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?IWC Schaffhausen’s slogan may have started out as Engineered for Men, but on Wednesday, Dec. 3, the eve of Art Basel’s official opening, CEO Georges Kern might have considered whether Desired by Everyone would be more appropriate.
The Swiss watch brand hosted a gala event and two surprise performances to celebrate the launch of their Portofino Midsize collection, a series of 10 watches with a 37mm watch diameter and three with a 40mm face. Showcased in a short film and photography campaign shot by Peter Lindbergh titled Timeless Portofino, the La Dolce Vita-inspired shoot gathered Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova, Zhou Xun and Christoph Waltz all together on one set in Italy.
“Just sitting and having rosé with my castmembers and going out on the boat with Peter Lindbergh … it was just wild. You find these roads in Italy and as you’re driving along the coast, you just see people barbecuing on the beach, and you feel that people live ‘right’ out there,” mused Emily Blunt, clad in a glittering Emilio Pucci gown, at the brand’s Basel celebration.
SECRET SONGSTRESS: Fresh off her Brazilian honeymoon, Solange unexpectedly showed up to serenade the crowd.
The dinner, held at the W South Beach, and catered by New York superchef Andrew Carmellini, was hosted by actor Jason Alexander, who wrote a custom show tune for IWC to the tune of “Copacabana.” With a lighthearted tone centered on his desire for one of the IWC watches, Alexander sang about being in Miami to escape the cold “up north” and joked with Kern about whether “timeless” was the right title for a watch campaign. The actor teased models Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima about their height and beauty.
Alexander, who was presented with an IWC Portofino at the closing of his emcee duties, mused, “My father, rest his soul, loved watches. So I inherited many of his watches. I would attest that this [IWC watch] is probably going to beat anything in [my dad’s] collection.”
The evening’s Portofino-inspired menu pleased Kurkova, who confessed, “we definitely ate a lot [in Italy] but it’s amazing, you can’t really overeat [there]! Everything is so fresh and light and homemade and delicious. Even if you eat a lot you don’t put on weight — you kind of lose weight!”
Other dinner topics included the incredible wind of the evening with Blunt and Kurkova relating to each other on their windblown hairdos.
Another topic: Christmas plans. Asked his plans for the holidays, actor James Marsden said, “My fatal flaw is I don’t plan the holidays until about two weeks before and then I always end up kicking myself for it.” The X-Men star, who plans to spend the season in Los Angeles with his kids, says that he may head home to Oklahoma to ring in the New Year. “Maybe I’ll get crazy on New Year’s Eve!” said Marsden, who quickly added, “Dad crazy, not Vegas crazy!”
Legendary sports stars Sammy Sosa, Lennox Lewis and Martina Navratilova as well as director Michael Bay continued celebrating, with an additional 300 guests who came for the afterparty where Solange Knowles surprised the crowd with songs and Les Caves du Roy DJ Jack-E closed out the night with tunes for the partygoers.
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