Ann Caruso's Fashionable Week: Venetian Heritage Gala, the 13th Annual Free Arts Benefit, and More!

Launch Slideshow

Celebrity stylist and fashion consultant Ann Caruso will be blogging about the many stylish events and appointments she attends. Caruso has an illustrious career working for magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle as well as luxury brands. This week, she's blogging about the Venetian Heritage Gala (with Tilda Swinton and Richard Gere!), the 13th Annual Free Arts NYC Art Auction Benefit, and more!

Met with Designer Mathieu Mirano

I met with young designer, Mathieu Mirano, and looked at his Fall 2012 collection. Mirano launched his first collection in Spring 2011, after being successful in private commissions for special occasion gowns as well as debuting a capsule collection. He has a background in fine arts and classical piano. Composers such as Camille Saint- Saens and Phillip Glass, as well as his travels in Paris, Marseille, Geneva, Cairo, Hong Kong, and Calcutta inspire him.  His Fall 2012 collection is as couture looking and special as the music he favors. He utilizes couture techniques with leather, exposed zippers, claw studs on fur, metal dragonheads and talons, and dragon scale embroideries in combination with silk chiffons and organza. He reminds me of a young Alexander Mcqueen. Pay close attention—he is one to watch.

Lunch with Lynn Ban

I had lunch with the outstanding jewelry designer and vintage haute couture and jewelry collector, Lynn Ban. After working with vintage couture for so many years, which is now only available at, she decided to create a very modern, industrial, yet timeless jewelry collection in 2011. At lunch I saw her “Smoking Lips” lariat. The lariat was inspired by both Tom Wesselmann’s 1967 painting “Smoker,” and the Guy Bourdin photograph. The “Smoking Lips” is an example of something considered beautiful that can harm or kill you, which was the underlying theme of Ban’s debut collection. The lariat was the one piece from the debut collection that made retailers apprehensive due to its controversial meaning, but now it is one of the top sellers! Lips were on trend for this season. Lots of designers including Prada used lips. Prada returned to their iconic lip print for Spring with a high-heel sandal designed with 3-D style lips and a smoking cigarette very similar to Ban’s lariat. (See pic in slideshow!)

Lunch with Photographer Darren Keith

I met with my friend and photographer, Darren Keith, who I hadn’t seen in 15 years. I recently saw his work online and loved it! Check it out; I know you’ll like it too.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Venetian Heritage Gala 2012

Dini von Mueffling and I attended the Venetian Heritage Gala at the Pershing Square Signature Center in the Theatre District. We sat at the Armani table with Armani’s Graziano de Boni and Rod Manley, Laura Henson, famed interior designer, Darren Henault, and Richard E. Farley, partner at Paul Hastings LLP, who spoke to Graziano about the custom made tuxes that are available at Giorgio Armani. Venetian Heritage Inc. is a U.S. based nonprofit, which raises funds to preserve the city's cultural institutions, and support artistic and intellectual initiatives between Italy and the U.S. The Gala presented the performance, “Caro Luchino,” a 90-minute homage to Italian Stage and film director, Luchino Visconti, narrated by Tilda Swinton and Richard Gere.

In attendance were: Isabella Rossellini, Ines Theodoli, Guido Torlonia, Stefano Tonchi, Michael Stipe, Sandro Kopp, Peter Marino, Roberto Bolle, Waris Ahluwalia, Chloe Malle, Liliana Cavendish, Candy Pratts Price, Wayne Maser, Sciascia Gambiccini, Adrienne Vittadini and Alejandra Cicognani.

13th Annual Free Arts NYC Art Auction Benefit

I stopped by the 13th Annual Free Arts Art Auction Benefit as the night was coming to a close. The event was presented by Monika Chiang and Whitewall magazine. Mary Alice Stephenson, Amy Sacco, and Amanda Ross hosted the event, curating over 80 works of art for auction from artists Cecily Brown, Dan Colen, Richard Serra, Ross Bleckner, Hunt Slonem, Todd DiCiurcio, and Julian Schnabel to name a few. The event raised $500,000 with all proceeds going directly to art mentoring programs for underserved youth. DJ Chelsea Leyland entertained guests, who included May Andersen, Gaby Basora, Alyssa Campanella, Tyson Chandler, Doo-Ri Chung, Blythe Danner, Erin Fetherston, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Monique Péan, Cynthia Rowley, Kelly Rutherford, and Ed Westwick.

New Downtown Store- American Two Shot

I recently visited a brand new store, American Two Shot, which is quickly becoming the “IT” place downtown. Olivia Wolfe, and Stephanie Krasnoff, recently opened American Two Shot, a new concept store in Soho about a month ago. Wolfe, an artist, and Krasnoff, a former Theory wholesale planner, were childhood friends from Miami who wanted to offer a place where their friends, who are designers, artists, and creators of some sort, could all come together in one space. They curated a store that offers men and women’s vintage and new clothing, jewelry, accessories, special books, and art. The store features everything from new designer pieces by Timo Weiland, Jonathon Simkhai, Porter Grey, Bodkin, and Khoi Le to vintage Benetton sweatshirts, dead stock Vans from the '70s, and one of a kind cards. The store also showcases art exhibitions and has an in-house coffee shop, Café Integral, run by Nicaraguan coffee aficionado, Cesar Vega. Terry Richardson loved the store and the café so much; he photographed Vega and featured him on his blog. Also, recently spotted shopping has been Dree Hemingway!  
American Two Shot, 135 Grand Street,

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