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MOCA's fashionable 30th-anniversary gala

There was a lot of wearable art walking around.

November 22, 2009
  • LADY GAGA: The hat she wore while performing was designed by Frank Gehry.
LADY GAGA: The hat she wore while performing was designed by Frank Gehry. (Dan Steinberg / Associated…)

The Museum of Contemporary Art's 30th anniversary festivities were a reminder of how cozy the art and fashion worlds have become. Miuccia Prada kicked things off the night before with a party at her epicenter on Rodeo Drive. The merchandise had been removed from the store, and the walls were covered in book-print wallpaper to celebrate the designer's new tome, which documents the fashion house's work on the runway and in film, art and architecture.

The same synergy was at work at the MOCA gala, where Prada designed the costumes for a performance art piece created by her friend, Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli. Lady Gaga, in a crystal-mesh dress and a silver crinkly crown designed by Frank Gehry, played her song "Speechless" as members of the Bolshoi Ballet twirled in tutus, also designed by Prada. The hat and costumes, as well as masks designed for the performance by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, are up for grabs in an online auction ending Nov. 30, with proceeds benefiting the museum.

One of the honorary co-chairs was Russian-born art wunderkind Dasha Zhukova, editor of British fashion magazine Pop and half of the design team for denim label Kova & T. She wore a spidery black macrame and crochet fringe Rodarte dress, and the sisters behind the Rodarte label, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, sat at Zhukova's table, along with designer-photographer Hedi Slimane and 13-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Williams.

Other party people included Katherine Ross, wife of Michael Govan, director of the L.A. County Museum of Art, wearing a black gown with a hand-pleated bodice by L.A.'s J.C. Obando; Vogue West Coast Editor Lisa Love, who chose a black sequin Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo; Elizabeth Wiatt in a painterly sheath by Erdem Moralioglu; and actress Marisa Tomei (on the arm of Decades' Cameron Silver) in vintage pink Jean Desses. Angelina Jolie (in a black velvet strapless Armani Prive gown) and Brad Pitt (in a Tom Ford tuxedo) came and went before dinner, telling photographers they had to attend a friend's wedding.

Afterward, the cool kids decamped to an after party at the Prism Gallery in West Hollywood. (The Prism, founded by 23-year-old Australian gallerist and artist PC Valmorbida, opened with yet another shindig earlier in the week.) Nicky Hilton was all a-sparkle in a black sequin Bob Mackie gown borrowed from her mother. Designers Angela and Margherita Missoni were there too, along with Tom Ford -- complaining about the lighting at the VIP party next door (now that he's a film director and all).

At one point, the lights on the VIP veranda flickered, bringing to mind the opening moments of a gala performance. When they came back on, and Eva Mendes, Pharrell Williams, Takashi Murakami and Rose McGowan were still elbowing each other trying to eke out space to breathe, it felt as though the evening's performance art hadn't ended when Lady Gaga left the stage.

-- Booth Moore

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