I On Black Tie: Guggenheim International Gala 2014
If you were wondering why there was more traffic than usual on November 5 and 6 in New York City, it was most likely because of the Guggenheim International Gala this year. The event is one of New York’s signature benefits and was sponsored for the first time ever by Dior. This was actually the first time that the Guggenheim had worked with a major fashion house for the event, and Raf Simons, creative director for Dior, couldn’t be happier. “It’s kind of weird that tonight I’m standing in the middle of this body of work by Christopher Wool, who was one of the artists [coming to the forefront] right at the moment I was starting to look at art,” stated Simons. “[Art] is like water. You take it when you need it. You need it always, but sometimes you need a lot, and sometimes less.” It’s no wonder that bright colors that resemble Andy Warhol’s prints and faces from Pablo Picasso’s paintings appear in Simons’ past collections. He looks to art as inspiration for his clothing because in fact fashion is moving, living art. Simons served as an honorary co-chair for the event along with Sidney Toledano and Jennifer Blei Stockman.
The gala was held to honor many artists from around the world this year: Carrie Mae Weems, an American artist best known for her photography; Heinz Mack, a German artist best known for his work with light art and kinetic art; Günther Uecker, a German sculptor; the German artist group, Zero, whose work is presented in the exhibition Zero: a Countdown to Tomorrow: 1950s-60s; and Wang Jianwei, a Chinese contemporary artist. All the funds from the gala go towards the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which is the general operating fund for the museum. With a greater goal at understanding and appreciating all sorts of art, the Foundation aims to present internationally acclaimed exhibits, offer a wide range of educational programs, and maintain unique exhibits of contemporary and modern art.
As this is one of the most prestigious benefits in New York, the guest list was extensive for both nights. November 5 was the pre-party with a performance by the band The xx. November 6 was the benefit dinner. Most of the guests showed up in either glamorous Dior gowns or Dior Homme suits out of respect for the amazing hosts this year. Guests included Camilla Belle, spokesperson of Lady Dior, Marion Cotillard, Elizabeth Olsen, fashion designer Olivier Theyskens, and models Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, to name a few. Overall, the event was a successful one in which people who practice any form of art whether it’s fashion, entertainment, or creating pieces of art could come together to celebrate one of the greatest modern art museums of all time.