Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big, swelling dark grey clouds hovering

Tulips on display on an Upper West Side windowsill. 4:30 PM. Photo: JH.
September 17, 2009. Yesterday it looked like rain all day. Big, swelling dark grey clouds hovering. The air felt like it too. But the sky didn’t feel like it.

The town is back. Oscar de la Renta showed his Spring/Summer 2010 Collection at 583 Park Avenue. This year Oscar held two shows – one at noon and a second at one – to accommodate the crowds.

Oscar acknowledges his adoring fans
Oscar has been a reigning prince on Seventh Avenue (now known as the Fashion World) for close to a half century.

This is quite an achievement in itself. During that time he carved out a position in his business and in New York -- with the brilliant assistance of his wives – the late Francoise, and Annette.

Furthermore yesterday’s two shows were also indicative of the man’s durability – the younger set, the just-former “it” girls and the emerging socially active women were present at noon along with their young editor-counterparts from the fashion magazines.

Then at one, along with hundreds of media and business people, came the ladies who’ve been big Oscar customers over the last decade or two. Oscar is one of those designers who has customers who wear his clothes exclusively.

I was there with my new/latest digital trying to get you a look at the runway.

Jamee Gregory
was there with her pen and her eye and you can read about it and see the collection on today’s Shopping Diary.
Marcia Mishaan Toni Goodale and Ann Johnson
Robin Gerstner and Jo Hallingby Jamee Gregory and Gaetana Enders
Barbara Walters with Steve and Marjorie Harvey
Stephanie Krieger Mercedes Bass and Nancy Kissinger
Emilia Saint-Amand and Susan Braddock Bettina Prentice and her mom
After the show, I walked over to Madison Avenue, on my way to an appointment with Ken Rendell at his shop on Madison and 77th, next to Vera Wang.

At 70th Street, while I was waiting for the light, a cab pulled up and out came Graham Arader, the clever and enterprising (and entrepreneurial) purveyor of ancient and antique maps and prints, etc. He stopped to talk and then we chatted on our way up the avenue (he was going to his shop on 72nd and Madison).

Graham held an auction at Sotheby’s a couple of months ago which he advertised for a few days here on the NYSD. It was unusual in that he had committed himself to donating 20% of the sale price of each item to the buyer’s favorite charity. That is the first time I’ve heard of a dealer adding the philanthropic addendum to a sale. So I asked him yesterday afternoon on the corner of Madison and 70th how the sale went.

“We did three and a half million and we gave seven hundred thousand to charity,” he said proudly. If you have never been to one of Graham’s galleries, if you even think that the category doesn’t interest you, you’d be surprised. Graham can surprise.
The irrepressible Graham Arader considering the philanthropic outcome of his recent auction, and DPC leaving the Oscar Show on 63rd and Park, caught off-guard by Jill Krementz and her digital.
From there I continued on to Rendell’s. That’s another stop along the avenue that I never fail to make just to see what’s in the window. Autographs and photographs of the great and the grand, as well as the scoundrels and the scourges. An actual page from the first draft of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” hard to read handwriting. A check made out on the Astor Bank by Theodore Roosevelt. A letter from Elvis Presley written on some Las Vegas hotel stationery. Hundreds of these exhibits that sell from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars. Ken has just published a book on a significant part of his collection that is now his own personal museum up in Boston where he is headquartered and lives. But more about that tomorrow.

Last night was high culture in New York. At the Whitney they had a preview (for today’s opening to the public) of the Georgia O’Keeffe Show. Our incisive photojournalist Jill Krementz will be presenting her viewing (and her own photographs) of the exhibition on next Monday’s Diary.

New York Philharmonic's 169th season opening night gala and concert at Avery Fisher Hall.
Also last night over at Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic had its opening night of the Fall Season under the musical direction of Alan Gilbert. Last night’s special musical guest was the beautiful Renee Fleming.

The concert was broadcast to hundreds in the plaza. Maestro Gilbert began the evening with a brand new, never-heard-before overture written for the occasion by Composer-in-Residence Magnus Lindberg. Then Ms. Fleming sang Messiaen. The evening concluded with Berlioz Symphonie fantastique.

You can listen and watch much of this by going to the Philharmonic’s web site: Tonight, Maestro Gilbert will conduct Mahler’s Third.

Much earlier in the day Henry Kravis announced a $10 million gift to the Philharmonic in honor of his wife Marie-Josee. The gift was made to endow the orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence position.

Across the Park and a mile or so up the Avenue
at the Guggenheim they were celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the museum and the opening of their upcoming exhibition KANDINSKY. Attire requested on the invitation: black tie and Kandinsky colors.

The chairs of the evening were: Richard Armstrong, Art Garfunkel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Maria Baibakova, Isabella and Theodor Dalenson, Danielle Ganek, Amy Phelan and Jacqueline Sackler. Honorary Chairs were Phyllis and William Mack and Jennifer and David Stockman. Corporate sponsor was Deutsche Bank.

In the crowd: Richard Armstrong, Isabella Rossellini, William Mack, Jennifer Stockman, Maria Baibakova, Frank Stella, Marilyn Minter, Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Peter Coffin, Amy and John Phelan, Danielle and David Ganek, Isabella and Theodor Dalenson, Allison and Howard Lutnick, Larry Gagosian, Ann and Steven Ames, Christina and Robert Baker, Erin Baker, Maria and Bill Bell,  Henri  Barguirdjian, Debra Black, Henry M. Buhl, Denise and John Calicchio, Rose and Will Cotton, Marie and Carl Gustaf Ehrnrooth, Armand Erpf, Sara Fitzmaurice and Marc Spiegler, Judie and Howard Ganek, Christine and Andy Hall, William Hillman, Sandy Heller, Jill and Peter Kraus, Nancy and Jeffrey Lane, Peter Lawson Johnston II, Linda Macklowe, Edward Meyer, Cheryl and Michael Minikes, Edward Nahem, Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Michael B. Robertson,  Kara and Steve Ross, Eugene Sadovoy,  Stéphane Samuel and Robert M. Rubin, Nina del Rio, Thaddaeus Ropac, Eugene Sadovoy, Denise and  Andrew Saul, Lenore and Adam Sender, Per and Helena Skarstedt, Mary Cronson, Norman Peck, Lisa Dennison, Wendy McNeil, Tom Messer, Anna Pasternak and Mike Starn.

Meanwhile down at Swifty’s, Elizabeth Pyne was celebrating a birthday (9/16) with her parents,
Ann and John Pyne and her grandmothers her brother and some friends. So naturally I took her picture. I’ve been aware of Elizabeth in the world since she was a teen-ager.

Elizabeth Pyne celebrating her birthday
We’ve written about her mother and her grandmother Betty Sherrill many times. There is a duo of interviews with them on NYSD HOUSE (Betty & Ann) if you’ve never seen it. As you can see, Elizabeth has grown into a beautiful and gracious (meaning: nice) young woman. She also has a heritage of creative women with formidable personalities.

Grandmother Sherrill is a magnolia from N’awlins who has lived in New York and been a force for many decades. I mention this because with all that genetic background, behind that beautiful smile is another unique force.

Swifty’s was hopping last night I was a guest of Gale Hayman and Dr. Richard Bockman, along with Earl McGrath, Kenny Lane and Pat Schoenfeld. Pat has just come back from Iceland, so we heard about that. Beautiful, in a word.

Other people at the table had also been to Iceland, including Mr. McGrath. The talk got around to the business atmosphere and Kenny said that they been doing huge business on QVC. Coincidentally, Kenny has appeared on NYSD HOUSE also (in case you never saw it).

Meanwhile back to business: New York City's Art Director's Club was the setting for a swirl of color at the opening party for the exhibition, INDIA: In Word and Image, featuring Eric Meola's dazzling color photography drawn from his stunning book. The event was sponsored by Canon USA, Consulate General of India, New York, The U.S.-India Business Council, India Tourism New York, and Welcome Books, Lena Tabori’s publishing house.
The Taj Mahal at sunrise, near Agra. Completed around 1648, and made entirely of white marble, the Taj Mahal is India’s most recognizable piece of architecture and was built under the rule of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, combining elements from Indian, Turkish, Persian, and Islamic architectural styles.
Elephants are an important part of the historical legacy, and an important ingredient of the royal, religious, and mythological importance of India’s ancient culture. Elephants have been the prime means of transportation of kings and royals, both in battle and in processions. The Indian people have a cultural and religious bond with the elephants and they are treated almost as royals themselves, gaily dressed and attended to during state ceremonies. A beautifully enameled door of the City Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan, home to the the rulers of Jaipur since the first half of the 18th century.
A fierce monster guards the gopura, or gate, at the west entrance to the temple complex at Srirangam, in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. These towering gateways, rising more than 150 feet, denote the entryways of the four cardinal points. Smaller gopuras lead to the sanctums of Hindu deities.
American artists and publishing people mixed with key figures from India's cultural community in New York, including Ambassador Prabhu Dayal of the Consulate of India and Narendra Kothiyal and Kalyan Sengupta from India Tourism. In the crowd: Amy Arbus, J.C. Suares, Barbara Bordnick, Jay Maisel and Paige Peterson, Sreenath Sreenivasan and Deepak Puri. It’s about the color. Obviously.
Lena Tabori, Eugene Mopsik, and Mysna Kresh Joanna McCarthy and Eric Meola
Natasha Tabori Fried Carol Morgan and Louisa Curtis
Clark Wakabayashi and Alice Wong Olga Grisaitis and Alan Kahn
Aki Hito Otani Bill Pierce with Al and Janet Francevich
Jacomo Greco Audra Rhodes
Yvonne Gandhi Martha and Jon Ortner
Barbara Ligeti and Murray Bruce Joel Hecker, Maureen Martel, Stockland Martel, and Frank Evans
Ranit Librach, Jeff Roberts, and Brandon Remler Rajender Agarwal
Rose Hartman Gouri Edlich and Jon Orekondy
Esma Gomez Nicki Kalish and Allen Klein
Steve Inglima and Dave Metz Michel Tchercukoff
Paige Peterson Jane Lahr, Lindsey Datti, Jana Kolpen and Mary Tiegreen
Magikal Charm Jamie Lieberman and Gail Cohen
Jay Maisel and Jessica Weber Greg Wakabayshi
Lucia Warck-Meister and Richard Berenholtz Edward Gomez and Wendy Snyder
Monica Gunnar and Khushbe Gupta Guara Verma
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