Hats of all shapes and sizes

A touch of red in The Conservatory Garden in Central Park.
“Does anybody still wear a hat?” goes the lyric from Steve Sondheim’s “The Ladies Who Lunch.” This is the second day of the Hats at the Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee luncheon which took place this past Wednesday. There were hundreds of millinery creations obviously although we go only get what time limited us to. Also, some were more interesting (and even fantastic) than others. Also what was interesting was Who did not wear a hat. I wondered if they felt self-conscious wearing a hat the way a lot of men nowadays feel odd wearing a hat.

Several things happen when a woman wears a hat – I mean a milliner’s confection, a design, a creation. One thing is the transformation in looks. There were several women I know who at first I didn’t recognize because of their hats. Many were almost completely concealed by their hats. Then there were women who usually seem kind of reserved who in a hat suddenly took on a delicate flamboyance, a wit, a sense of humor, a sense of fun.

Whatever it is, it set the mood – and always does – of this luncheon. It was a fun day, a bright and sunny day, a beautiful day, and a day for celebrating the efforts of so many of these women (and some men) who’ve given so much to make the Park the great luxurious place it is for New Yorkers and its visitors.
The New York Center for Children, a child-friendly clinic offering medical and psychological assessment and treatment to victims of child abuse, honored Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Liz Lange, founder/creative director of Liz Lange Maternity, at the Women for Children Luncheon.

The luncheon was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center and paid tribute to two notable woman of New York who are deeply involved in bettering the life of children. A panel discussion with focus on self-esteem was led by moderator Alex Witt, MSNBC Anchor & Correspondent; who was joined by Dr. Michel Cohen, Pediatrician & Author of The New Basics, Pilar Guzmán, Editor-in-Chief of Cookie, Lisa Spiegel, Co-Founder of SOHO Parenting.

The luncheon raised over $160,000 for NYCC’s programs. Guests included Kathleen Turner, Olympic Swimmer Donna DeVarona, Countess de Lesseps and Jill Zarin (Real Housewives of NYC).
Corrine Waldbrand, Liz Lange, and Jane Wagman
Donna Soloway, Lauren Vernon, and Michele Herbert
Jennifer Carr, Gail Wasserman, Nancy Novogrod, and Margot Guralnick
Kate Spade and Bea Spade
Alex Witt and Carolyn Bechtal
Donna DeVarona and Stacey Bosworth with a friend
Heather Bryant, Jewell Jackson McCabe, Katie Robinson, and Lyn Paulsin
Standing: Lauren Vernon, Jill Zarin, Debra Wasser, Michelle Walker. Sitting: Maribel Lieberman, Catherine Maladrino, LuAnn de Lesseps
Lisa Plepler, Stacy Bernheim, and Diana Cheney
Nancy Novogrod and Carolyne Roehm
Nancy Novogrod, Heidi Mitchell, and Joan Kron
Michael Kaplin and Kathleen Turner
Christine Rales, Lynn Higgins, Donna DeVarona, and Randee Day
Ali Wing and Liz Lange
Michael Kaplin and Minna Elias
Jill Zarin and LuAnn de Lesseps
Debra Wasser and Michelle Walker
Laura Schuyer, Camilla Sorenson, and Christina Gary
The “English Ball of the Roses” took place at the Rainbow Room bringing out the glamorous supporters of the St. George’s Society from both sides of the pond. Vicki Downey was the event chair. The guests went crazy for The Knights of Monty Python’s Spamalot who crashed cocktail hour. St. George himself, England’s patron saint, even stopped by for a photo op. It was Manhattan all right, but could have just as easily been England with all the pomp and circumstance.

The CW11’s Jim Watkins was the Master Of Ceremonies. Barbara Taylor Bradford, one of Yorkshire’s most talented roses, received the Medal of Excellence in the Arts. Ms.Taylor Bradford has sold 81 Million copies of her novels in over 40 languages around the world! She was introduced by famed actor and Harry Potter narrator, Jim Dale who is himself a member of the society.
Nicola Congiu
Martin Sullivan, President and CEO of AIG, was presented his Medal of Honor by Dr. Henry Kissinger. Dr. Kissinger, a board member of AIG, made an incredible speech extolling Mr. Sullivan’s leadership. You could have heard a pin drop as the crowd was completely entranced by his words.

Later in the evening, international singing sensation, Nicola Congiu, dazzled the crowd with his performance. Women were swooning as the Italian crooner serenaded them, first on guitar, then on piano. Nicola had the guests out of their seats and dancing by the end of his set.

The 300 guests stayed into the wee hours dancing. The St. George’s Society raised $300,000 to aid elderly, handicapped and impoverished English residents living in the New York Metropolitan area. Never have English roses smelled so sweet!
Dr.Ruth Westheimer with Broadway Knights of Monty Python's Spamalot
Martin Sullivan, Henry Kissinger, and Peter Felix
June and Peter Felix
Natalie Pray and John Shannon
Robert Bradford and Barbara Taylor Bradford
Antoinette and Martin Sullivan
Jim Dale
Ted and Arlene Olstein
Vicki Downey with Broadway Knights of Monty Python's Spamalot
Chris and Victoria Kennedy
Stephanie Palmeri and Roric Tobin
Valerie Bickel with Broadway Knights of Monty Python's Spamalot
Jim Watkins
David Kelleher-Flight and Victoria Baker
Henry Kissinger
Martin Sullivan and Dr. Henry Kissinger
Nicholas Beech, Rupert Hope, Veronica Wong, and Brian McGregor
Jim Dale, Natalie Pray, Brandon Fradd, and Ghylian Bell
Barbara Taylor Bradford and Jim Dale
Some of New York’s top chefs, restaurateurs and socialites came out to toast Chef Alain Ducasse for the opening of Benoit, his new restaurant located at 60 West 55th Street (between Fifth and Sixth) in the space that was formerly occupied by La Cote Basque. The party was hosted by Town & Country’s Editor in Chief Pamela Fiori.

Top chefs attending included Gordon Ramsay, Todd English, Daniel Boulud, Jonathan Waxman and culinary veterans like Sirio Maccioni, Alain Sailhac, Andre Soltner and Jean-Jacques Rachou mingled with Lydia Hearst, Cece Cord, Rufus Albemarle, Linda Fargo, Ann Dexter Jones, and Carmen Dell’Orefice all there to congratulate Mr. Ducasse on his new venture.
Emmanuelle Perrier, Drew Nieporent, and Susan Magrino Dunning
Marco Maccioni, Gwenaelle Gueguen, and Alain Ducasse
Gwenaelle Gueguen, Alain Ducasse, and Carmen Dell'Orifice
Melanie Dunea, Alain Ducasse, and Nigel Parry
Prince Robert de Luxembourg and Michael Batterberry
Herve Durozard, John McDonald, and Eric LeGoff
Marco Maccioni, Alain Sailhac, and Geoffrey Zakarian
Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse, and Daniel Boulud
Laurent Plantier and Thierry Lesaux
Fawaz Gurosi and Pamela Fiori
Kate Hovey and Anne Dexter Jones
Alain Sailhac, Jean-Jacques Rachou, Sirio Maccioni, Alain Ducasse, and Andre Soltner
Alex McCord
Laurence Krenchmer and Becca Parish
Florence Fabricant, Richard Fabricant, Alain Ducasse Jean-Jacques Rachou, and Gwenaelle Gueguen
Rita Jammet and Richard Turley
Daniel Boulud and Julian Niccolini
Christine Muh and Nigel Parry
Alain Ducasse and Jean-Jacques Rachou
Gwenaelle Gueguen, Alain Ducasse, CeCe Cord, and Anne Dexter Jones
Alain Ducasse, Maguy LeCoze, Gwenaelle Gueguen, and Linda Fargo
Todd English and Herb Karlitz
Linda Fargo and Hutton Wilkinson
Pamela Fiori, Allyn Magrino, and Susan Duffy

Photographs by Rob Rich (English Ball & Center for Children); PatrickMcMullan.com (Benoit).

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