Women’s Wear Daily
04.20.2014
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Grand Canal

Ever elusive, Miuccia Prada once again strived to stay behind the scenes during the opening event of Fondazione Prada's exhibits of works by German artist Thomas Demand in Venice on Thursday, at the onset of the city's Arts Biennale.

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Eva Mendes in Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti with Rachel Weisz in 31 Phillip Lim
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Ever elusive, Miuccia Prada once again strived to stay behind the scenes during the opening event of Fondazione Prada's exhibits of works by German artist Thomas Demand in Venice on Thursday, at the onset of the city's Arts Biennale. But despite her efforts to let Demand shine, Prada was the star of the evening, and artists Anish Kapoor, Carsten Holler, Francesco Vezzoli and Tobias Rehberger were singing her praises. "She is smarter than most and dares to take more risks," said Rehberger.

Demand finds Prada "very exciting" to work with. "It's not about her fame," he said, but her "sensibility, intuition and creativity."

But the designer was doing her best to deflect attention away from herself. "You've spoken to the artist — that's more than enough," said Prada, wide-eyed and surprised that the press would want to talk to her, as well. She shied away from making any comment on Demand, saying: "Two years of work can't be reduced to a quote." Wearing a pleated black skirt and a cream-colored blouse accessorized with outstanding gold jewelry pieces and flat gladiator sandals, Prada chatted away with everyone from Tate Gallery director Sir Nicholas Serota to Norman Rosenthal of London's Royal Academy of Art .

"This is all so stimulating," beamed Alberta Ferretti, who is an art collector, as guests Luisa Beccaria and husband Lucio Bonaccorsi, Servane Giol, Veronica and Anna Marzotto, and Federica Costantini Scala, Camilla Al Fayed and Anouck Lepere mingled. Afterward, Prada hosted a private dinner at 17th-century Palazzo Albrizzi.

The day before in New York, a seriously high-wattage crowd, including hosts Diane von Furstenberg and Anna Wintour, Calvin Klein and Christian Louboutin, showed up to celebrate Lapo Elkann and his new sunglasses line at the Gramercy Park Hotel. "His grandfather was the most stylish man I ever met," said Carolina Herrera, referring to the late Gianni Agnelli. "But he's making a good effort."
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