Eve's ICFF Diary
Eve Harrington -- Interior Design, 6/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
Started the round of festivities with cigar-smoking Sir Terence Conran's event celebrating young French designers—the Conran store being a mercifully short distance from my Sutton Place digs. I was in a rage, as Terence was not there, although a gaggle of my ill-attired editorial confrères were. Moving on to Ralph Pucci's splendid soirée that evening. Lots of black Prada jackets, frosted hair, and South Beach tans. My new best friend Gwyneth Paltrow took many calls on her cell phone.
After Pucci, I made my way to the Surface "party" at Chelsea Piers. I was aghast at the mob scene outside, my "exclusive" invitation proving rather less exclusive than I'd hoped. Ah, it reminds me of the old days at the Paradise Garage—Grace Jones, Toukie Smith, and I often encountered such scenes, but we were always expeditiously whisked in. Here, by contrast, there was yet another "VIP" mob scene inside. I threw a fit. Does anybody know who I am? The event was supposedly for 10 "avant-garde" designers, but I wondered who the other nine were, as it felt more like a deification of self-styled "philosopher-designer" Karim Rashid. Witness the hideous Brancusioid/Stellaesque Easter Island "totem" that boldly featured KR's name and his profile. KR was there in force, sporting his signature (Tom Wolfeian) white suit, as was slithery Svengali David Shearer. As for KR's latest "work," which he calls surfaceScape, well, I knew darling Verner Panton intimately and all I can say is he must be spinning in his grave. As I tried to recline on this upholstered foam chaise—KR calls it a multi-level seat/carpet/couch/booth—the heel of my Delman spectator pump briefly rested on it. KR marched over. Expecting a greeting, I was treated to an outburst: "Take your shoes off or get off!" Somewhat later, no doubt recalling cozier nights at Spy Bar, the apostle of "neo-teric sensual minimalism" approached me, attempting to make nice. I smiled wanly and waved to my new studly Swedish friends, Eero Koivisto, Mårten Claesson, and Ola Rune, with whom I repaired to Aquavit for a nightcap.
Like tulips on Park Avenue, ICFF is something of a rite of spring. Dragged myself out of bed to make the tiresome trek across town to the soi-disant Javits Center, located in some obscure part of town. A furniture fair. Spotted Shalom Harlowe—still looking good—inspecting the latest from Vitra. Delighted that Shalom has developed some extracurricular interests, viz. ergonomic seating.
Pulled an old Pauline Trigère number out of mothballs for another magazine's swankish Museum of Modern Art party that night. Tried to chat up Terence Riley about modernism today, but he stared off in glassy-eyed stupefaction.
Slept all day. At home manicure/pedicure.
Had my hair blown out for naught, as it fizzled in the sweltering heat of the Kartell party. A sweaty Philippe Starck was busy signing his plastic chairs in thick black marker, often incorporating a little face into the loopy calligraphy. Apparently, the Kartell people wanted him to get up on a ladder to sign more, but Philippe demurred. Perhaps it was a center of gravity issue.