“It’s not like a lesbian movie—it’s a fun movie.” In retrospect, this conversation, overheard by The Observer Thursday night at The Hole gallery, may not have actually been in reference to “Intense,” the film collaboration for DKNY’s “Be Delicious Intense” fragrance championed by Beatrice Dupine, Veronique Gabai-Pinsky and Enrique Badulescu, but, frankly, we will never really know.
The somewhat spasmodic images of a beautiful blonde, mouth occasionally agape, biting (kind of necessarily, given the advertised scent) into a large green apple, that were projected onto nearly every surface of the gallery were certainly to blame for any potential confusion here. Words like “tense,” “bite” and “intuition” also kissed the walls. The rooms were packed full of surprisingly bad-smelling people, including Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Fern Mallis (though The Observer knows they smelled just fine), and most stared, if not at their phones, then at something else besides the images blinking around them. This further confounded the nature of the event and the film at its center.
Ms. Dupine, the project’s creative director of sorts, explained to The Observer in a thick French accent, flapping her hands constantly for emphasis, that Estée Lauder (the licensee for the potent mixture) had come to her to help develop an “alternative movie for the young.” She said that she went with “happiness” as its overarching theme, but also with wanting to “touch, grab and squeeze … all of that.” However, if this is happiness, we wonder if the lovely Ms. Dupire is not secretly a pubescent boy. Estée Lauder spokesmodel Hilary Rhoda, slightly lost as to how respond, simply said, with unexpected humor and maybe even a little sarcasm, “Well, I love happiness!” when asked about this take. She was much more comfortable when we told her we really just wanted to ask about her boots, which where thigh-high Burberry. While visually interesting and (as described to us by another guest) socially “electric,” the event on the whole stayed rather confused. The Observer was reminded before leaving to “write about the Free Arts angle.” The charity (Free Arts NYC), on whose board of directors Gabai-Pinsky sits, was also to benefit from the event that evening, and, “happy” to take advice from a stranger, we did.