Billy Fong Sez

Contemplating the Number 13

Billy Fong
January 28, 2013

I’ve been somewhat uninspired of late, and thank God that I was on a plane headed to Art Basel Miami Beach when I received my marching orders to contemplate the number 13 in this month’s column. For those of you in the know, Art Basel Miami Beach in South Florida is the high point of the art world’s year and the Olympics of fashion, rolled into one. I convinced my witty friend Michael Cahill, an exec at the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, to accompany me for the frivolity. His take on the women in abundance was a “wild game preserve of baby giraffes.”

I always come back from the fair incredibly exhausted but with a million ideas about what is happening now and next in fashion. In my opinion, The Webster is now the mother ship in terms of a retail destination. Housed in a glorious Art Deco hotel from the 1920s, it was created by Laure Heriard Dubreuil and Milan Vukmirovic and is curated to perfection from runway collections. It’s anchored by a fabulous lobby restaurant that specializes in caviar, then two floors of heavenly YSL dresses and Tom Ford tuxedos and finishes up with a rooftop bar (that week hosting both the Dior and Valentino parties) with a breathtaking view of both the Miami skyline and the Atlantic. 

Having been inspired and energized, herewith is my baker’s dozen of everything you need this month:

1. A trip to Miami. It is high season and the only time to rock the city. Stay at The Raleigh and chat up my favorite maitre’d, Andrew, at the patio restaurant.

2. Sweatshirts — so chic with cigarette pants and vintage Chanel shades. Score one at Balenciaga or find a cheaper version like I did at Goodwill; my tailor shortened the sleeves.

3. Roberto Cavalli blue chinoiserie-print pantsuit.

4. Moncler forest-green sunglasses from their recent collaboration with Mykita.

5. Prada mink bag.

6. Marc Jacobs black-and-white sequin-embellished long dress. Hands down, the standout from this season’s offerings.

7. A Richard Prince painting from his nurse series. (I fell in love again at Art Basel Miami Beach.)

8. St-Germain cocktail.

9. Dinner at one of Mr. Chow’s restaurants — doesn’t matter if it’s London, NYC, Beverly Hills or Miami.

10. The remastered version of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness CD. “1979” is the song I want playing as my casket is lowered into the ground. 

11. DVD of the Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel documentary. Perfect background for a girl’s night of drinking and recapping holiday parties.

12. Fresh gardenias. For the cold days outside, find warmth by adding scent to your sitting room. Have a friend with a private jet fly them in if you can’t locate at your neighborhood florist.

I was at a loss for my last selection. I have always wanted a tattoo, but I’ve never found a parlor that provided inordinate amounts of morphine, since I have a low pain threshold (a paper cut throws me into a raging, crying mess). Also, it’s a little tacky to have one showing on your demure shoulders when wearing a strapless Proenza Schouler, so get one on your colon. BTW, I have a pierced colon, and it makes for an intriguing conversation at a Highland Park cocktail party.