Friday, September 19, 2008

Last night's Fete de Swifty

Driving past the Flat Iron Building. 9:00 PM. Photo: JH.
9/19, Friday. Last night in New York was the 5th annual Fete de Swifty which is the brainchild of columnist Liz Smith and which has raised well over two million dollars in its existence, all of which has been contributed to the Mayor’s Fund To Advance New York City. The Mayor’s Fund serves as an umbrella non-profit for the City of New York. It gets its funds from corporations, individuals, foundations and the Fete de Swifty. The fund support special projects.

Miss Smith with Miss Liberty
The Fete funds go to the Family Justice Initiative which is an innovative program serving victims of domestic violence.

The party takes place in an almost block long tent erected on East 73rd Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. I was invited by Liz to get involved at the outset, along with several other, all of whom are now known as the “founders committee.” The first couple of years were very successful but we were always worried about selling tickets and drawing a crowd. No worries about that anymore.

Last night there were hundreds that filled the tent in what has turned out to be a delicious cocktail party, festive, neighborly, lots of new faces, not-so-new faces, lots of delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks. A great party is always the people and the Fete de Swifty’s annual has become the kind of people party that anyone, old friend or new visitor would enjoy for that reason.

The Mayor made an appearance, gave a brief speech of thanks and introduced Liz who also gave a brief speech of thanks and urged everybody to have a good time. I think this is what these faces are telling us. We'll also have a few more pics on Monday of some more happy faces ...
Matthew Modine and Cece Cord Joni Evans and Liz Smith Peggy Mejia, Bob Hardwick, and Muffy Miller
Robert and Blaine Caravaggi with Mark Gilbertson Somers Farkas and Pat Schoenfeld Konrad Kessee and Mildred Brinn
Beth Hardwick and her caricature
Frances Hayward and Catherine Gropper Daisy Soros and Gaetana Enders
Nancy Baker, Frank Driscoll, and Sean Driscoll Trina Andrews and Di Petroff Darcy Gould and Laurie Bodor
Robbie Brown and friend Hilary and Joe Califano
The Fete de Swifty committee members
Jon Marder and Gregory Grimes Lewis Lapham and Toni Goodale Rory Hermelee and Michael Witmer
Mauro and Francesca Maccioni Janna Bullock, Liliana Cavendish, and Yanna Avis Richard Turley and Sila Maria Calderón
Deborah Krulewitch with Dan and Cynthia Lufkin Liz Peek, Michael Gross, and Liz Sans
Cetie Ames with Annabelle and Alberto Mariaca Carl and Sabrina Forsythe with Allison Utsch
Robert Caravaggi and Stephen Attoe Charlotte Ford, Cynthia and Dan Lufkin, and Eleanora and Michael Kennedy
Jon Elliot Margo Langenberg and Larry Kaiser Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict
David and Aaron Shafer Alan and Maggy Scherer, Barbara and Donald Tober, Laurie Bodor, and Ed Lobrano
Samantha Topping and Beth Amorosi Marjorie Reed Gordon and Joan Davidson Michael Gross and Iris Cantor
Ann Downey with Geoffrey Thomas and Sharon Sondes Howard Lorber, John Milligan, Scott Briggs, Matt Hall, and Steven Stolman
Muffy Miller, Peggy Mejia, and Tobie Roosevelt Scott Briggs and Tina Turner
Eve Krzyzanowski and Bill Stubbs Roger Webster, Steven Stolman, Gillian Miniter, Serena Miniter, Joy Ingham, Sylvester Miniter, and Joe Pugliese
Amanda Burden Boaz Mazor and Shirley Lord Rosenthal Wendy Carduner and Muffie Potter Aston
Lee and Cece Black, Stephanie Krieger, and Brian Stewart Sharon Sondes and Richard Zimmerman
Diana Feldman, Cynthia Lufkin, and Gillian Miniter Toni Goodale and Kristi Witker
This past Tuesday at the Wally Findlay Gallery on 124 West 57 Street, Michael Vollbracht held three runway shows of his new Spring 2009 collection. This is Michael’s first line since leaving as designer for Bill Blass last year. “I’m a tradesman now,” he told me over lunch last week. “I’m not a designer who’s invited to dine. Saks gave me a room and my customers come for made-to-measure and couture.”

The customers are some of the chicest ladies in the city who have known Michael for years and throughout his very creative career as a fashion designer and illustrator. (If you don’t have his illustrated tell-all memoirs, you’re missing something unique, beautiful, witty, dramatic and with a few laughs to garnish. Check Amazon. I don’t know if they’re still in print.)
His remark about being a tradesman can only be said in the same way by someone who has led a very sophisticated and adventuresome and highly creative life and career. He means: his work is everything. "Making the ladies look beautiful and comfortable in their clothes is my job. They can have it my way and they can have it their way."

These are women who know what they want and what works for them. This debut of the private runway collection included 60 pieces and 24 looks. Some of the guests (fans) who came to see were Carolina Herrera (who Michael said is the greatest friend anyone could ever have), Sheila Johnson, Karen Bjornson, Anne Ford, Charlotte Ford, Iris Apfel, Christina Coleman, CeCe Cord, Liz Peek, Kathleen Hearst, Bethann Hardison, Duane Hampton, Donna Murphy, Candy Pratts Price, Nancy Kissinger, Michele Gerber Klein, Louise Grunwald, Jamee Gregory, and Adria Rousch.
Stephanie Labeille Sheila Johnson Caroline Hirsch Karen Bjornson Liz Peek
Cece Cord Adria Roush and Michael Vollbracht Anne Smithers Stephanie Borynack and Wendy Breck
Coco Kopelman Carolina Herrera Candy Pratts Price Duane Hampton
ChiChi Valenti and Lauren Ezersky Michael Vollbracht and Carolina Herrera
Doria de la Chapelle Jodi Hardin Anne Slater and John Cahill Kathleen Hearst
Ray Crespin and Freddy Leiba Joan Kron Iris and Carl Apfel

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