Bettina’s Take: Cinema Society Screening of Madonna’s ‘W.E.’

Andrea Riseborough Madonna Cinema Society screening W.E.

It was a Sunday night in December in New York, and Harvey Weinstein was wearing a suit. What could possibly have compelled him to do that?

The Cinema Society screening of Madonna's new movie, W.E., at MoMA, and wise words from his wife.

"I was wearing a Giants T-shirt, and the English voice told me this would be a fashion crowd, so she laid out this suit," joked Weinstein, referring to his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, as he introduced Madonna's latest directorial project.

The film examines the legendary love between American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and the king who gave up the British throne to marry her, subsequently living out their lives in exile as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Woven into the story is the modern day tale of Wally (Abbie Cornish), an unhappily married young woman obsessed with the Duchess and her story.

"It was a story that always intrigued me, a story about true love and sacrifice," said Madonna, looking stupendous in a black leather jacket, black sequined top and black pants, all by Roberto Cavalli, complete with Van Cleef & Arpels white gold and diamond earrings.

The Duchess has great style; if Madonna could have owned any of her accessories, which would it have been?

"The cross bracelet," she told FashionEtc without hesitation. The bracelet is prominently featured in the film; each inscribed cross was made of precious stones, and each represented a significant event in the couple's courtship.

Riseborough, stunning in a black fil coupé organza dress with white contrast bodice from Oscar de la Renta's Resort 2012 collection, had much praise for Madonna as a director.

"She was wonderful to work with," said the star.

Riseborough enjoyed getting into the Duchess's style.

"There was one thing that really evoked her spirit, that really channeled her on set, it was when I wore jewelry that was actually hers, because there was jewelry that she actually owned in the film."

Which pieces? "That's kind of personal," she answered cryptically.

Style icon Chloë Sevigny is also a big fan of the Duchess's unique elegance.

"She's stunning," said Sevigny, wearing a red silk Anna Sophie Back dress. "I love her unconventional beauty, the way she threw an outfit together, her hair, the sunglasses, her whole thing. There's been nobody like her since. She was really a trailblazer."

The star-studded audience at the Piaget-sponsored screening included Anderson Cooper, Jeremy Piven, Adrien Brody, Kim Cattrall, Parker Posey, Valentino & Giancarlo Giammetti, Donna Karan, Barry Diller, Julian Schnabel, Patti Smith, Olivier Theyskens, and Alan Cumming.

After the applause had died down and greetings were exchanged, guests headed uptown to hot spot Crown for some hors d'oeuvres and champagne—and dreams of owning the cross bracelet.

Photo: Andrea Riseborough and Madonna at the Cinema Society screening of W.E.