It was night three of the Art Basel Miami Beach party circuit, or as it might be more fittingly called "The Open Bar Olympics." Nelly Furtado, for one, seems to get how exhausting all that fun can be.
"Are you pacing yourself?" she asked the crowd while playing an intimate set the Edition hotel on Wednesday night. No one really answered, but we all knew the answer was a resounding "Nah."
At least she previewed a new song that could soundtrack everyone's post-Basel detox. It was appropriately called "Phoenix."
"It's how you're gonna feel Monday morning after Basel," she said. "Like you're going to rise from the ashes."
Furtado, performing in a top from the Alex Katz for H&M collection – the fast-fashion label was throwing a dinner and party with Paper magazine - is one of the latest pop stars to be dragged to Miami to entertain fair-goers, a rich tradition that's included Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and FKA Twigs. On Friday, Madonna will be performing at Faena, though that's more of a convenient coincidence rather than an event born out of Basel. In fact, there were a handful of parties around the South Beach that seemed only tenuously linked to the art fair, but were taking advantage of the convergence of fashion, culture and celebrity in the city. Only the Bass Museum, Phillips and W happened to be toasting an artist last night, Ugo Rondinone, whose "Miami Mountain" has become one of the most recognizable sights in Miami Beach.
At The Confidante hotel, DuJour magazine was throwing its own shindig for All-American XVI, the new book by Nan and Bruce Weber, and while the party was original supposed to be spearheaded by cover girl Kris Jenner, we know she's got more pressing matters concerning her brood at the moment. Oh well.
Weber is a part-time Miami Beach resident, so maybe it's not a surprise that the party attracted a local-heavy crowd. That included that Mayor of Miami Beach himself Philip Levine. The multimillionaire mayor, dubbed "Bloomberg South" by Vanity Fair and fresh of a co-starring role of sorts alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the climate change documentary Before the Flood, seems to be keeping a social schedule this week as busy as any of his resident.
"I gotta tell you, it's fun, it's exhausting, but it's super fulfilling," Levine said.
As for how he decides which events to attend, he says it's all about where he can represent his citizens the best. Maybe it's telling that the local political press has clocked the Democrat as a possible candidate for Florida governor in 2018. In any event, witnessing a bit of political hobnobbing amidst all the other sorts that happen at Basel was sort of refreshing.
If it's possible for an actual event space to be exhausted by now, then perhaps there's no more so that Perrier Jouët’s L’Eden, which is actually the Casa Faena reimagined as some sort of fantastical jungle space. The spot played host to two separate events last night. Derek Blasberg hosted an early night cocktail which soon gave way to a celebration for Wilhelmina's 50th anniversary. Naturally it was a model-heavy party, with most of the agency's Miami-based roster on hand. Male supermodel RJ King, Russell Simmons, new Wilhelmina signing Hopper Penn, and (in the 'remember them?' category) Lisa and Brittny Gastineau all made appearances.
Models are a dime a dozen in Miami and a good contingent of them, including King and Karolina Kurkova – also clad in Katz X H&M – witnessed Furtado mix her trademark hits like "I'm Like a Bird" and "Say It Right" with her recent collaboration with producer Blood Orange, "Hadron Collider," and new songs from The Ride, an album slated for a March 2017 release.
Furtado, like everyone, still had a busy week ahead of her. She's created a 13-minute soundscape to accompany the showing of work by artist Sheinina Lolita Raj, a fellow Canadian, that will debut Friday in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.
It's not the first time Furtado's made a detour into the art world. In September, she was one of the star attractions at Ryan McNamara's "Back to School" benefit at MoMA PS1, where she did one-on-one song-writing sessions with guests.
"What were your dreams?" she asked people then, and it's fair to say few would have dreamt up her popping here at the end of the year. Only at Art Basel, kids, only at Art Basel.