Hans Ulrich Obrist, Precious Okoyomon, Vicky Krieps, and More Join Chanel In Toasting to the 60th Venice Biennale

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Precious Okoyomon, and Olga Donskova Re Rebaudengo in Venice. All images courtesy of Chanel.

Under cover of candlelight, and the exquisite Venetian architecture along the Grand Canal, Chanel brought together the worlds of fashion and art for the year’s chicest toast thus far. Tuesday night, the fashion house celebrated the Venice Biennale’s French Pavilion artist Julien Creuzet and its own batch of Next Prize winners, announced last month. 

Guests—including actor Vicky Krieps; architect Peter Marino; curators Hans Ulrich Obrist, Legacy Russell, RoseLee Goldberg, and Nicholas Cullinan; philanthropists Nicolas Berggruen, Maja Hoffmann, and Cornelia Guest; artists Precious Okoyomon, Sarah Meyohas, and Cao Fei; and gallerists Sadie Coles, Jay Jopling, and Andrew Kreps—sat for an evening of dinner and conversation hosted by Yana Peel, global head of Chanel Arts & Culture, at the delightful Palazzo Malipiero.

Julien Creuzet

The space was decorated with a plethora of Rococo details, lush pink florals littered along the winding tablescapes, punctuated by taper candles suspended in artisanal paper-mâché holders from local artisans. Guests sat in vintage Chiavari gold chairs from the 1970s, of which there are only 121 left in the world, as they listened to a performance from composer and musician Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

Dinner and refreshments were served by the team behind Harry's Bar, over which attendees celebrated the French House’s investment in culture, showcased in its exceptional support to Creuzet for the French Pavilion and the awarding of its Chanel Next Prize to 10 artists, eight of which were in attendance, including Kantemir Balagov, Oona Doherty, and Sam Eng.

“We are here to celebrate their courage, their creativity, and their audacity,” Peel told the crowd of the winners. Each was selected for their role in reshaping culture, and were awarded €100,000 and two years of mentorship facilitated by cultural institutions including the Royal College of Art in London. This year’s class hails from six countries across four continents and works across visual art, film, dance, video game design, performance, opera, and digital art.

“We couldn’t expect less from Chanel and Yana Peel,” said Venice Biennale curator Adriano Pedrosa. “It’s wonderful to be among so many foreigners,” he added with a laugh, nodding to the sudden influx of visitors to the small Italian city, and the much-discussed title of this year’s International Art Exhibition, “Foreigners Everywhere.” 


As the night wound down, corks were popped on a final few bottles from Chanel’s own vineyards, specifically a Domaine de l’île Blanc 2023 from Porquerolles and vintage Château Rauzan-Ségla 2011 from Margaux. Guests recapped a day spent sailing down the canals from show to show, and perusing Pedrosa’s expansive offering.

With this event, Chanel’s largest in the city since Karl Lagerfeld and architect Zaha Hadid joined forces to design the mobile art pavilion in 2008, the house once again positioned itself as a driver of culture, even outside the insular world of fashion. As Peel told her audience, the ability to create in whatever form is “the ultimate luxury.”