There are certain perennial events on every Art Basel Miami calendar that are not to be missed, and Cartier’s rank high among them. Each year the jewelry house presents its Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art commission—along with a host of private dinners and cocktails for those inside the inner circle.
This year’s artist Beatriz Milhazes and her work “Aquarium” were feted with a lavish dinner in the Design District hosted by W’s Stefano Tonchi and the Cartier Foundation’s Hervé Chandès. Guests poured into the stunning space—the exterior was pained a bright pink, inspired by the artist’s native Brazil—only to be greeted by twinkling candles, fuchsia peonies in full bloom, and trays of champagne.
David Adjaye, Designer of the Year at Design Miami, spent quite some time marveling at Milhazes’ sparkling mobile, which was crafted by Ateliers Cartier from pearls, and semi-precious and precious stones. Adjaye even helped a fellow reveler snap a picture of the sculpture with her BlackBerry. “It’s a very difficult piece to photograph,” Milhazes admitted. “All of the reflective surfaces—and you never really get the scope of it.” Luckily, there were plenty of guests in attendance who can vouch for its awe-inspiring scale—Adrien Brody, Eva Chow, Joseph Altuzarra, Jenne Lombardo, Pharrell Williams, Carlos Mota, Cecilia Dean, Craig Robins, Roberto Cavalli, and special guest Andrea Dellal, to name a few.
The other sparkling presence that seemed to momentarily pull attention away from Milhazes’ work was Naomi Campbell, who swanned in (as only she can) in a sumptuous pleated Alaïa dress, sporting a chic new bob with a heavy set of bangs.
Dinner was served al fresco under a canopy of hanging lanterns that glittered in the reflection of four mirrored banquet tables, set with candles and bunches of fragrant flowers. Following a menu of sea scallops in coconut and mint broth, beef tenderloin over creamy gruyere polenta, and sugar-dusted churros with a requisite chocolate dipping sauce, guests were treated to a performance by bossa nova legend Bebel Gilberto.
The night continued on for some, with many sleepless Basel-goers headed to Paris Paris at the Shelborne. Veteran fair attendees delighted in returning to the subterranean karaoke bar, once the site of Le Baron many Basels ago. Artists Marina Abramović, Liam Gillick, and Aurel Schmidt were among the crowd writhing to renditions of “You Give me Fever,” “Get Up,” and “Love Shack.” Where they went afterward will remain a secret.
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Photos: Alexis Dahan