Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What to Wear Where: Southampton Fresh Air Home's American Picnic

by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick

The invitation is a call to action — stand up and salute our Stars and Stripes at this brightest of summer spectaculars.
We are looking forward to our national celebration known as the 4th of July, even as we look back through time and history. 30 years ago, the Southampton Fresh Air Home created an event that is as American as Apple Pie the American Picnic.
It has become a tradition for families on the East End to raise funds while enjoying a family carnival atmosphere with games, stilt walkers and magicians, music, dancing and of course spectacular fireworks display over Shinnecock Bay! The organization has served thousands of physically challenged children over its 115-year history.
Board of Directors, Southampton Fresh Air Fund.
Executive VP, Sarah Senbahar, describes her experience at the Picnic, "The 4th of July picnic — benefiting the Southampton Fresh Air Home, a summer camp for physically handicapped children — is one of my favorite nights of the summer and a cause very close to my heart. We have been attending since our children were little and we still look forward to getting dressed in our red, whites and blues and attending as a family. It is a memorable evening for us, especially knowing it will provide for many happy camper experiences."
Top right: Carole Guest, Mark Epley, Susan Cocke, and Marian Epley. Above, right: Peter Christopoulos.
We asked Catherine Carey her opinion on the evening's attire, "The SFAH's American Picnic and Fireworks is one of my favorite events of the summer and this year we celebrate our 30th anniversary. As a longstanding board member I am grateful to our donors who provide a fireworks show for everyone in Southampton's viewing pleasure while also underwriting an incredible summer experience for children with disabilities. As for attire, the evening calls for casual chic and cover. After the sun goes down, the last firework drops and the music stops you will want a casual sweater over your white slacks and red, white and blue ensemble to stay cozy as you catch up with friends."
Bryan Carey, Catherine Carey, and Paul Carey.
Hilary describes her feelings on the holiday, "The 4th of July is a time for friends, family and country to come together and celebrate. And in a nod to our flag it is the perfect time to don some red, white and blue. I like to keep it simple with white jeans, like I wore to the Polo Challenge, and a pretty tailored shirt. Red is not a color I gravitate to so I usually tone it down a bit with some pink and white accents. This is the one day that you can't go wrong with any combination of our great nation's colors."
Caroline Constas Décoleté Shirt, $395  /  Frame Le High Flare, $209  /  Banjana Khan Earrings, $345​  /  Oscar De La Renta Long Tassel Earrings, $395  /  Liberty London Mini Tote Bag, $408  /   Seafolly Pom-Pom Beach Basket, $102  /Loeffler Randall Coco Knotted Sandal, $395  / Dolce Vita Henry Mule, $130
Hilary and I created our collages separately but the similarity is unmistakable. Blue seersucker speaks to summer in the most nostalgic way. The name is a Persian one, meaning milk and sugar, thought to describe the alternate smooth and rough weaving technique. The puckering causes the fabric to stand away from the skin, making it a cool alternative in the sweltering heat. Introduced by the British, it has become a mainstay of the preppy American wardrobe.
To achieve the prep-chic look, I shopped J. Crew for a duo of easy to wear summer dresses (very well priced) and filled in the accessories with a mix of texture and pops of red. As Catherine stated, you will need something to cover your shoulders and this silk cashmere wrap is a perfect lay for all of your summer outings.
One-Shoulder Ruffle Dress In Seersucker, $128  /   Strapless Ruffle Ham Dress In Seersucker, $138  /   Refined Sillk-Cashmere Wrap, $78​   /   Beaded Ball Earrings, $65  /  Tassel Ball Earrings,  $24  /   Kayu Hand-Embroidered Envelope Clutch, $135  /   Dragon Diffusion Small Tote, $280  /  Dolce Vita Hanry Mule, $130  /   ​Grosgrain Ribbon Block-Heel Sandal, $178​
Philanthropy is a quintessentially American phenomenon. Nowhere else in the world do people take care of each other like we do. Indeed, the country was founded on the principles of fairness and opportunity. It is inherent in our very nature. Benjamin Franklin described the revolution, "We are fighting for the dignity and happiness of human nature." The nation's coming together last week in Washington, D.C. despite partisan differences is an example of our commonality. It was heartening to see.
The Happy Campers.
For seasonal inspiration, we recommend listening to David McCollough's, author of many volumes including Pulitzer Prize-winning books, Truman and John Adams, newly released The American Spirit. It is an inspirational collection of speeches from his long and distinguished career.

"Our history, our American story is our definition is our definition as a people and a nation. It is a story like no other, our greatest natural resource, one might say, And it has been my purpose in my work to bring that story and its protagonists into clearer more human focus in what I've written and in speeches I have made ... with the hope that what I've had to say will help remind us, in the time of uncertainty and contention of just who we are, what we stand for, of the high aspirations that inspired our founders."

For information on getting involved with the Southampton Fresh Air Home, click here.