two nights later, it was the turn of Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli to co-host a dinner at the former Commonwealth Institute, which will reopen in 2014 as the new home of London's Design Museum, with a redesign by John Pawson. The swooping, Brasilia-style, 1950's futurism of the building's interior comfortably dwarfed the few hundred guests. But Pawson injected some brilliant visual magic by projecting a time-lapse day-in-the-life of what the park outside will look like through the wall of glass with which he intends to replace the current concrete. This being Calvin, the dinner corraled the prettiest girls and boys in town. Freida Pinto was looking forward to the screening of her game-changing Trishna at the London Film Festival. Chris Hemsworth was remarkably sanguine about life as Thor, perhaps because he's been stuck in the Lake District filming Snow White and the Huntsman. There were several decades of famous modeling faces in attendance. You get so used to seeing pretty women in killer heels at these dos that Natalia Vodianova looked positively Russian revolutionary in flats.
On Friday, Sergio Rossi opened a new flagship store on Sloane Street and CEO Christophe Mélard and creative director Francesco Russo hosted a dinner at Marc Newson and Charlotte Stockdale's home in Victoria, which completed the week's perfect trifecta of spectacular dining venues. Russo's old friend Haider Ackermann crossed the Channel to show support. Friezers Jay Jopling, Dinos and Tiphaine Chapman, Aaron Young and Laure Heriard Dubreuil, David LaChapelle, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, and Jean Pigozzi were probably grateful by this point to kick back with piña coladas (oof!) and food prepared by the Rochelle Canteen, which is one of the worthier reasons to pick up your passport and make your way to the farther reaches of London's East End.
Saturday saw one last footnote to the art/fashion/design (and food—musn't forget the food) fusion with AmnesTea, a launch party for Patrick Cox's artist-designed cakes to mark the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. The art part was obvious (Marc Quinn, Gary Hume, Sam Taylor-Wood, Tracey Emin, and Tim Noble and Sue Webster were among the contributors). Design? The event was held at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Fashion? Food? Cox comfortably—if somewhat incongruously—straddles the worlds of footwear and baked goods. And with this Amnesty initiative, you might say he's now offering food for the soul and the sole. Or not. Anyway, the artists' creations will be available at Cox Cookies and Cake in Soho for the rest of the month. A sweet way to keep the Frieze buzz going.

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