Art Basel Miami Beach 2013: Guide to exclusive parties

Cindy Crawford, left, and Stephanie Seymour

It’s that time of year again, time when everyone who’s no one attempts to make the rounds, rubbing elbows with high rollers, art dealers, artists and artful codgers swarming in the “scenenful” swelter of the behemoth that has become Art Basel Miami Beach. Despite the misnomer, the entire city will be full of these types and events – we’re just waiting for the invitation to 7-11’s convenience store confab. Of course, the ticket everyone seems to want is to whatever farce Lady Gaga has planned. Stay tuned, stand by and stand down, ‘cos here we go (for now… this list will be constantly updated as event information is released):

Tuesday, December 3

Alina & Anthony Kennedy Shriver & Stephanie Seymour Brant & Peter Brant host the Best Buddies Art + Friendship Auction hosted by Sara & Ugo Colombo at their Miami Beach estate. Event will feature live auction of contemporary works. (By Invitation Only, aka BIO)

Reception for famed fashion photographer Marco Glaviano and supermodel Cindy Crawford at Art Miami’s Cindy Crawford Lounge. Yup, you read right. To prove it, the lounge will launch a brand new collection of diamond dusted canvases of iconic black + white photos of Crawford from the 80s and 90s. Nearby also within Art Miami’s VIP preview is an appearance by the elusively ubiquitous Banksy – vis a vis “Heart With Bandages,” a controversial mural he created during his now fabled NYC spree showcased by gallery owner Stephan Keszler.  (BIO, until both the Crawford Lounge & Banksy exhibit open to the public December 4-8)

Drinking Room pop-up at the Hotel Astor. Launched by Eating House’s Giorgio Rapicavoli, this boozy Baselite could be command central for the chic elite. And if not, it’s ok, because the locals will be here regardless. For more information on drinks and edible art installations with Singapore’s Janice Wong, click here.

Speaking of rooms for drinking, open to the Baseling and non-Baseling public as of the expected opening date of November 25, is Cipriani Downtown Miami’s new lower level Cipriani Bar. We confirmed with a rep and, thus far, the Cipriani Bar is a Basel-free zone (BFZ) when it comes to events.

Wednesday, December 4

W Magazine’s editor in chief Stefano Tonchi & French label Vionnet’s creative director Goga Ashkenazi host a Pérez Art Museum Miami opening premiere of Suspension of Disbelief, a short film by Tim Walker starring Kristen McMenamy & Ben Whishaw. (BIO)

Miami-based footwear and accessory brand Del Toro and Italia Independent’s Founder (and Fiat heir) Lapo Elkann will host an exclusive cocktail event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to inaugurate the new Miami Beach pop-up shop and celebrate the launch of the Del Toro X Italia Independent collaboration line at 2000 Collins Ave. (Cocktail party BIO, pop up, open through March, is open to the public daily (and nightly) during Basel from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis does a reverse commute with a Miami Beach Basel party and sit down dinner hosted by CE Jean-Marc Pontroué and “friend of the brand,” actor Gerard Butler at the W South Beach. As for the art part, well, it has something to do with the art of horlogerie, which, although sounds like a fancy synonym for the study some of the clientele hanging out at various hotel bars in town, is French for watchmaking. (BIO, for sure)

Socialite/model/heiress/activist/fashion editor Amanda Hearst, Polina Berlin, PKSHOP Director, and designer Hassan Pierre are throwing a party from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Soho House celebrating MdM (Maison de Mode, founded by Hearst and Pierre) x PK SHOP, their “curated art and ethical fashion pop-up” showcasing “a finely edited presentation of rare and limited edition wearable and collectible treasures”  (BIO). MdM x PK SHOP will thereafter be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 8 2013 — wait for it — by invitation only. 


Thursday, December 5

The aforementioned Del Toro will host a block party at its headquarters in The Wynwood Building (2750 NW 3rd Ave, Suite 22, Miami) featuring custom 1/1 original hand-painted shoes in a variety of Del Toro silhouettes by approximately 50 artists from around the world. Full mural walls by six famed artists – including Stash, Evoca1, Michael Vasquez, Johnny Robles and Magnus – will be unveiled to commemorate the debut of Del Toro’s Art Basel collection. To top it off, barbecue bites will be prepared by Henry Hane, former chef of Eating House, as well as a live musical performance by an undisclosed special guest. (Undisclosed guests are the best kind.) Even better, this one’s open to the public.

Maison Martin Margiela and Atelier Swarovski will host a private cocktail reception from 7 – 9 p.m. at Maison Martin Margiela (3930 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 101, Miami) to present their new collection ‘Crystalactite’ and celebrate the debut of ‘Stalker’, an exclusive installation by French artist Baptiste Debombourg. (BIO, stalkers need not apply)

Not just for gallerists, artists, and the general Baseling public but for anyone with discerning taste in music, The Stage Miami (170 NE 38th St.) will be presenting a gallery of the best of old school hip-hop and new urban sounds during the height of Art Basel, featuring De La Soul on Thursday, Dec. 5, the Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah on Dec. 6 during Beats & Rhymes Fridays and Black Violin on Saturday, Dec. 7. Three-day passes to all events are priced at $66 and are available online at Enjoy $100 bottle specials and food by the This Is It food truck, the newly-permanent culinary option at the venue. For more information, go to or call 305-576-9577. Doors open at 10 p.m. each night. (BFZ but not hipster free by any means)

UNTITLED is an art fair whose name should have been UNENTITLED, as an email snafu sent out notes to previously confirmed, alleged VIPS telling them they should apply for VIP status next year. Insert sound of egos crashing all over town. For those VIPs who were not UNINVITED, a Thursday evening preview on the sand on Ocean Drive will be showcasing over 90 galleries and not-for-profit spaces from over 19 countries. (TITLTED VIPs only/BIO)


Friday, December 6

Art + Music + Beach at The Official VH1 + SCOPE Party featuring a live performance by Tegan and Sara at Ocean Drive and 9th St. (BIO – sort of. Says a publicist, “the public will have a chance to be a part of it all by situating themselves just outside the space for what is bound to be another unforgettable musical and artistic experience.”)

Saturday, December 7

The Sagamore’s annual Art Basel Brunch is a hot meal – and a hot ticket – especially for the stalkerazzi. Though a few Miami freeloaders frequently find their way into this one, for the most part, the brunch is pretty exclusive. (BIO)

Not even close to being exclusive, moving to Grand Central Park (700 N. Miami Ave.) to expand its capacity to — deep breath — 8,000, Basel Castle Art and Music Festival is like Ultra with a little Barnum & Bailey and a lot of art thrown in. Among the DJs spinning: SBTRKT and French electro god Gesaffelstein. There will also be live art from Greg Mike, Nychos, Skinner, L’amour Supreme, Madsteez, Jeremyville and many more. Exclusive to Basel Castle, artists will be creating one of a kind carnival-style games that fans can play to win prizes. For more information, go to (Basel Free For All aka BFFA)

Sunday, December 8

It ain’t over until the Beryl Cook painting sings and down south, things are still sizzlin’ as Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts a brunch and art tour for Art Basel VIPs and Design
Miami VIPs
from 9 a.m. until noon. This, in celebration of Fairchild’s newest art exhibition by Brazilian designer Hugo França, who makes eco-friendly designs out of reclaimed wood. França himself will be there mingling amongst the 250 invited guests. (BIO)