“You’re blocking me!” Kate Bosworth joked at last night’s Whitney Art Party, en route to put in a bid for one of the many pieces up for auction. She wasn’t the only one eyeing the contemporary art; all of Skylight Studios in downtown New York was filled with patrons of the art, ranging from Chuck Close to Thakoon Panichgul, who were there to raise money for the Whitney’s Independent Study Program. Lubov Azria bid on a piece featuring a scratched-out woman, explained Michelle Kwan (yes, that Michelle Kwan), who came as Azria’s date. “I’m living vicariously through her,” she joked, before adding, “I love the arts. I feel like in some ways I’m an artist myself, but on the ice. So I have an appreciation for artists, for what they do, so it’s a pleasure to be here and support the Whitney Art Party.”
Michelle Violy Harper, donning a massive, baroque church-inspired headpiece by milliner Ashley Lloyd, was also planning on pulling out her checkbook. “I’m excited to get in there and get active,” she said of the auction. What most excited her, however, were performances by artists Kalup Linzy and iona rozeal brown. “It’s one of the things that the Whitney Art Party always does quite well, and it’s something that everybody always looks forward to,” Harper gushed, before catching up with friend Terence Koh.
One person you wouldn’t find by the auction was the event’s honorary co-chair, Olivier Theyskens. “I don’t really have an art collection,” he admitted. “I love to admire art, and I love to see things that I never think I’m going to own. That’s why I’m happy that we are involved with the event for the Whitney, because I think the institution is making a ground for many [artists], and that each of them has potential.” The designer, who caught up with Bosworth by the bar (he dressed her, too, in one of his frocks for Theyskens’ Theory), noted that art continually serves as inspiration for his work. “For me, there is never a clear limit between these fields, and I think it’s the same between fashion and architecture, or art and architecture, where there isn’t a real limit; there’s a fusion,” said Theyskens.
As for Bosworth, even if she didn’t get to place a bid before the auction ended, she said that she already had the perfect piece for her art collection. “Honestly, my favorite is a personal photograph history that my partner [Michael Polish] and I have. We shot a lot of photos in a Leica M9 and they’re so beautiful,” she explains. “So for me, that’s the best artistic venture!”