At the penultimate Saturday night Rock & Republic show, a model, perhaps blinded by the lights and overwhelmed by the 12-piece orchestra in the middle of her runway, executed a turn incorrectly and stepped into the pit. But, alas, at that last second, she leapt cat-like to safety. The tension was palpable! Mingling in the W Hotel backstage lounge afterwards, her daring escape from Page Six notoriety was the hot topic of cosmo-fueled debate. I’m convinced now that like fist fights in hockey and car crashes in NASCAR, fashion gawkers come to see beautiful, long-legged supermodels wipe out in their stilettos.
As inspiring as the fashion was in New York, it didn’t compare to Junko Koshino’s couture show at the Kennedy Center’s “Japan! Culture + Hyper Culture” exhibition. Organized by the Center’s vice president of international programming, Alicia Adams, the two-week festival showcased a wide range of Japanese arts. My favorites included a robot that played jazz, a stellar performance of Petipa’s full-length masterpiece Raymonda by Japan’s National Ballet Company, and the food at the opening reception hosted by Ambassador Ryozo Kato and Mrs. Kato – now I know where to get four-star Japanese food in the capital.
Speaking of “four-star”: four WL hosted events at the Sundance Film Festival brought out the stars. Colin Farrell was chill at the Kicking It screening and after party. Promoting a documentary (as well as his feature In Bruges) at an independent film festival provides stark contrast to promoting splashy features like Alexander or Miami Vice. Mary-Kate Olsen was at the party, too, fueling gossip blogs worldwide. I tried to watch a ten-second phone clip on YouTube entitled, “Mary-Kate Stalking Colin Farrell.” It was a bunch of lights and muffled thumping from DJ Paul Okenfeld’s set. I sat with Farrell and Olsen. She was simply hanging out with Farrell and his In Bruges co-star, Brendan Gleeson. When U2 arrived, the Greenhouse at top of Main turned into a Dublin pub minus the Irish folk tunes.
Patti Smith was at Sundance as well, promoting the film Patti Smith: Dream of Life – a documentary about her life. I caught up with her later in Washington. The ’70s punk rock icon/artist/poet came to town for “Love Letters,” an evening of spoken word and songs hosted by Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Ever humble, she told me, “I’ve never wanted a career and I don’t believe I have one. I believe that I’m a worker and that I’ve always done the best I could.” Smith was invited by Archives director John Smith, who took over last year after working for the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Expect more creative nights as he unlocks the Archives’ treasures.
After the concert, WL hosted an intimate dinner at Teatro Goldoni with Patti, John, and some of Washington’s top art players, including Hirshhorn Museum curator Kerry Brougher, Mu Project gallery owner Shigeko Bork, artist Mark Smith, creative connector Phillipa Hughes, and modern art collectors Cindy Jones and Mark Ein. Dinners like these – along with features like “Welcome to Pollywood” – make this job worth the never-ending deadlines. From art to film to fashion, theater, and dance, WL sits at the hub of the city’s many creative communities. We have the ability to play connector and help make our arts internationally recognized. If you think The Young & The Guest List was a good party – just wait until we get all the artists together.