“I can do anything in it but sit,” said Playmate of the Year, Raquel Pomplun, of the bejeweled, white-tail-embellished bunny outfit she donned for last night’s Playboy dinner at The Standard hotel. The occasion was the unveiling of Richard Phillips‘ Marfa, Texas-based installation for the magazine—part of the new effort headed up by creative director of special projects Neville Wakefield to reimagine the men’s mag and revive its art-world roots. (Apparently, Salvador Dali contributed to a few issues in the sixties, and Hugh Hefner famously asked Warhol to put his spin on the bunny emblem way back when.) “It’s kind of beyond a dream,” said Phillips when asked about working alongside the star of Playboy‘s centerfold. “Playboy figured into a very important initiation in my life,” he added. “I discovered a whole bunch of magazines in the bottom drawer of my father’s desk—which I’d have to replace very, very carefully, so I wouldn’t be discovered. It became a gateway to a lot of things.”
Phillips’ installation—a blacked-out 1972 Dodge Charger set on a tilted cement stand next to a neon Playboy sign in the middle of the Marfa desert—was revealed to guests such as Johan Lindeberg, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Ryan McGinness, and, of course, Pomplun (who changed into a black cocktail frock so that she could, well, sit) via a film during a Texas-themed meal. “It’s going to live on as a myth,” said Wakefield of the eerie artwork. “I don’t know that anyone’s going to go down to Marfa to see it. We could have done it on a set—like the moon landing,” he said, grinning.
Across town, at The Fat Radish, London-based designer Henry Holland invited Leigh Lezark, Alexa Chung, and Harley Viera-Newton to join him and cohost Dree Hemingway in feting his Resort collection. “She’s my second wife!” laughed Holland when asked about how he and Hemingway became pals. The model offered an explanation. “He made me a purple lace wedding dress that I wore in his [Spring 2010] show. It was the most heavenly thing ever.” On this particular occasion, she wore one of the designer’s graphic red Resort looks. It didn’t have a fluffy tail, but it packed a punch nonetheless.
Sheep, not bunnies, were the main event at a dinner that The Woolmark Company hosted for its new collaborator Narciso Rodriguez. Standing to toast the designer, Stuart McCullough, the CEO of Australian Wool Innovation, said, “Last week I was on a farm in outback Western Australia. Today I’m here at the other end of the supply chain. We aim to position our wool fiber next to the best designers in the world, and that’s what brings us here tonight.”.
—Katharine K. Zarrella and Nicole Phelps