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Miami Heat: Art Basel Draws Naomi Campbell and Takashi Murakami

Miami wasn't sizzling Tuesday night, with temperatures in the 50s, but that didn't stop the crowds from celebrating the opening of the Art Basel Miami Beach.

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Miami wasn’t sizzling Tuesday night, with temperatures in the low 50s, but that didn’t stop the crowds from celebrating the opening of the Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami fairs. The fashion set rolled out early for a cocktail party to mark the opening of the Marni boutique in the Design District. Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni admitted she hadn’t even seen the town yet: “I don’t know because I just came [the day before last] and I stayed the whole day in the store,” she said. While her husband said the couple aren’t collectors, Castiglioni hopes to buy some art before she leaves — and she’s heading straight to the NADA art fair, which also had its opening Tuesday night, sponsored by Banana Republic. Little did Castiglioni know the art was coming to find her: Her friend Takashi Murakami, whose Miami studio is next door to the store, had sent over a woman in a large bubble decorated with his signature flowers. The eye-popping object, complete with Murakami lily pads, caused quite a scene in the store-of-muted-colors. A few blocks away at the opening night of In Fashion Photo’s Naomi Campbell retrospective — which features photographs of the supermodel by snappers including David LaChapelle, Mario Testino and Patrick DeMarchelier — everyone was waiting for Campbell to arrive. When she finally walked the red carpet two and a half hours late, she was eager to see the show. “It’s my first time coming to Art Basel,” she said. While she wouldn’t talk about what she was interested in collecting, she admitted it would take some time for her to warm to the city after Gianni Versace’s death. “I’m getting to like Miami again,” she said. “It was very hard to come back here after they killed my friend.” But for Miami Mayor Manny Diaz — who posed with Campbell to cut a ribbon for the show — this year’s Art Basel Miami is more important than ever. “Art transcends everything,” he said. “Even a bad economy.”
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