Sure, it's the 10th edition of Art Basel and it's very important. I mean, very. The art mavens of the world are on pins and needles hoping their millions and millions of dollars of art arrive in one piece in Miami, where the best, biggest and brightest names of the art world are getting ready to gather from December 1st through December 4th to live, breathe and talk about art until its coming out of every orifice.
Some of this is done at the Miami Beach Convention Center, a big drab carpeted concrete nightmare, where exhibitors are divided into cubicles, albeit artistically, and by days end the fashionable art dealers have the same looks on their face as the exhibitors of the international cheese and grape fair -- get me the hell out of here. While the other part of this art worshipping ritual, and one might argue the really important part, is done in a more glamorous setting.
Of course I'm referring to the Art Basel party circuit, which officially kicks off a bit early this year on Tuesday, November 29th with the Dewar's MOCA/Vanity Fair bash honoring the dynamic "double act" of Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant. You can expect to see familiar faces of MOCA gatherings such as Calvin Klein and Bruce Weber. But what people are really dying for is an invite to the dinner party that follows, where the who's who will be seated, a much better look than standing in line to drink cocktails out of plastic cups.
Speaking of liquid highs, last year Bally stole the show with BallyLove when Peaches performed atop Danni The Tranny. I swear, I couldn't make the name up. Okay, well, maybe I could. Anyway this year November 30th is the launch of the new capsule collection for BallyLove#2 created by Olaf Breuning in collaboration with Bally creative directors Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz. Let's hope it can inspire the crowd like Danni The Tranny's third leg.
That same evening, The Kingdom of Morocco is hosting a very exclusive feast with Jeffrey Deitch and MOCA at the Raleigh Hotel designed by Paula Wolfert, a Moroccan food expert who recently launched her latest cookbook, The Food of Morocco. This event is complete with an after party on the beach, where kaftans will surely be blowing in the Miami breeze.
Down the block, or rather, down the boardwalk, the new and rather chic Ocean House will be the setting for the Miami Art Museum's showing, where director Tom Collins is hosting a dinner for two of Art Basel's "it" artists, Rashaad Newsome and Faith Ringgold.
As the art fair officially opens December 1st, so do a new onslaught of chic gatherings, the evening's first hosted by Elle Décor to introduce its Miami Show House, an official satellite exhibition of Design Miami, with a grand opening celebration at downtown home, Paramount Bay. The show house features a group of notable designers, hand-selected by Elle Décor's editorial team, who have transformed a blank 10,000 square-foot penthouse space located on the condo tower's 43rd floor. Get high with designs by Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, Vincenzo Avanzato, Lars Bolander and James Wall.
A few blocks away in Miam's Meat Packing District, excuse me, Design District, fashion and art come together when Maison Martin Margiela hosts (well, not him actually, but fashion aficionados you know that...) Love, etc a fete celebrating Maison's "Line 13," which is dedicated to objects and publications, and explores Maison's relationship with interiors--undoubtedly quite engaging. Margiela collectors take note, guests will have the opportunity to preview an array of Line 13 objects, including an exclusive, limited edition Line 13 piece created solely for Art Basel 2011.
Fashion continues sewing its threads in the art world with Pringle of Scotland, which is throwing a cocktail party on December 2nd. This invite-only event features the never-before-seen "liamgillickforpringleofscotland" capsule collection by artist Liam Gillick, who will be on hand, along with brand design director Alistair Carr and Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, who is as visually striking as art.
Also that night, the design duo and identical twin brothers (who even sound alike) Dean and Dan Caten will be hosting a very, and I mean very, chic event to celebrate DSQUARED² in partnership with VMAN Magazine and The Webster Miami. The cocktail party will be followed by a dinner for approximately 75 VIP guests, which I am told "will be a captivating mix of fashion leaders, social influencers, and tastemakers from the worlds of fashion, art and Hollywood."
I hope so, because I'm already exhausted just writing this column. But that's nothing a cocktail, and captivating socializing, can't help. So get ready to say cheers to more partying, as next week I'll tell you where Basler's should be cocktailing and dining, sans invitations.
Follow Michael Cohen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AskMrCohen