Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Aperture Foundation Gala Draws Supermodels and Actresses to IAC Building

Naomi Campbell taking a selfie with Jimmy Moffat and British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful
All photos: Lieba Nesis
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The Aperture Foundation celebrated its 65th year at the IAC building on October 30, 2017 with cocktails beginning at 6:00 PM. Aperture is a not-for-profit foundation that connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work in print, in person and online - not a pornography website as the name might suggest.

Honoree Zackary Drucker

One thing is certain if Mike Pence showed up to this event his greeting at "Hamilton" would have looked friendly in comparison. This night was all about the transgender community with honoree Zackary Drucker a transwoman who is a producer on "Transparent", accompanied by other transwomen Hari Nef and Justin Bond.

Gigi Hadid in Paco Rabanne

Arriving early I spotted supermodel Gigi Hadid inconspicuously posing for some red carpet photos. Hadid is thin and wispy and had a hint of makeup adorning her photogenic face. I inquired as to who designed her black, slinky dress and received the response, "I have no idea, can you please check my tag."

Gigi Hadid in Paco Rabanne and British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful

I found myself reaching into the back of her dress, a position most men in America would be envious of, but was nervous one of the security guards might misinterpret my gesture. Surprisingly her dress was Paco Rabanne - a name I haven't heard in decades. Hadid was gracious and professional and was looking forward to Halloween where she will be donning a superhero costume.

Iman in Saint Laurent

Just at that moment I saw a woman who looked incredibly similar to supermodel Iman - except she appeared shorter. It was in fact the 62-year-old Iman who continues to astound with her age defying looks in a plunging studded Saint Laurent blazer. She wore her own cosmetics and lamented how difficult it was to keep her weight down-gaining pounds from ingesting bits of food. I remember the emaciated Iman from her youth and smiled-she still looked svelte and sexy.

Vinoodh Matadin and Inez van Lamsweerde

While supermodels and luminaries abounded to support honorees and iconic fashion photographers Inez and Vinoodh there were a surprising number of socialites who were also in attendance including: Susan Gutfreund, Judy Glickman and Leonard Lauder, Barbara and Donald Tober and Cathy Clark. Gutfreund is a well-known interior designer and considered one of the great hostesses on the New York social circuit. Her lavish triplex is currently on the market for $96 million for anyone interested.

Model Anja Rubik and philanthropist Susan Gutfreund

Gutfreund and Glickman greeted each other warmly and I noticed these two mega socialites were wearing pantsuits - quite a sight to behold. Glickman who I have seen numerous times in gowns and dresses was clad in a modern black Tom Ford pantsuit with a white bowed shirt - she looked twenty years younger.

Philanthropist and Gala Co-Host Susan Gutfreund with Judy Glickman in background

This was a sensational look that practically had me gasping in delight-especially since I just wrote an article on the comeback of pantsuits. Is this the beginning of a trend-philanthropists in pantsuits? Who knows but tomorrow I am running out to buy one as models Iman, Jamie Bochert and actresses Uma Thurman and Judith Light all wore trousers this evening - even some transwomen wore pants.

Hari Nef in Thom Browne

Speaking of pantsuits Thom Browne seems ubiquitous as of late having just been honored at the Fashion Group International dinner and the Couture Council Luncheon - this man is hot. Tonight Hari Nef, and honoree Kwame Brathwaite were both wearing Browne and their looks were perfection. Brathwaite is an acclaimed photographer popularizing the phrase "Black is Beautiful" in the late 1950's through his photographs and writings.

Actress Uma Thurman and Kerri Kwinter

He told me one of his career highlights was seeing the end of De Klerk's rule in South Africa in 1994 along with the ending of apartheid and photographing the inauguration of Nelson Mandela. He expressed dismay that he was never given the opportunity to photograph the Obamas.

Justin Vivian Bond and Actress Judith Light

Someone who has photographed the Obama's is Pete Souza who was the chief official White House photographer. This evening one of his prints of Obama and Biden was auctioned for $3,000 and bought by Iman. Uma Thurman who bid on many of the photographs was finally lucky enough to obtain a Diane Arbus photo entitled "Penelope Tree in her living room" for $18,000.

Supermodel Jamie Bochert and Marc Kroop

A 2007 Inez and Vinoodh fashion photograph of Shalom Harlow that appeared in V Magazine in 2007 sold for $17,000. The auction culminated with a moving Richard Misrach print which sold for a whopping $50,000.

Jamie Bochert, Gigi Hadid and Naomi Campbell

Sometime during the dinner supermodel Naomi Campbell arrived and sat near her good friend British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful. Campbell has incredible charisma and spent a good portion of the evening trying to take the perfect selfie with fellow mannequins Gigi Hadid and Jamie Bochert. Campbell should have asked honorees Inez and Vinoodh to assist since it was obvious from the film shown that their photography is art.

Supermodels Gigi Hadid, Iman and Anja Rubi

The film displayed their powerful collaborations with Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Kanye West, as well as with fashion houses Saint Laurent, Dior, Givenchy and Luis Vuitton-concluding with Actress Julianne Moore remarking "to be beautiful is to be seen. Reiterating this sentiment was photographer Inez Van Lamsweerde who said that more important to her than the actual photograph was the ability to help someone discover a part of them they didn't know existed.


Lawrence and Elyse Benenson, Kwami Brathwaite Jr., Honoree Kwami Brathwaite in Thom Browne and Sherry Bronfman

Inez who has been photographing for nearly three decades said that photography was a means of communication that has been democratized through he introduction of social media sites such as Instagram which allows individuals to share their own interpretation of events. She then thanked her lighting director who has been with her for 28 years.

At around 10:00 PM we were treated to the moving songs of St. Beauty as the vegetarian dinner of fattous and boiled peanuts ended with a supermodel favorite - dessert of shaved ice. As I exited the building I spotted icons Naomi Campbell and Iman holding hands and embracing - a moment I won't soon forget.





- Lieba Nesis

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