THE BLOG
12/12/2011 03:45 pm ET | Updated Feb 08, 2012

Art Basel: Post Purism

As Art Basel Miami Beach celebrated its 10th anniversary as the world's most prominent art fair -- something the art world has been championing since its inception -- it was clear that welcoming the double digits also meant welcoming new patrons, one of whom nearly had a gallery owner's black Prada ensemble turning as white as the table cloth at the Kingdom Of Morocco dinner. When said gallery owner saw Paris Hilton pose for photographs with MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch she quipped, "This can't be serious."

Yes, honey, it's as serious as Michael Douglas's battle with cancer, who was coincidentally sitting at the next table admiring the weather; while Catherine Zeta Jones admired, well, her admirers. A minute later, the girl that stole her sister's brain, Nicky Hilton, was spotted striking curious glances at the Maybach floating a top of the Raleigh pool. And that's all guests had to talk about at this very fancy dinner. And, oh yeah, there were also murmurings about how the night before at the MOCA/Vanity Fair bash Calvin Klein looked surprisingly great, what a sweetheart Donna Karan is, and that Bruce Weber really should go on diet.

That same evening, a stone's throw away at Art Basel Vernissage, held at the Shelborne Hotel, Ramona Singer was posing for the paparazzi while asking the doormen to radio the bartender that she needs her Pinot Grigio. Also seen entering were Luke Wilson and Alanis Morrissette, who had one hand in her pocket and the other holding artist James Rosenquist, which had some partygoers wondering if he was her dad.

The next evening, the paint hit the fan when Paris Hilton learned during the Dom Perignon dinner, held at The Dutch at W South Beach, that her ex-beau Stavros Niarchos was hosting the after party at the hotel's club Wall. She was overheard telling Nicky she felt like she was in L.A. Oh those mind tricks. Others couldn't remember the host's name, W developer Aby Roeno and his socialite wife Samantha Boardman, but they do recall seeing Pat Riley and the couple around town Michael and Catherine, who this time was admiring her colorful one-shoulder silk dress.

And the parties kept coming, thanks to P.Diddy (or whatever he goes by these days), who did his best to be a purist. The mogul is not only rumored to have bought a very expensive piece from artist Tracey Emin, but also hosted a party with gallerist Andy Valmorbida, and record exec Jimmy Iovine, in collaboration with VistaJet, celebrating the art book Culo by Mazzucco (whew...that was a lot to get into one sentence). At the jam-packed tables sat--surprise--the Hilton sisters, Girls Gone Wild's Joe Francis, Adrien Brody, Will Smith and Lance Bass. But don't ask anyone what the book was about because that wasn't nearly as important as Naomi Campbell, who made her entrance through the back door, passing the garbage. That's some good stuff, right?

"That's hysterical," said Gareth Pugh of her entrance, flanked by his orange haired boyfriend, who used to be a blond, and NYC socialite Byrdie Bel, who hosted a dinner in his honor. He just doesn't understand Art Basel purists shunning Hollywood. "As a collective I find all of it very inspiring. Everyone is here. It's an exciting time in the arts."

I second that even if Nicky Hilton has to remind Paris that Art Basel is not a guy she met clubbing in Miami.