Bob Colacello was 19 years old when he entered Andy Warhol’s orbit. He had just graduated from Columbia University and was writing articles about Fellini and Goddard for village voiceone of the cultural newspapers of the seventies in New York, when Warhol suggested that he run his magazine Interview after reading what he had written about him. And so a deeply professional relationship was born in which Warhol carried out a publication that connected his ideology, his taste, with his works of art, and there Colacello outlined his journalism as an instrument to reflect juicy social changes through a very peculiar way. social chronicle. He accompanied his columns with photos he took himself. They were not just any snapshots because they were those of someone who was inside, next to and in alliance with those photographed. Colacello resigned Interview and moved to Vanity Fair. Warhol passed away after a gallbladder operation. Celebrities and social writers, from Alaska to myself, educated ourselves by reading Colacello. Those photos slept in boxes until Vito Schnabel, son of Julian Schnabel, one of the artists promoted by Warhol, urged the journalist to do something with them. They recovered them, compiled them, and the result was going to be exhibited at the Ivorypress gallery, by Elena Ochoa, in Madrid. But the pandemic prevented it from being the social event that he deserved. Until the French gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac organized a show, smaller than the one initially devised by Ochoa, and Bob Colacello made use of his legendary agenda to reunite those photographed.
It was at a dinner at Maxim’s in Paris on January 20, baptized by Colacello as a night of divas. Starting with Bianca Jagger, image on the invitation, that she entered the semi-hidden venue with a hat, glasses and a mask, challenging everyone she knew to recognize her. Picasso dove, with a tailor Saint Laurent bespoke and beyond vintage, saying yes in the three languages of the night. And it is. oui. Yes. Marisa Berenson, beautiful but avoiding shaking hands or receiving kisses. Without affectation, with a trained common sense. “He must have had a good time during the covid,” I let out a bold statement. He responded with a sideways glance. Nothing really happens if you decide not to shake hands, I understood. It wasn’t my only mistake tonight. Running into Betty Catroux, muse of Yves Saint Laurent and partner in the nightlife, I let out a “!Madame Catroux!” which she received with disgust. “It’s worse than an insult,” she sentenced herself.
Elena Ochoa, who did manage to publish the book that brings together all the snapshots that could not be seen in Madrid, took me to another corner to introduce me to Georgina Brandolini, dressed in a tight multicolored striped suit. “Each stripe is a decade of life … of the suit,” she joked. Accompanied by her husband, Sir Norman Foster, Elena brought me closer to Baby Jane Holzer, the only survivor of Warhol’s Superstars. When Elena said that they were the “Saint Moritz group”, to explain that it was in that town that dinner at Maxim’s was held, Baby pointed out that she was from Palm Beach. I felt that she was finally inside one of Colacello’s OUTs. Columns read and memorized in my adolescence in Caracas.
“I don’t know Caracas, but I speak Spanish,” a nearby voice suggested. It was Doris Brynner, widow of Yul, the unforgettable interpreter of The King and I. In her look, curious, and with her measure of cordiality, you detected what distinguishes a doyenne of a normal person. Nothing scares him and everything amazes him. Sitting, during dinner (Risotto with black truffle, first; lobster, as main; profiteroles stuffed with vanilla ice cream, for dessert), Betty Catroux provided the phrase of the night: “We are survivors and we are legends. What more can you ask?”.
The small orchestra from Maxim’s continued to reel off their Parisian jazz, the ceiling art nouveau grew brighter and kaleidoscopic about legends and survivors. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.
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