Every December, once the art fair tents come down and out-of-town visitors go home, locals take stock of the Basel maelstrom and deem a certain party as the week’s best. This time around, Soho Beach House had seven heady days and nights of them. And the variety didn’t disappoint, with bashes that ran the gamut from simple talks and low-key lunches to all-out extravaganzas with impossible guest lists (RSVPs were actually rescinded in some instances, dumbfounding the local social butterflies so accustomed to seeing doormen part velvet ropes at their arrival. Yep, it happened). Here are just some of the highlights.
The festivities kicked off with a “Welcome to Miami” fiesta of sorts, hosted by London White Cube Gallery and Soho Beach House owner Nick Jones, where anticipation was thick in the air as jet-lagged Europeans and in-the-know New Yorkers got the scoop on the week ahead.
The Chanel bashes (a dinner benefit for The Henry Street Settlement and a beachside barbecue hosted by online gallery Art.sy) seemed to be the events everyone in town knew about, but no one was invited to. The shindigs were attended by some of Chanel’s most loyal customers, and, although we’re not certain if they’re Coco devotees or not, we do know Demi Moore, Lenny Kravitz and Owen Wilson made the rounds.
Daytime celebrations were also popular. Designer Diane von Furstenberg and Evian joined forces in honor of their 2013 limited edition bottle with a private luncheon oceanside at The Tent, a temporary living room behind Soho where much of the week’s socializing took place. There, with the tunes of DJ Chelsea Leyland filling the air, folks like Hamish Bowles, Russell Simmons and Mia Moretti broke bread and planned their evenings.
Chopard and W magazine also opted to make the most of the week’s sunny days and invited everyone from Bobby Flay to Cynthia Rowley to a cocktail luncheon and an exhibition of previously unpublished photographs by Milton Greene alongside a collection of Chopard’s haute joaillerie pieces.
Similarly low-key was the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Conversation with museum CEO Wallis Annenberg, Director Michael Govan, Senior Curator Stephanie Barron and Art in America Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Pollock. The trio discussed the post Pacific Standard Time effect in LA and shared insight on the museum’s curatorial mission.
More animated was the Lacoste party to celebrate the brand’s limited edition Campanas Tee, a garment designed by the Campana Brothers with proceeds benefiting the Everglades Foundation. As guests enjoyed a performance by The Misshapes, all eyes were on Lacoste ambassador Kellan Lutz and his perfectly fitting blue and black sweater. The men’s T-shirts feature prints of the Campanas’ signature swirls of crocodile logos and are available exclusively at Lacoste’s Lincoln Road boutique.
Nodding to Miami’s Brazilian influence was the Art Rio cocktail party, hosted by the directors of the art fair by the same name that takes place in Rio de Janeiro every year. The event brought together the fair’s 2012 participating galleries and clients for cocktails and art talk.
When it came to mixology mingling, Pavan ruled the scene. The new liquor brand brought the South of France to Soho with two events to celebrate its launch in America. The first was a Mediterranean luncheon hosted by Derek Blasberg. The second was an evening party with all the trimmings. We’re happy to report that guests were impressed with the spirit.
Style and philanthropy were well represented at a fundraiser for amfAR. The AIDS foundation’s benefit was a first for Basel and it featured a silent auction, sets by DJs Honey Dijon, Kiss and The Dolls, as well as cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and plenty of dancing. Among the invited few were Joseph Altuzarra, Lady Victoria Hervey, Russell Simmons and Jeff Hall.
Winding things down on Saturday night was the Chloé exhibition at the hotel’s penthouse. Sarah Arison, Kipton Cronkite and Paul T. Lehr served as hosts for the soiree, which featured a showcase of artwork inspired by the French brand’s rich history. Bye-bye, Basel. See you again in 10 months.