Monday, March 1, 2010

Building Bridges

David Brand with students.
Last Thursday at the New York Hilton, the members of One Hundred Black Men, Inc, held their 30th annual benefit gala “For Restoring Health & Building Bridges.”

They honored Dr. Kenneth Olden, Founding Dean, School of Public Health, City University of New York, Hunter College and Mark Wagar, President of Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

R. Donahue Peebles was Honorary Chairman of the evening and co-chairs were Paul Busby and Craig Simmons.
Rodney Wilson with students
Philip Keene, Wayne Hamilton, and Wanda Austin-Wingood
Rodney Wilson and David P. Brand
Students with Rodney Wilson
Senior students wear golden ties
Lieutenant Colonel GR Gulley and Dennis Walcott
Students with NYC Comptroller John Liu
Bill De Blasio and Craig Simmons with friends
Emcee Demarco Morgan
Dr. Kenneth Olden and Sandra White Olden
Joel Klein and Philip Banks Jr.
Ty Stone-Adams and Iasha Rivers
Melanie Collymore and William Thompson
Gizelle and Tyren Eastman
Marcene Gulley and Lieutenant Colonel GR Gulley
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Melanie Collymore
Alice Deleon, Ben Thompson, and Janice Banks
William Thompson and Leslie Wyche
Tony Ethan Loney and Millie Quiles
Dennis Walcott, Joel Klein, and Leslie Wyche
Fitzgerald Miller, Melanie Collymore, Barbara Hadnott, Bennie Hadnott, and Richard Levychin
Tenisha Elie, Lauren Francis, Iris Otano, and Shorami Pergash
Howard Watts, Leslie Wyche, and Fitgerald Miller
Craig Simmons, Thomas DiNapoli, Leslie Wyche, and John Liu
Bennie Hadnott, Howard Rubenstein, and Phil Banks
Mayor Bloomberg with students
Photographs by Ann Watt

Last Wednesday night down at 609 West 29th Street, Jake Bright, Keri Ingvarsson and Mia Morgan presented “Her Name is Zelda,” an evening “celebrating Ms. Zelda Kaplan.” It was billed as “A night of appreciation event for 93-year-old philanthropist, Africa enthusiast and nightlife matriarch Zelda Kaplan” and benefiting Alicia Keys’ non-profit of choice, Keep A Child Alive. Keep a Child Alive provides first class AIDS care and support for orphans, food for people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

There was live entertainment provided by African band Maxidenkalu as well as “international beats” by DJAKE as well as a live performance by Army of Me. There was also an art auction.
Jake Bright, Keri Ingvarsson, Zelda Kaplan, and Mia Morgan
Emma Cleary and Andre Edwards
Ami Goodheart and Janet Frankel
Zelda Kaplan and Blue Lady
Bill Heuberger and Alex Petrozzino
Antonio Coppola and Janet Taveras
Warren Adams and Isabel Quinteros
Arno Pongers and Olga Yermolenko
Elise Bennett, Tatiana Vidus, and Marie-Lise Lachapelle
Eric Aho and Nyasha Zimucha
Tiia Vanhatapio and Miaja Juntilainen
Laura Dubois and Oona Chanel
Ana Addae and Amanda Sagefka
Busi Mlambo
Christelle Mathon and Nora Bussolari
Josh Brewer and Yvonne Lu
Emeline Rodelas and Silas Balabyekkubo
Heidi Leiser and Dr. Michael Galvin
Vince Scheuerman
Phyllis and Lawrence Haggerty
Cate and Jake Mills
Danielle Spitzer and Louise O'Shea
Frances Tulk Hart and Brook Klausing
Maggie Norris and Princess Keisha Oilana
Ger Duany, Evita Scott, and Anthony Largie
Kim and Chris Poltony
Kelly Cross, Laura Dubois, and Oona Chanel
Jessica Van Niel and Andrea Morrisette
Ross Kohn and Justin Klosky
Victor Rusu and Laura Brittain
Louise O'Shea and Danielle Spitzer
Elizabeth Fekkai, Lady Liliana Cavendish, and Lavinia Snyder
Julie Harvey and Rick Barsom
Sharon Bush and Gordon Berrows
Michael Liebrock and Sarah Gillim
Photographs by

Two weeks ago at Clodagh Design at 670 Broadway, Clodagh hosted the investiture of Meera Gandhi as a Centenary Councillor of the UK's Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID). She was invested by RNID's Centenary Director, Philip Bonn who flew over from England for the occasion.

The RNID was founded by Leo Bonn, (who was deaf) in 1911, the father of WW 1 hero, the late Major Walter Basil Louis Bonn, DSO, MC; and the Founder was the grandfather of the late Major Christopher Leslie Leo Bonn.
RNID is currently the UK 's largest charity, and HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has been its Patron for over 50 years; while The Right Honourable Lord Ashley of Stoke is President. Chief Executive, Ms. Jackie Ballard, is a former Liberal Member of Parliament.

Meera Gandhi who currently lives in New York, London and in Hong Kong will host a centennial event at her London home in June 2011 for RNID. She recently founded The Giving Back Foundation and has completed a film called "Giving Back" featuring global names like Kerry Kennedy, Deborah Norville, Clodagh, Vikram Gandhi, Steven Rockefeller and Viveck Vaswani. ‘Her motto and that of the foundation is "We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it." The foundation will release the film on DVD at the end of May as well as a CD and coffee table book, with body and bath products to follow -- 100 per cent of proceeds going to the foundation.
Patty Raynes and Meera Gandhi
Ayesha Hakki, Farber Robinson, Lloyd Robinson, and Gary Miller
Chardonnay Pickard
Shahana Kanodia and Ajid Hutheesinj
Meera Gandhi and Kabir Gandhi
Lloyd Robinson and Farber Robinson
Clodagh with Ellen Sweeny
Janet League Katson
Ajid Hutheesinj and Anit Kanodia
Ben Castillio and Meera Gandhi
Daniel Aubrey, Christine Kennelly, and Serge Mercado
Meera Gandhi and Cavalier Philip Bonn
Juliet Hanlon and Cavalier Philip Bonn
Helena Greene, Janet League Katson, and Meera Gandhi
Stella Karananlis and Liana Makkos
Photographs by

Fashion Postscript. After thirty-some Fashion Shows, Presentations and related events, this season’s finale left me with a blur of fabrics, textures and styles. So to clarify I took a weekend off right after, to see what remained memorable.

Monique Van Vooren with Son Eric Purcell (starring in "12 Angry Men")
It was a theatrical weekend. On Friday I saw my pal Eric Purcell (son of my friend Monique Van Vooren) play the Juror #3 (in the role made famous by Lee J. Cobb) in the marvelous 1957 play “12 Angry Men” – a testimony to the triumph of our democratic judicial system.

It was held at the historic Clubhouse Theater – one of those hidden enclaves frequented by those in-the-know. On Saturday I attended the dynamic performance ‘Forgotten” at the Irish Arts Center, written by, and starring an extraordinary talent Pat Kinevane, and produced by my friend Georganne Aldrich Heller – whose many credits include serving as Cultural Director of Manhattan for five years.

Back to fashion:
The best new collection, (in my opinion, of course) by Elisa Palomino haunts me still. Her strong pervasive aesthetic - from the Oriental décor through three divas singing variations on Chinese opera, to her fanciful Asian and vintage inspired beautiful attire. Her attention to detail in fabrication, through unusual pairings, and innovative hair and make-up, remains is memorable.

Elisa did not come out of “nowhere.” Her fashion background is impressive. She was the designer behind Moschino’s “Cheap & Chic Collection,” was recruited by Jimmy Galanos to work for his label at Dior, worked as Studio Director at Cavalli and became VP of Design at Diane Von Furstenberg. She and Alexander McQueen were classmates.

So all ye Fashionistas – eyes open – for the ascendance of this rising STAR – Elisa Palomino.
Vintage Asian setting at the General Society of Mechanics
Patrick McDonald
Diane Von Furstenberg and Paula Sutter
Dressed in homage to Palamino
The Collection ...
Designer Elisa Palomino (right) midst applause & Models ...
And then there is Ralph Rucci. In his joint exhibition “Collaboration,” with artist Hirito Rakusho, he once again proved to have that “Midas Touch.” His beautiful gold and metallic-leafed paintings were as finely crafted and luminous as his fashion collections – which yours truly has followed for decades. Surrounded by a bevy of high-visibility admirers, Ralph certainly seemed to much more happily relaxed than ever seen at one of his Fashion Shows.

— Jill Lynn for NYSD
Ralph Rucci and Hiroto Rakusho, Collaboration
Ralph Rucci with his mentor, Jimmy Galanos.
Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Amy Fine Collins and friend
Patrick MacDonald and Merle Ginsberg
Vogue Editor-At-Large Andre Leon Talley, pontificating to Collaborations artist, Hirito Rakusho.
Michael J. Maiarecki witha friend and Kevin Alexander
Geoffrey Bradfield, Ralph Rucci, and Roric Tobin

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