AWB Keeps it Simple and Chic
Allison Weiss Brady made it through another Art Basel and has some great celeb stories to tell. She bounced around to a few fine events during the week, relying on quality rather than quantity. It was a Basel bonanza for Miami’s social scribe.
Ohhhhh, Art Basel Miami Beach – hob-knobbing, jet setting and running around for a fun-filled week of fabulous events. You can make it as crazy as you want – it just depends on how many cocktail parties, openings, breakfasts, brunches, dinners and blowout bashes you can handle!
I picked my events cautiously. I’m not as young as I used to be and don’t need to go to EVERYTHING. Although what I did manage to get to was super cool, filled with fascinating people and great art. Even a relative art novice like me becomes a connoisseur during Art Basel. What can I say? I go with the flow.
At the Rubell Family Collection preview, hosted by U.S. Trust, I ran into Brian Mormile, regional executive for Southeast Florida at U.S. Trust; Evan Reed, the leading art advisor for private wealth management at U.S. Trust; his beautiful wife Stefanie Block Reed, who handles VIP relations Art Basel & Art Basel Miami Beach; collector Carlos de la Cruz, Jr.; gallerist Fred Snitzer; and DCOTA’s Ashlee Harrison with interior designer Josh Wollowick.
My favorite piece at RFC was by Dianna Molzan, made of cascading string, striped paint, and wood. Sounds basic, but it was anything but! Beautiful, modern, and crisp. Perfect for my wall!
As I checked out the gallery, I saw flashing lights and signs with wires all strewn about, objects floating in florescent gels that looked like j-e-l-l-o, and oh yes, watched the second floor of claymation videos, which gave new meaning to animation! There was a cave in the middle of the room, and voyeurs on every level came hither when a woman on video beckoned them near. Quite an experience – a must-see for adults who love various forms of art!
Off to the Mondrian South Beach where Serena Williams, sporting a bejeweled leg cast, whisked by me on a scooter on her way to meet up with Chris Bosh’s fiancée Adrienne Williams. The two of them caught up with artist Kehinde Wiley, who was looking very chic in sunglasses and a hip red suit.
The Mondrian’s Asia de Cuba was the site for an intimate brunch that Chip and I were co-hosting along with Loren Ridinger, Michael Capponi, Amaris Jones, Rosie Godon Wallace, Jorge Perez, Augie Lasseter and UK pop singer Estelle to benefit Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Attending the event were supermodel Elsa Benitez, Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, Rush Philanthropic’s Tangie Murray, and more. Estelle, who everyone knows from her smash hit “American Boy,” spoke passionately at the brunch about her All of Me Foundation. She talked about how she grew up having a mentor and stressed how that had changed her life. Her experience was a first-hand account of how important mentoring is, and she encouraged others to do the same. I’m a big believer in that through my support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami.
Another highlight of the week was the most divine party for De Beers and W magazine at Cecconi’s restaurant. The food was fabulous, and the ambience to-die-for. Lights twinkled on the trees for the holidays and sparkled on the cases of jewels displaying the latest De Beers diamonds. How fabulous!
Daphne Guinness (of the famed British beer company) arrived in all white, sparkling with diamonds dangling at her neck. Mera Rubell, who I had just seen a few days before at her UBS event at the Rubell Collection, was going incognito (to most) by wearing a pink wig and sneakers with rhinestones.
The crowd was chill: Susan Sarandon was spotted lounging, Calvin Klein designer Francis Costa was chatting with friends, and NY socialite Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and her husband Paul were simply enjoying a gorgeous Miami evening. It was oh so luxurious – effortless and fun, gorgeous and intimate. What’s not to love about that?
We sat with CEO of De Beers US Hamida Belkadi and her husband Bob Silverstein, Eric Villafane, director of the De Beers Bal Harbour store, along with Mr. & Mrs. Jorge Fuentes, Mr. & Mrs. Cuqui Gomez and their daughter Madeline, who all flew in from Puerto Rico to attend the event. We couldn’t have had better company.
What a fun week! I kept it simple, unlike many of my friends who went to as much as they could. Still, I’m Baseled out, but I’ll be ready again next year. Now it’s time to hit the spa for a relaxing massage and pedicure.
Until next time!
Allison Weiss Brady handles marketing for celebrities and non-profits. She is active in many organizations in South Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania including Big Brother Big Sister, The Community Coalition, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Gene Spotlight, The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation, and one of her family’s foundations Say Yes to Education, which recently partnered with Quincy Jones. Allison sits on the board of Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and she and her husband Chip Brady were honored by Russell Simmons at the 2010 Rush Philanthropic gala in East Hampton. She and her husband Chip are members of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and Allison is a member of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee. Allison was also the sole recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Young Alumni of the Year Award, and serves on the Overseers board for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.