Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What2WearWhere: MCNY's Winter Ball

Chairman Andrew Roosevelt, Burwell Schorr, Allison Rockefeller, Museum Ronay Menschel Director Whitney Donhauser, Sloan Overstrom, Mark Gilbertson, Tara Rockefeller, Celerie Kemble, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Calvert Moore, and Nicole Hanley Mellon at last year's Director's Council of the Museum of the City of New York's Winter Ball.
by Hilary Dick & Karen Klopp

The Director’s Council of the Museum of the City of New York
will be out in celebratory splendor for The MCNY Winter Ball on Thursday, February 25th at Cipriani 42 Street. This glittering gathering of Gothamists is graciously chaired by Sara Ayres, Jamie Creel, Mark Gilbertson, Celerie Kemble, Nicole Hanley Mellon, Calvert Moore, Sloan Overstrom, Kathy Prounis and Allison Rockefeller, and generously sponsored by Oscar de la Renta and Vhernier.

All those involved share an enthusiasm for The Museum and its mission, which celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation.

Allison Rockefeller summed it up with historic flair, "From the Mannahatta Indians to Henry Hudson's exploration up river to a World's Series home run at Yankee Stadium, the Museum of the City of New York tells the tale of New York, still and always, the greatest city in the world."

It is a chummy crowd but a welcoming one. “The party is like a college mixer or a village fete.  We are the same group year in, year out, but always with exciting newcomers freshening up the core group.  Mark (Gilbertson), of course, is the mayor of this village, and the dean of this college,” as Amy Fine Collins so keenly observed.

As for Jamie Creel, who was honored by the Museum earlier this year, “The Museum Party is like a high school reunion, I run into and catch up with all the best people I have met throughout my life.”

Kathy Prounis chimed in, “Everyone knows each other, which makes the cocktail hour so much fun!”
Allison Rockefeller with Helen Lee Schifter. Amy Fine Collins.
Sloan Overstrom, a Chair of the event and Director Council member, is passionate about the Museum’s importance, “MCNY has a unique impact on New York City because it is a museum that celebrates the great history of this city. Its mission is to educate the public about the city's character, both past and present.”
Brent Winston, Yaz Hernandez, and Kathy Prounis. Amory McAndrew and Sloan Overstrom.
I asked some of the Chairs about how they prepare for an elegant evening and Sloan sent along this timeless advice, “Always dress for what makes you feel your best. I love to wear what works for me personally instead of following trends. It is certainly fun to experiment and break outside of my comfort zone, but ultimately I enjoy the evening most when I've picked something well suited for me.”

With that in mind we set to work on coming up with an inspiration for “What to Wear.”
Amy Fine Collins recalled: “Bill Cunningham always loved the glamour of this event, especially because he respected the institution and its trove of historic costumes so much — so, even without Bill to document the proceedings, do make an effort, have fun getting ready, and then relax and enjoy the spectacle.”
Friends are always writing in to ask “long or short?” Generally speaking, we would rather be in a short skirt when everyone is wearing long, than to wear a gown when cocktail length is popularly preferred. After all, a gal's longest running assets are her gams. When in doubt, we comb through the archives of NYSD to discover the trend, and for this sensational soiree, we are going long with style.  
Karen: Usually, I like to wear black in the evening but taking a cue from the bright scarlet invitation I found a Marchesa Notte Embroidered Tulle Gown that combines the two. I find that Marchesa understands how to flatter the best features of a woman, like this graceful neckline and sheer sleeves. The Dolce & Gabbana Swarovski Crystal Earrings add a complimentary sparkle, while the Aerin Embroidered Clutch suggests the textural pattern in the dress. Stuart Weitzman strappy sandals are a graceful finish to what is sure to be an enchanted evening in the city that never sleeps.
1. Marchesa Notte Embroidered Tulle Gown; $1195
2. Dolce & Gabbana Gold Swarovki Crystal Earrings; $675
3. Aerin Embroiderd Clutch; $1500
4. Stuart Weitzman Nudist Song Sandal; $398
Hilary: I always look forward to the Winter Ball. It is a glamorous night that never disappoints. It has a festive feel and everyone is so happy to see each other in the midst of winter. It attracts a great crowd of all ages who are there to support the Museum. A chic group, the ladies always look fabulous and the men dapper. This year I am going to wear this beautiful Badgley Mischka red dress. It is classic but has a bit of drama with its ruffle and color. I chose the beautiful gold chandelier earrings by Oscar de la Renta, to add a bit of boho-chic to my look. Paired with the fun Eddie Parker clutch and Aquazzura bling sandals I will be ready to dance the night away!
1. Saks Fifth Avenue Badgkey Mischka Strapless Ruffle Gown; $670
2. Edie Parker Lara Backlit Acrilic Clutch; $995
3. Oscar De La Renta Ornate Clip-On Chandelier Earrings; $325
4. Aquazzura Monaco Crystal & Suede Sandals; $895
There is just something special about a Black Tie evening, the men resplendent in their tuxedos, the girls brightly coiffed and powdered.  It recalls memories of New York in the past, one that the Museum of the City of New York strives to document and illuminate for now and the future. Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street is a high point on a hill of Mannahatta.

Here's a look at last year's Winter Ball (taken by Patrick McMullan) as a further source of inspiration ...
Tantivy Gubelmann, Mark Gilbertson, and Dana Creel
Othon and Kathy Prounis
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and Shirin von Wullfen
Grace Johnson and Blake Johnson
James de Givenchy and Larry Creel
Celerie Kemble, Zani Gugelman, and Helen Lee Schifter
Laura Lofaro Freeman and Jim Freeman
Starrett Ringbom, Petter Ringbom, and Catherine Shepherd
Richard Johnson, Sessa von Richthofen, and Mark Gilbertson
Alex Shephard, Ann Sylvester, and George Moore
Hugh Chisholm, Daisy Prince, Jamee Gregory, and Peter Gregory
James de Givenchy and Alex Bolen
Ashley McDermott and Monique Richards
Amy Fine Collins and Peter Copping
Mary Van Pelt and Dr. Douglas Steinbrech
Alexia Hamm Ryan and Baird Ryan
Stephanie and Steve Hessler
Lauren Remington Platt
Eliza Reed Bolen and Burwell Schorr
Oscar Junquera and Kristin Clark
Blair Husain and John Clark
Jamie Tisch and Caryn Zucker
Dana Hammond Stubgen, Patrick Stubgen, and Nicole Miller
Lisa McCarthy and Maria Hackley
I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon lo! upsprang the aboriginal name.
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old. — Walt Whitman