By Anna Sekula Posted November 18, 2011, 10:41 AM EST
NEW YORK For its annual film benefit on Tuesday, November 15, the Museum of Modern Art honored director Pedro Almodóvar. As a subtle way to acknowledge the Spanish heritage of the director of the current release The Skin I Live In—as well as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and All About My Mother—the organizers added red-hued touches to the minimalist space. The event, the fourth such fund-raiser from the art institution, was underwritten by Chanel and gathered some 260 high-profile names, including co-chairs Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld, actresses Emma Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Blake Lively, and philanthropists Barry Diller and David Rockefeller Jr.
To switch things up this year, MoMA opted to reconfigure the layout, receiving guests through the 54th Street side of the museum rather than the 53rd Street entrance. This new perspective gave producer KCD the opportunity to make a statement in the arrivals and check-in area, while not detracting from the modern space and the night's honoree.
At the street-level entrance, hedge walls surrounded the check-in desk and divided that area from the celebrity arrivals, where press could interview and photograph the event's V.I.P.s. The backdrop for the latter wasn't a step-and-repeat of logos, but rather an enormous wall of more than 20,000 crimson-colored roses designed by Raul Avila. This set the stage for the rest of the decor inside, where oversize arrangements formed most of the visuals and pops of red contrasted minimalist furnishings.
A long wooden bar flanked by large floral sprays gave the cocktail space a clean, uncluttered look, and tall candles in glass lanterns led the way to the Roy and Niuta Titus Theater, where the presentation took place. Perhaps most lavish was the design of the dinner space, which included round and long tables draped in black-and-white tablecloths, banquettes upholstered in red velvet and chairs clothed in white covers with black piping, and small bouquets of blush-colored peonies. A simple black stage for the live performance by Alicia Keys stood to one side.
The night raised approximately $1.1 million for MoMA, funds that will support the museum's film collection.