Art Basel: Cartier Dreams, Forbes Yacht Party, Caviar & Grace Jones

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Recession schmession. At the Art Basel events in Miami, the champagne is still flowing like Fiji water. From the rumor that UBS would not tone down their annual dinner and gala — even amid scandal speculation — to the abundance of caviar on hors d’ouvre trays, it all smells like decadence to me. Cartier hosted a preview of “Diamonds, Gold and Dreams,” an approximately seven-minute film by David Lynch projected inside the Cartier Dome in the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. The transfixing film features cascading diamonds and Cartier jewels on 180 degrees of ceiling projection with an equally mesmerizing score. It played once every hour, leaving partygoers hungry for more. The Dome, built specifically for this event and film, took two weeks to construct and will be disassembled directly after Basel.

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Kelly Klein and Andre Balazs hosted a book signing at the Raleigh hotel for Klein’s new book, Horse, where Palm Beach socialites and Miami transplants such as Fabian Basabe had the opportunity to purchase the monstrous collection of equestrian-inspired photographs. Luckily, the option to ship was available. None of the Basel-savvy would really want to tote that around.

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The Forbes family threw their annual gala aboard the Highlander, the legendary Forbes yacht. Among attendees were Ivana Trump, and Kipton Cronkite of KiptonArt. Ivana stole the show and caused a decent amount of excitement among the fairly reserved crowd.

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Photog Patrick McMullan recruited a posse of young ladies here — myself included — and zipped us off to the Versace mansion for a cocktail toasting Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and the jewelry collection bearing his name.

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The Euro-intensive crowd was stereotypically Versace … big jewels, big money, and big cosmetic enhancements. The most expensive piece on display around the perimeter of the Versace courtyard was a double emerald ring with a retail value of $2.3 million. Pocket change.

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Although caviar was in abundance, they did run out of Veuve at an early hour. I speculate that the party’s organizers cut costs on the musical entertainment: Violin players appeared to serenade the crowd from an upper-level balcony, but after taking a closer look, I realized that they were not actually touching the strings of their musical instruments, just swaying with the beat of pre-recorded pop music.

Patrick’s posse eventually disbanded and headed to the Audi fete for Grace Jones at the Florida Room of the Delano. Grace rocked the house, and the smoky space seemed to bob in unison to her hits “La Vie en Rose” and “Libertango.” The music legend attracted celebs such as Benicio del Toro, Kirsten Dunst, David LaChapelle and an Olsen. Once the open bar closed, the Basel crowd flocked in and settled into the Miami hotspot for a long night of dazzle and broken champagne flutes.