Home Fashion Reality, Art and Peloton Stars Party at the Whitney

Reality, Art and Peloton Stars Party at the Whitney

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She had already trained for three hours earlier in the day, but that didn’t stop Robin Arzón, the Peloton instructor, from hitting the dance floor Tuesday evening in the cavernous lobby of the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.

The occasion was the Art Party, the institution’s second-largest annual fund-raiser, thrown by its young patron group. The proceeds from the party go to the Independent Study Program, which supports emerging artists, curators and critics.

In a neon green sequined blazer and braided pigtails, Ms. Arzón and her husband, Drew Butler, his suit a complementary shade of traffic-cone orange, stood out in the crowd, which included the designer Cynthia Rowley and the reality star Olivia Palermo, among other artists, influencers, fashion types and downtown cool kids whose interpretation of the night’s botanical theme tended to the more subdued: floral-print minidresses, black strapless gowns with pin-on blossoms, a crown of blooms here and there.

Upstairs in the eighth-floor gallery, the botanicals were computer-generated. Guests got a preview of “Harold Cohen: AARON,” an exhibit of paintings created using the earliest artificial intelligence art-making program, developed by Cohen at the University of California San Diego in the late 1960s. A live demonstration showcased AARON’s drawing process in action.

If the artistic types at the party were nervous about a robot-controlled future, they weren’t letting on. “I don’t think it has to be scary,” Wes Gordon, the creative director of Carolina Herrera, said. “I’m very hands-on and pencil and scissors and fabric,” he added, but he suspects the technology can “make designers better designers.”

The fashion designer Bach Mai plans to feature A.I.-designed prints in his New York Fashion Week show in February, but he’s clear-eyed about what he sees as its limitations. “Making clothes still requires a human hand,” he said, adding, “A.I. will always be an aggregate of information, but it will never be a creator.”

The creators in attendance snacked and sipped from trays of Wagyu caviar crostini, fried chicken sandwiches and tequila served in champagne flutes. Mocktails named by artists, like Natalie Ball’s “UNDAM the Klamath, The Salmon Are Coming Home!” (hibiscus, honey, lemon and mint) were on offer at the large bar.

Nearby, Erin Lichy of “The Real Housewives of New York City” chatted with her husband, Abe. She was fresh from a catch-up lunch at Lodi with her co-star Jenna Lyons. Ms. Lichy said she had told Ms. Lyons if the cast comes back for another season she needs her to return. “If you don’t, who am I going to look at and like, you know, make eyes with when things are getting weird?” she said.

Outside, a slushy rain fell on Gansevoort Street, but the weather didn’t deter partygoers. By 10:30, the indie duo MGMT was in full command of the D.J. station and all 6,200 square feet of the lobby was packed with hundreds of guests, many of whom seemed to agree with Ashley Longshore, the artist, who said, “This is New York City and this is the Whitney Art Museum, and it doesn’t get much bigger than that,” adding, “Honey, if it was anything else, I’d be naked in bed with my dog right now.”

Katie Van Syckle contributed reporting.



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