Life Ball — that AIDS-fighting, life-affirming, awe-inspiring party of parties in Vienna, whose optimism and feel-good attitude knows no bounds — has bowed for 2014. Once again, various fashion personalities took part, this year hand-picked by Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue editor and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
“It's such an honor to be once again partner of this praiseworthy initiative, representing Italy, where, next June, we will hold the 21st edition of Convivio, thus supporting HIV/AIDS research," said Sozzani. "It is so important that we all share our efforts for a disease that unfortunately still affects millions of people around the world."
Among other duties, Sozzani gathered tuxedo looks from seven men's houses — Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, Viktor & Rolf, Lanvin, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Etro, Dsquared2 — for Life Ball's first men's fashion show, presented by L'Uomo Vogue and featuring the chiseled, top-model physiques of Rob Evans, Shaun Ross and Austrian-born Werner Schreyer, among other Adonises.
For the Red Ribbon Celebration Concert portion, Vivienne Westwood was tapped to create the stage design, based on the motto of Life Ball 2014: the Garden of Earthly Delights, as painted by Hieronymus Bosch in his 15th-century triptych of the same name. Naturally, Westwood also used the opportunity to raise awareness of her environmental causes. “For the ‘Lost Paradise’ concert," she said, "we designed a backdrop to suggest the cosmos, home of our planet and the Garden of Earthly Delights...to help understand the very urgent need to fight climate change.”
Life Ball also brought out the requisite gaggle of dubious and somewhat confused celebrities-for-hire, who this year included Lindsay Lohan and Courtney Love. Curiously, Love walked in Westwood's fashion show alongside Andreas Kronthaler, the designer's creative director and Austrian husband, upon whom Sacha Baron Cohen is said to have been based his Bruno character.
Despite a heart-stopping, still-sexy performance by Ricky Martin, the two showstoppers of Life Ball were the dual bookends: an introduction by Bill Clinton, an avowed champion of anti-HIV causes, and the grand finale showcasing Conchita Wurst, winner of the European Song Contest. Conchita — whose bearded, gender-fuck appearance on television twisted untold Putin loyalists' panties into a knot, reprised Rise Like a Phoenix, the song that secured Ukraine's votes and, with them, the contest.
Like many great fashion photographers, Irving Penn didn't restrict his oeuvre to swanlike models in fancy dresses. Far from it. During his seven-decade tenure at Vogue, which included 159 covers, he shot everything from still-lifes and flowers to celebrities and tribespeople.
On the five-year anniversary of his death (at the ripe old age of 92), a new retrospective, Resonance, explores wide-ranging repertoire of the never-stopping American photographer. At François Pinault's sprawling Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal in Venice, curators Pierre Apraxine and Matthieu Humery have assembled 130 of the master's photographs — glamour shots included — taken between the end of the 1940s and the mid-1980s, many of which have never been shown.
The aim of the exhibit is to present the photographic passions of the venerated lensman, a Jersey boy through and through who sought to capture the ephemerality of life and the fleeting connections between all living things. Well-known and barely-known images are paired side-by-side as visitors are given a rare glimpse into Penn's process and the egalitarian nature with which he viewed his varied subjects.
Irving Penn, Resonance, through December 31, 2014, Palazzo Grassi, Dorsoduro 2, Venice
Opening the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Grace of Monaco — starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly — can conservatively be called an breathtaking disaster. That goes for both the film itself, which critics are slamming with swaths of colorful words ("so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk," warns the Guardian), and the long lead-up to the premiere, which has seen clashes between Harvey Weinstein and director Olivier Dahan, as well as a wholesale dismissal by Monaco’s royal family, who called the film a "farce."
Nonetheless, if the red carpet is good for one thing, it's distracting attention away from abysmal failures. So Nicole Kidman and her supporting cast can thank their lucky stars that the afternoon screening today was followed by the festival's opening ceremony, which can always be counted on for a heaping, heaving dose of dazzling distraction...
Like the happy days of Charles James' formative years, the Met Gala is here again. Which isn't to say all the red carpet looks are happy. Some of them are downright sad. Herewith, our highly subjective, overly polarized, not entirely logical list of the great and the grisly...
Jessica Lange in (and with) Marc Jacobs
Great! (She could wear anything.)
Lupita Nyong'o in Prada
Grisly. (And it pains us to say that!)
Anne Hathaway in Calvin Klein
Erykah Badu in Givenchy couture
Katie Holmes in Marchesa
Grisly. (Words can't describe.)
Dree Hemingway in Proenza Schouler
Charlize Theron in Dior couture & Sean Penn
Rihanna in Stella McCartney
Grisly. (Sorry, RiRi.)
Lena Dunham in (and with) Giambattista Valli
Emma Stone in Thakoon
Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa
Great. (Crazy, but crazy great.)
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Valentino
Grisly. (The polka-dot paperweight has its merits, but um...)
Naomi Campbell in Givenchy couture & Riccardo Tisci
Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte
Beyonce in Givenchy couture & Jay Z
Nicole Richie in Donna Karan
Reese Witherspoon in Stella McCartney
Great. (Safe, but great.)
Kendall Jenner in Topshop
Kate Upton in Dolce & Gabbana
Grisly. (I mean...)
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Grisly. (Cute dress, just not right tonight.)
Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta
Photos by Nicholas Hunt for Patrick McMullan
New York's fashion elite, and then some, turned out for First Lady Michelle Obama's ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the Costume Institute's Anna Wintour Costume Center.