Admittedly, I’m not always quick to cross the East River for a party. But when the Brooklyn Museum and Manhattan’s New Museum held their annual spring galas on the same night last week, I crossed it twice. My first stop was the Brooklyn Museum, where food artist Jennifer Rubbel created an orgiastic feast for all five senses. Guests snacked on crackers garnished with Fontina cheese melting from overhead sculptures and poured their drinks from spigots protruding out of blank canvases. Mario Batali shouted, “Cuba Libre!” as he poured rum and coke into his Ball jar. Meanwhile, Chloe Sevigny and Patrik Ervell opted for dirty martinis.
Despite the Donald Judd influence, the dinner that followed was anything but minimal. 150 rabbits, ten turkeys, two pigs and two cows covered large plywood boxes, at which 600 guests were left to carve their own entree. Afterward, dessert poured from a 20-foot-high piñata of Andy Warhol’s head, which people took turns beating. And while the flood of Hostess snack cakes marked the meal’s decadent end, the after-party (a carnival hosted by Opening Ceremony in the museum’s lobby) was just getting started. I left as the male strippers were giving out lap dances…
Back on the island, the New Museum opted for a Carnival-themed affair, hosted by Brazilian actress Alice Braga and Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, and held at the top of 7 World Trade Center. There were no strippers but Forro in the Dark played sultry, street-party music that warranted some grinding. I was a little nervous that my navy Zero + Maria Cornejo dress wouldn’t pass the “anything but black” dress code, but then Aurel Schmidt ignored the request altogether, wearing a black Giambattista Valli minidress and black polka-dot stockings. Several others followed suit, but Terence Koh, outfitted in all white from Comme des Garcons and his own line, KOHTURE for Opening Ceremony, evened out the monochrome palate.
Above: Melting cheese sculptures at the Brooklyn Museum Ball. Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.