‘Tis the season for museum parties, and last night’s Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim rounded out a week of galas, benefits, and fetes at New York City institutions both uptown and down. The prize has been awarded every two years since 1996 (when Matthew Barney won) to artists based on their contribution to the evolution of contemporary arts. And while certainly a serious honor—winner Paul Chan will receive $100,000 and a solo exhibition in the spring—yesterday’s event brought equal attention to the glitz and glamour of fashion-sponsored bashes. This is thanks, in part, to Jason Wu, the newly named artistic director of Boss womenswear. “I really worked on the guest list to make sure it encompassed the whole Boss family,” said Wu. “We’ve got supermodels, we’ve got actresses, we’ve got artists, we’ve got writers, we’ve got me!”
Wu was indeed the center of attention, as Kate Bosworth and Nicola Peltz took selfies with the designer in a secluded VIP area behind a wall sprouting faux vines and leaves. “The idea was nature vs. architecture,” explained Wu of the decor, gesturing at the jungle curtain as well as a huge silver bloom of palm fronds and flowers hanging from the ceiling. “It’s the theme I brought on with my first two shows at Boss, and I wanted to make it into an art installation here.” Beneath the metallic spray on the floor of the rotunda, a glass bar filled with live, green ferns satiated guests, including Cecilia Dean, Genevieve Jones, and Natasha Poly.
It was all enough to make even the most practiced party-goer excited. “It’s an extraordinary venue,” said Bosworth, who wore a graphic dress by Boss. “Honestly, I chose this dress because I felt like you have to honor the venue and its architecture and its lines and the way that it’s built. I was trying to pay homage to the building.” Margot Robbie, in town to do press for her upcoming film Focus, went a decidedly different route with her Boss outfit: a sleek suit with a plunging neckline. “I always prefer to wear a jumpsuit or pants or something a little less girly,” said the actress, who’s only recently “taken more of an interest” in fashion since her star turn in The Wolf of Wall Street last year. “I love it when a woman rocks a suit.”
It almost need not be said, as the fashion and art worlds increasingly blend and blur together, but Wu often looks to the walls of the Guggenheim for inspiration. “Artists have the best sense of color. Everyone from Rothko to Rothenberg to KAWS, the way they use color is forever inspiring,” said Wu. “I don’t think fashion designers will ever not use artists as inspiration. Because what they make speaks to the time we’re in. And in so many ways that’s what fashion wants to do as well.”
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