Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Palm Beach Social Diary

Leo Vecellio and Hon. David Prodger, British Consul General – Miami. The American Friends of British Art luncheon at The Colony Hotel featured a lecture on the art of art collection, focusing on King Charles I and the origins of the Royal Collection, presented by author Lady Sheila Hale, best known for her book Titian: His Life, a biography on Venetian artist Titian Vecellio.
BritArt @ The Colony + Fashion @ Neiman-Marcus + Rolex Stable Visit @ Wellington
By Augustus Mayhew

It was a last minute invitation. Of course, I first thought perhaps they were short on RSVPs from their A-List and were scouring for more invitees. At this late stage of my life, I was reluctant to accept. I had already planned on several Miami events. Then, an image flashed of Miami's traffic standstills. A minute later, I RSVP'd a yes to an invitation from Rolex for a breakfast stable visit in Wellington with their newest sport partners, equestrian Kent Farrington, currently the #1 US rider and #2 in the world. Rolex's stable of icons includes legendary sports figures as well as artists and entertainers.

Earlier in the week I was at The Colony for the American Friends of British Art luncheon where the group's director Michael Ridgdill was looking at a sold out luncheon and already planning for next year. I stopped in at Neiman Marcus for designer Lela Rose's latest ready-to-wear looks. Because of the snowstorm, the Texas native, who counts Jessica Chastain, Jessica Alba, and Kate Middleton among her fans, sent videotaped regrets, played for the 60 guests on a flat-screen television. Rose appears to have found a considerable following. Her clothes are attractive sculpted plays on various geometric forms both in cut and graphics. Her pink, yellow and lilac palette should attract a flock of multi-generational Palm Beachers. Though I missed Thursday night's reception at Neiman Marcus for the Palm Beach Police Foundation, I took a look at some of the Buccellati oggeti magnifici that were going to be shown during the event.
Midtown Beach – Palm Beach. On South Beach, where seasonal flooding has reached Venetian levels, the City of Miami Beach is busily spending millions on pumps and seawalls. Along Palm Beach's eroding coastline, dredge ships, bulldozers and draglines are on a fast track to pump 900,000 cubic yards of sand to shore up the public beach that once extended more than 100 feet east of its present location. The $17+ million nourishment project should be finished by early spring.
American Friends of British Art Luncheon @ The Colony Hotel
24 January 2015 - 11:30 a.m

The American Friends of British Art's 4th annual lecture & luncheon welcomed author and art historian Lady Sheila Hale. Lady Sheila discoursed on "King Charles I and His Collection of Italian Paintings," the beginnings of the Royal Collection. The author of Titian: His Life, Hale highlighted the king's passion for acquiring masterpieces by Caravaggio, Rubens, da Vinci, Canaletto, Bernini, and Titian.

The American Friends organization provides funding for the restoration and preservation of Great Britain's historic art and architecture. This was my second visit to the UK gathering where last year Nicky Haslem was the guest speaker. A former Veneziano, Lady Sheila and I reminisced about Venice in winter, walking the crisscross of passarelles across the flooded squares when the city's labyrinth of walkways are unburdened by crowds, afloat in an unearthly cold damp drizzly fog or dusted with morning snow.
Speaker Lady Sheila Hale with her authoritative book Titian: His Life.
Also, a pleasure seated next to Bobby Spencer. Somehow we ended up talking about Sue Whitmore's family, the Hopkins', who owned a place north of Playa Riente, that Spencer first met after World War II. Although as part of my Downton Abbey Recovery Group we can only watch The Great British Baking Show, next season's guest might well be Lady Fiona Carnarvon with a word or two about the real Downton Abbey, something Palm Beachers are familiar.
Lady Sheila at the podium during her presentation on the makings of the Royal Collection.
The organization's director and founder Dr. Michael Ridgdill and the Hon. David Prodger, British Consul General — Miami, welcomed guests including Hope Alswang, Terry and Linda Collier, Stephania Conrad, Michael Denell, HRH Princess Maria-Pia di Savoy, William Eubanks, Annie Falk, Leta Foster, Jennifer Garrigues, Tim Johnson, Therese Mersentes, Mandell and Ambassador Mary Ourisman, Tom Quick, William Secord, Bobby Spencer, Ben Stein, Bob and Barbara Swanson, Angela Vecellio, Leo and Kathryn Vecellio, Orator and Maureen Woodward, and Fernando Wong. Event sponsors included: Smith and Moore Architects, Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, William R. Eubanks Interior Design, Jennifer Garrigues Interiors, Livingston Builders, Paris Ceramics, Ben Stein of Brown Harris Stevens, The Palm Beach Jewelry Art & Antique Show, and Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine.
The luncheon was sold out.
Sir Robert Spencer, Kathryn Vecellio, and Michael Ridgdill, director of the American Friends organization.
HRH Princess Maria Pia di Savoy.
Bruce Langmaid and Charles C. Poole.
James Hall, Norton Museum deputy director, and Hope Alswang, Norton Museum director.
The incomparable Jennifer Garrigues. Scott Moses.
Fernando Wong and Tim Johnson. The following night, Fernando and Tim held a reception for Lady Sheila.
Terry and Linda Collier.
Bob and Barbara Swanson.
Anthony Ciaffoni, Paul Bowden, and Phil Tremo.
Smith and Moore Architects, one of the event's sponsors, reserved a table for the luncheon.
Ann Appelman, Jane Hepburn, and Moira Stevenson.
Ben Stein, Darrell Hofheinz, and Bill Eubanks.
The audience was immersed in Lady Sheila's lecture.
Carol and Tom Kirchhoff.
A slide from the program: Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in His Gallery in Brussels, artist David Teniers the Younger, c.1650. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
The art of art collection.
Jeff Jacobus, owner of Classic Book Shop - Palm Beach's premier bookstore, was on hand with Lady Sheila's biography of Titian.
Lady Sheila at lunch with than Kathryn and Leo Vecellio, a descendant of Titian Vecellio's.
Neiman Marcus hosts designer Lela Rose Spring 2015 Collection
27 January 2015 - 11:30 a.m.
Neiman Marcus. 151 Worth Avenue.
Right: Amy Lagae and Beth Pine, general manager of Neiman Marcus Palm Beach on Worth Avenue.
Sixty fashion-conscious Palm Beachers attended.
Marcia Holgerson and Elaine Sussman.
Lynne Lassman. Patti Menkes.
Frances Webster Peter and Lizzi Sned.
Brandie Herbst opted for a subtle accent.
Antoinette Vigilante wore a Chanel brooch.
Many of the models wore Oscar de la Renta touches.
Lela Rose Spring 2015
Thinking I was in a prime spot to snap some images, things became challenging as soon as the models appeared and the waiters began dashing about faster than in an Act I scene at the Harmonia Gardens.
A splash of Palm Beach colors.
Rachel Azqueta, public relations manager @ Neiman-Marcus, in the store's Lela Rose boutique. Lola Thelin and Sasha Jozefcyzk.
Saint Laurent.
Escada. Naeem Khan.
The Shoe Salon at Neiman Marcus.
Buccellati. On Thursday night, Neiman's and Buccellati hosted the Palm Beach Police Foundation for a reception.
Buccellati. Turqoise gold necklace with blue and pink sapphires.
Rolex hosts A Stable Visit with Kent Farrington @ Wellington
29 January 2015 – 9 a.m

Thursday morning Rolex hosted breakfast at equestrian Kent Farrington's stable to introduce the press to their latest top-flight partner. Among Rolex's other equestrian affiliates are: Rodrigo Pessoa, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, the first woman to be ranked World No. 1 in jumping and three-time winner of the Rolex World Cup Final; Eric Lamaze, Kevin Staut, and Steve Guerdat. Rolex sponsors three of the world's greatest equestrian shows: the World Equestrian Festival - Aachen; the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters - Calgary; and CHI Geneva. Together, they make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Kent Farrington, one of Rolex's newest testimonies, with Grand Prix star Voyeur in the ring at his Wellington stable and equestrian complex. "I designed it myself; I knew what I needed and how it should be done," said Farrington.
A last minute invitation delivered a fascinating occasion.
"I don't look back but look forward to what I still need to accomplish," said Farrington, mentioning he would especially like to win the Rolex Grand Prix event in Aachen held in May.
There are twenty stables maintained in museum condition.
Kent Farrington, left, was introduced by Anthony Schaub, right, Communications & Image, Rolex.
Farrington gave a press tour of his stable. Right, Uceko having breakfast.
Between the rows of stables, the tack room's bridles, bits,and other gear were archivally organized and labeled for each of Farrington's horses. "I've had a lot of experience with difficult horses, so I like having a million bits," smiled Farrington.
"I've been competing at Wellington for the past fifteen years, " said Farrington. Among his best performances are twice winning the US Open CSIO5, the King George Cup, Pan American Gold, American Invitational, Presidents Cup, Devon Grand Prix, Hampton Classic and twice winning the East Coast World Cup League.
Voyeur ... Piper ... and Uceko.
International Jumpers Riding Club, Top Ten..
The adjacent building houses the horse bathing area on the lower level; upper level provides staff housing.
After touring the stables, we walked to an adjacent property with practice rings. Currently, along with international competition, Farrington is mentoring four student riders.
"Team Farrington" who make it all possible.
Kent Farrington turned professional in 1999. Last week, the US Equestrian Foundation named Farrington to Team USA for the Furusiyya Nations Cup event held next month in Ocala. Joining Farrington will be Georgina Bloomberg, Lauren Hough, Beezie Madden, and Laura Kraut.
Kent Farrington's Rolex Yacht Master wristwatch.
The world of Kent Farrington.
Kent takes Voyeur out of the stable and into the ring.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland – Reflections on Palm Beach.