Chanel Kicks Off the Venice Biennale With a Dinner Celebrating the Chanel Next Prize Winners

On Tuesday evening in Venice, coinciding with the start of the 59th Biennale, Chanel threw a little dinner party. Its venue, the 14th-century family-owned Palazzo Zeno, was resplendent, and its hosts included Yana Peel, global head of arts and culture at Chanel, the actor Tilda Swinton, and architect Sir David Adjaye. The reason for the celebration? To fete the 10 winners of the inaugural Chanel Next Prize.

Launched last year, the international award seeks to recognize movers and shakers in the worlds of arts and culture. From video game designers to poets to theatrical directors, the disciplines of the lucky 10 selected run the gamut—plus, they represent countries all across the world. The winners were Jung Jae-il (a composer, performer, music director, and producer), Keiken (a collective made up of artists Hana Omori, Isabel Ramos, and Tanya Cruz), Lual Mayen (a game designer), Marlene Monteiro Freitas (a dancer and choreographer), Rungano Nyoni (a filmmaker), Precious Okoyomon (an artist and poet), Marie Schleef (a theater director), Botis Seva (a dancer, choreographer, and director), Wang Bing (a filmmaker), and Eduardo Williams (a filmmaker and artist). Each Chanel Next Prize recipient is awarded €100,000 in funding as well as mentorship opportunities facilitated by Chanel. 

While the evening had an international flair, the dinner table was set with all things local—Murano glass candlesticks and hand-embroidered napkins. Alongside the winners feted, the guest list included the global group of nominators and Chanel Culture Fund partners, including the National Portrait Gallery, Centre Pompidou, and the Underground Museum. And so the dinner was unsurprisingly packed with creatives like Karon Davis, Kennedy Yanko, Kehinde Wiley, Nicholas Cullinan, Alvin Li, Sir Alistair Spalding, Wayne McGregor, Antoine Vereecken, Daehyung Lee, Darren Walker, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Holly Peterson, and Tristram Hunt. 

It goes without saying that everyone was impeccably dressed, most in Chanel. Yet the evening served to underline the house’s devotion to art-making of all kinds—because, after all, what would fashion be without its muses?

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