A busy brace of nights featured arts and letters and Dior variously at gatherings for the Kenyon Review, Alicia Keys’s AIDS nonprofit and an artist named Wool in a suit of unknown fabric.
Philip Falcone, who in August was banned from the securities industry for at least five years, shared a table last night with fellow High Line supporter Diane von Furstenberg, singer-producer Maxwell and Tommy Hilfiger.
They were at the Hammerstein Ballroom for the Black Ball, which raised $4 million for Keep a Child Alive. Keys joined Pharrell Williams on “Get Lucky,” then did a duet with Carole King of “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.”
Von Furstenberg earlier in the evening visited the apartment of hedge-fund manager Richard Perry and his wife, Lisa Perry, a fashion designer, to toast new members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
At the Guggenheim Museum’s gala were Howard Lutnick, chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald, J. Tomilson Hill of Blackstone Group LP, Andrew Saul of Saul Partners LP and J. Michael Evans, the departing vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The event honored artists Christopher Wool, in the aforementioned suit, and James Turrell, who wore a tuxedo and posed on the red carpet with Raf Simons, creative director of Christian Dior. Among the many women dressed in Dior were Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Allison Lutnick, and artist Cindy Sherman, whose shoes didn’t match her outfit. The event raised $2.8 million.
David Lynn, editor of the Kenyon Review, said Amazon’s new literary journal, Day One, featuring one poet and one short story a week, is not a threat.
“The more the merrier,” Lynn said at the Four Seasons restaurant last night for the Kenyon Review’s annual gala. “I think the more people see this as an exciting way to read literature, the better.”
Day One is available only on Amazon’s Kindle and its editor is Carmen Johnson, a former editorial assistant at Alfred A. Knopf.
The Kenyon Review is a print publication that is also available on the Kindle. Lynn has edited the quarterly since 1994. He is an English professor at Kenyon College and has published a novel, a short-story collection and a critical study on the early modern novel.
Lynn pointed out that his quarterly is almost 75 years old and is one of the larger literary journals in the world. The 75th anniversary edition contains 25 poems and 10 pieces of fiction, including an excerpt from the book “The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood,” by Roger Rosenblatt, the journal’s literary ambassador.
Lynn also oversees an online-only journal for work that is “with it, out there and timely,” he said. “We have hundreds of thousands of hits on our website. My mission -- I’m not trying to take a profit, I’m trying to get work read by as many as possible.”
Poet Carl Phillips, who was honored by the Kenyon Review, said he writes his poetry with a pen on paper in a notebook.
“I don’t trust the computer, and I like the physicality of writing on paper,” Phillips said.
Karl Lagerfeld, designer of Chanel and Fendi, likes paper too, as he told an audience at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday evening, in an interview with actress Jessica Chastain, as part of a Lincoln Center benefit put together by Harper’s Bazaar.
“I have a library of 3,000 books,” Lagerfeld said. “Paper is my favorite material. For me, paper is the most important thing in my life.”
Lagerfeld said he reads “10 books at the same time, in three languages. It’s difficult to say. I don’t want to look like an intellectual. I’m just a fashion person.”
George Soros on Wednesday night posed with a photograph of Albert Einstein, at a benefit for the International Rescue Committee. Einstein had the idea for the organization to rescue victims of Nazi persecution, after he himself came to the U.S. from Germany.
“The IRC is as much needed today as it was when it was founded in 1933,” Soros said in remarks as honoree. “Right now we are witnessing a major humanitarian crisis in Syria, people are starving, soon they will be freezing.”
Soros said the denial of humanitarian aid has become a tool of war by both the government and the rebels in Syria, and that the IRC must find a way to get assistance to Syria and neighboring countries.
“My foundation recently committed more than $1 million to local humanitarian groups for the same purpose,” Soros said. “All this needs to be done at a much larger scale.”
He closed by pledging $1 million to IRC for this effort.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)