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The energy was as high as the seafood towers at last night’s 15th annual Tribeca Festival Artists Dinner, hosted by Chanel at famed downtown Manhattan brasserie Balthazar. The long list of luminaries in attendance on June 13 included Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro; actresses Penelope Cruz, Tommy Dorfman, Diana Silvers, Rebecca Dayan, Dianna Agron, Whitney Peak and Sadie Sink; artists Derrick Adams and Chloe Wise; and actors Andrew Garfield, Kyle MacLachlan and B.J. Novak.
“It’s pretty incredible,” curator Racquel Chevremont said of the feeling in the air. “I was not expecting this at all. When I pulled up I was like, ‘The street is closed?’”
Chevremont, who just finished curating artwork for Leave the World Behind — the forthcoming Netflix drama starring Mahershala Ali and Julia Roberts — was tapped by Tribeca Enterprises senior vice president of talent relations Nancy Lefkowitz to assemble a group of artists to contribute original works to the festival’s winning filmmakers.
In keeping with Chanel’s long-standing tradition of celebrating the arts and facilitating artists supporting other artists, the evening was a toast to those who contributed: Nina Chanel Abney, Leilah Babirye, Nicoletta Dorita de la Brown, February James, Wardell Milan, Deborah Roberts, Garry Simmons, Ming Smith, Hank Willis Thomas and Ouattara Watts.
Dorfman arrived in a Chanel look she described as “a very easy shift blazer moment,” telling The Hollywood Reporter that she’s hoping to catch a Tribeca screening before jetting off to Italy for vacation later this month. “I’m trying to see Attachment, which is this queer lesbian drama that sounds really spooky,” she explained. “It’s like a horror drama with a Judaism twist, which is really interesting, so I’m like, ‘What is happening?’ It’s a need to know for me.”
Prior to dinner, Cruz, who wore a flowy, hot pink Chanel gown for the evening, reflected on her role in satirical comedy Official Competition, premiering at the festival this week. “It’s not making fun of acting in any way, but it’s making fun of the clichés,” she shared. “For me, to be able to play this crazy egomaniac director that has no filter was a lot of fun. [She] says everything that she feels, and she doesn’t care about what anybody thinks. She’s very offensive. Of course, I don’t want to be like her, I don’t want to work with somebody like her, but it was fun to play her.”
Inside, guests sipped champagne and noshed on chilled oysters, shrimp and lobster before a seated dinner that included cod, steak frites, and an assortment of desserts, among them small pastries adorned with Chanel’s CC logo. Writer and actress Jill Kargman was spied in a black lace dress plucked from her mother’s closet (Kargman’s father, Arie L. Kopelman, served as president and COO of Chanel from 1986–2004), Garfield chatted with seatmates Ed Burns and Christy Turlington, and model-slash-actor-slash-skateboarder Evan Mock was toting a mini Chanel bag (just large enough to carry a box of Altoids, he was overheard saying).
Mock’s Gossip Girl co-star Whitney Peak was also in attendance, having filmed scenes for the HBO show earlier in the day. “We’re moving pretty quickly,” she said of the shoot schedule. “I was eating sushi at 8 a.m. today, which definitely does a number on the stomach,” she added laughing. That, however, didn’t keep her from feeling “youthful and powerful” in two-piece belted Chanel look.
Upon departure, guests were gifted Chanel fragrances and an envelope of cards featuring works by this year’s contributing artists. “I’ve never done anything like this, on this scale and at this level with a fashion house,” Chevremont said of the initiative. “I really think it’s amazing that Chanel supports this. It’s important.”
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