Thursday, December 13, 2007

OUT and about

Pet greeting cards and the real thing in a West Village storefront. 9:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Grey and mild weather with the weatherman promising wintry winds, snow, rain and sleet in the morrow.

This time of the year. The postman is late. He or she can’t help it. They bring the cards. Twenty-five years ago I would have written “the Christmas cards.” Fifty years ago the cards would have been winter scenes maybe even lithographs from Currier & Ives. Remember Currier & Ives? Over the hill and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go ... Not anymore we don’t.

Grandmother doesn’t live here in anymore. She lives in Palm Beach or Naples or Lyford. If she’s lucky. Or Aspen or Sun Valley if she’s cool. However, the cards today are cards with pictures on the front, as you know -- the whole fam-damily taken back when the sun was high and the pastels were out;  the little ones, the babies, gram and gramps, the pups and pooches. These are nice; I like these. Much is said in all those smiling faces; and what is being said is the kind of thing that we all need to hear at this time, the end of the year, looking forward, or hoping to look forward to the soon to arrive New Year.
The windows of Carolina Herrera just inside 75th Street, off Madison Avenue.
Last night in New York there were all kinds of things going on. I only got to two of them. Over at Carolina Herrera’s boutique on Madison and 75th Street, they were having a book signing for Bob Colacello. Remember him? From the night before last? Being honored at Acria.

Click to order OUT.
Mr. C. grew up in New York as told by Andy Warhol. He was a kid when he started as Andy’s sorta emanuensis. He wrote a column called “Out” in the old Interview magazine, the Interview as seen by Andy Warhol. Like the magazine, Bob’s column had all kinds of influence. If you happened to have read his columns and you read this column, you can see that he had a lot of influence. 

Now he has grown up and he lives in the New York as would have been told by Andy Warhol in his dreams. For as the Warhol machine became a legit aspect, and a strong one, of New York Society, so did some of its members/exponents. Bob has also written the Warhol biography. He also wrote the biography of the Reagans.

This new book, which is a book entirely of photographs, has a thick but soft, leathery cover. Leathery. Yes. Those were the times, after all, and they were The. Times. In New York then. Now these are the times to have a good look at what was. And how young some the faces we’re still looking at looked then. And quelle la difference, non?
Bob Colacello, The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, and Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera
Bob was selling lots of books last night. Phoebe Gubelmann, who works in Carolina’s publicity department, brings out an interesting mixed crowd, the young, the older, the rich, the chic, and even some of the shameless. And they’re all glad to see each other or at least to “see” each other.

The book, for those of us who remember that era, those times, the immediate results of the “liberations” of the 1960s, the political turmoils and Viet Nam and the Kennedys, is a document of many things social as well as sociological. Just as interesting as looking at the lives in this (book) context, is considering what has (or did) become of so many of those in the photographs. And how time delivers a very different story.
Billy Norwich and Taki
Boaz Mazor and Doda Voridis
Hugh Bush and Doug Cramer
Carl and Christine Bernstein
Stephanie LaCava and Phoebe Gubelmann
Kimberly DuRoss and Pedro GIrao
Joshua wearing a tee-shirt with a photograph of Carolina Herrera from OUT
Kipton Cronkite and Elizabeth Meigher
Flipping through: Boaz Mazor with Nan Kempner; and Boaz with the late Jed Johnson who died on TWA Flight 800.
From the Carolina Herrera boutique, it was back out into the beautiful New York night and a taxi to take me down Fifth Avenue to the brand new penthouse apartment of Wilbur and Hilary Ross.  The traffic was ... the traffic ... and it’s holiday time, so give it up and go with it. My driver was from Senegal. He’s been here 16 years. His English has a very heavy French accent, although he told me, unsolicited, that he hates the French. For what they did to the Sengalese for 300 years. But it’s fine now.B ut he was laughing while he was talking. He loves New York too. He said that Dakar and New York are the two greatest cities in the world.

Meanwhile up above the clouds at chez Ross, they were celebrating Wilbur’s birthday. Yesterday was not exactly his birthday. That was on the 28th of November. But both ways that makes him a Sagittarius.
The living room
The view from the terrace
The elegant new Ross apartment was literally mobbed – and it is a spacious apartment  with an enormous spacious terrace, as my pictures give you an idea. There were lots of familiar faces, many of those who see each other in Palm Beach and Southampton, and of course, New York. There were two generations (and sometimes three) of families who’ve grown up together. Many of these people were at Bob Colacello’s book signing but many were not and never would have been. Meaning there are clear diversities in the New York upper sets, and while they mix and mingle, they remain diverse.

What with the Christmas trees and bright lights and flowers and bows, the place had the feeling of being a holiday party and everyone was having a very good time. The waiters were passing really excellent hors d’oeuvres, like the infamous pig-in-a-blankets, and little chicken hash rolls. And champagne.
Arnold Scaasi, Kitty McKnight, Mario Buatta, Hilary Geary Ross, and Fernanda Niven
Mario Buatta, who has worked with Wilbur and Hilary before, did the apartment in three months. This was some kind of miracle according to those who know about these things (people who have used decorators to put together a large house). It’s a beautiful apartment and Hilary and Wilbur who spend a lot of time at their house in Palm Beach, and in Southampton in the summertime, wanted a place in the city where they could entertain and catch up with friends when they are in town. The party was scheduled from 6 to 9 although people were still arriving when I got there at 8:30 and still having a wonderful time when I left after 9:30. We were all lucky to be their guests.
Wilbur Ross and friend
Annette Tapert, Suzanne Ircha, and Peggy Siegal
Roberto de Guardiola
Boykin Curry and Celerie Kemble with Ravenal Boykin
Grace Meigher and Fernanda Niven
Dick and Francesca Stanfill Nye
Audrey Gruss with Prince Charles d'Arenberg and Joanne de Guardiola and Audrey get ready for the shot
Carolyne Roehm and Katherine Bryan
Jeanne Lawrence
Freddie and Virginia Melhado
Pablo Manzoni
Parker Ladd, Tom Quick, and Mark Gilbertson
Ron and Harriet Weintraub
John, John, Elizabeth, and Anne Pyne.
Richard Schurkamp and Christopher Mason
Tina Sloan McPherson
Peter and Daisy Soros
Bill McKnight and Walter Noel
Jaime Figg and Barbara de Portago
Carol McFadden and Gordon Pattee
Sandy Meehan and Jacques Leviant
While we're on the subject of Wilbur and Hilary, NYSD readers know that Hilary has joined us with the Palm Beach Social Diary. The following is her dispatch from this past weekend down among the sheltering palms:

Hilary and Wilbur at Nancy Corzine's Palm Beach shop
All of Palm Beach showed up at Nancy Corzine’s sparkling brand new store to toast Hamish Bowles, the author of a dazzler of a book, Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens and People. This big beautiful book is a must buy. It takes you on a grand tour to all the best places and chicest houses all around the world. It is photographed by the most gifted  photographers and is an utter joy to look at. You get to peek at Oscar de la Renta’s house in the DR and Donna Karan’s slick NYC digs, plus Pauline Pitt’s daughter Samantha Rosen’s divine house, and dozens more.

This evening was also to toast the committee of Preservation Ball which takes place on March 7th, (so please mark your calendar as I am the chairman!). Hamish’s book makes a perfect present for anyone who loves beautiful houses ...  and who doesn’t?  Meanwhile at the Corzine shop there are some adorable  ceramic sheep that have Jamee Gregory’s name on them that came in three different sizes. Plus gold pagoda napkin rings with matching salt and pepper shakers in gold or silver that I want for my next dinner party.

A look inside Nancy's shop
I was crazy about the silvered Chinese fortune cookies that would add sparkle to any room. The large antiqued mirrored pair of obelisks was outrageously glam as were the lynx throws are politically correct as they are faux and easy on the wallet at  about $350. The cabled cashmere throws in many colors would be so luxurious tossed over a bed or a chair.

For your pals that love to entertain there are dozens of good looking glasses and white plates and to compliment them, there are also very crisp white linens. I could do almost all my Christmas shopping right then and there.

Amongst the shoppers were John Mashek, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Pauline Pitt and Gerry Seag, Chris and Grace Meigher, Roberto and Robin Azqueta, Ava Roosevelt, Mark Locks, Hope and Jack Annan, Jere Zenko, Liz and John Schuler, David Ober, Martin and Audrey Gruss, Beau and Jackie Breckenbridge, Bill Finneran, Lee and Ali Hanley, Catherine Cahill and Bill Bernard, Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter, Connie Ann Phillips, Dick and Jeannie Pearman and lots more.

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