“So much better than last year” was the chorus heard time and time again at the Whitney Art Party and auction last night at Skylight at Moynihan Station. Presented by MaxMara, with co-chairs Maria Giulia Maramotti (MaxMara's director of retail, and granddaughter of the brand's founder), entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman, and actress/model Nichole Galicia, the event managed to raise over $450,000 for the Whitney’s Independent Study Program. A fashion brand getting behind an art institution; we support that.
“I love the Whitney,” said Maramotti. “It’s such an amazing institution and fits in so well with our idea of art. This was a great way to launch my brand in New York City.” So where do fashion and art meet? In her MaxMara dress? “No no,” she said, resolutely. “Fashion and art are two very serious things. You don't have to mix them.”
The Whitney Museum of American Art can be defined as a meeting place: high comes low; downtown comes up; the strange becomes common. And the party echoed that sentiment. A VIP room, maybe 1000 square feet, roped off with its own bar, remained markedly empty for the majority of the evening. Everyone—artists, celebrities, socialites, and plain old guests—wanted to be meshed together.
Olivia Wilde perused an Ellen Jong photograph of a woman peeing on a beach (“It’s her! Based on a sculpture of the same,” another artist told me). Lake Bell and Adam Driver looked over John Galt’s watercolor, “The Fired Man” and then rubbed elbows with the artist himself (Galt was accompanied by his girlfriend, the fashion designer behind Stone Morris). Swans like Hannah Bronfman, Jessica Gersh, Lola Montes Schnabel and Joann Pailey sipped their glasses of Moet and Belvedere vodka alongside fashion folks like Jay Fielden, Leandra Medine, Natalie Joos and breakout designer Jordana Warmflash who designs the buzzy Novis label. Brendan Fallis and Harley Viera-Newton kept the night pumping with a crowd-pleasing parade of punchy tracks.
The supremely well orchestrated event brought together creativity and passion, beauty and bodies, aesthetics and discussion. Like good art.
Click through for photos from last night's event. Photos: BFA