Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunday’s melt turned into a beautiful Monday

Rooftop sunbathing. 2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
June 8, 2010. Sunday’s melt turned into a beautiful Monday in New York with a brisk breeze, a lot of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.

First things first. Susan Silver, whom NYSD readers remember from her column “The Search for Mr. Adequate,” is now on the radio with her own little commentary called 'Susan Says.' The NPR affiliates are part of Robin Hood Radio in the tri-state area of the Berkshires (www.robinhoodradio.com). Click on demand if you are not in the area. If you're in your car up there, Susan will also be on early morn on Monday and Friday at 5:06, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4:44 PM during All Things Considered. She’ll give you something to think about. Just keep your voices down, please.

Also while we’re on the subject of NYSD contributors, Alexandra Lebenthal, whose first novel, due in September, was inspired by her Guest Diaries, is part of a panel tomorrow night at the 92nd Street Y, along with Jean Chatzky, Karen Finerman with Julie Menin moderating. Financial professionals from distinct areas of expertise will discuss how women can be “more informed and empowered to make intelligent investment decisions.” More men could be more informed and empowered, while we’re at it girls.

Anyway, it’s at 8 pm, June 9th at the Kaufman Concert Hall. If you have anything to say, use a mike so the rest of us can hear you. Buy Tickets.

Oscar de la Renta
Yesterday I wrote that traditionally the Social Season in New York begins to wind down after the Conservatory Ball (which was last Thursday). To which all I can say is “yeah, really.”

Oscar de la Renta showed his resort and early fall collection at 583 Park Avenue at 1 pm. I was there with my little PowerShot right by the entrance.

This was one of the most beautiful collections of the designer that I’ve ever seen. I’m no expert; that’s for sure – although I was a retailer once upon a time and I still look at a collection in terms of marketing.

However, “most beautiful”: When I was thinking that, I was asking myself “why” was I thinking that. I look at color, textures, shapes, artisanship; and I look at it in terms of the world where it will be worn. And what does that say about that world, this world.

Oscar de la Renta’s women often have a refined sense of beauty. They reflect sophistication, cosmopolitan, savvy, confidence, the individual, mature. I know that sounds hyperbolic but it is true in many ways. Besides, contemporary fashion is essentially hyperbole on all “consumer” levels.

Oscar’s clients care about how they look to the world, and in the world; and what the message is, all the time. For many it is language. We think of that woman as an “older” customer because there’s always experience in expertise. However, yesterday the runway was dominated by young women, 20-somethings maybe, with long legs and Scarlett O’Hara waists; and the clothes looked absolutely smashing and right. And elegant. And for evening, dramatically lovely. The Latin in Paris. I thought to myself maybe it’s pointing out a fresh look at the future. Let’s hope so.
Alexis Bryan Morgan and fellow front-rowers observe ...
Last night in New York. Just when you thought everything was slowing down. At Alice Tully Hall, Swarovski underwrote (for the 9th year) the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards.

Sarah Jessica Parker (wearing Alexander McQueen), Alexis Bledel in Behnaz Serafpour; Lara Stone in Calvin Klein; Jessica Stam in Dana Lorenz jewelry; Whitney Port was wearing David Meister; Rachel Weiss, Jason Wu; Vanessa Traina, Joseph Altuzarra.

Iman and David Bowie at last night's CFDA Awards at Lincoln Center.
Alexa Chung was wearing Marc Jacobs and Atelier Swarovski; Dakota Fanning in Marchesa; Gwyneth Paltrow in Michael Kors; Irina Lazareanu in 3.1 Phillip Lim; Nadja Swarovski and Heidi Mount both wearing Prabal Gurung; Liya Kebede wearing Proenza Schouler and Swarovski encrusted shoes; Hilary Rhoda wearing Rachel Roy; Michelle Trachtenberg wearing Rebecca Taylor; Hayden Christensen wearing menswear nominee Richard Chai (you want me to run that by you again?); Zachary Quinto wearing Swarovski menswear nominee Simon Spurr’s suit; Paz de la Huerta wearing Yigal Azrouël; Katrina Szish wearing Zac Posen and Atelier Swarovski. Now you know.

You see why the beautiful and brilliant (and lovely) Nadja Swarovski is the first female crystal tycoon on the planet? I think it’s because her mother’s from Texas.

Also last night at New York on the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf-Astoria, Henry Segerstrom, the California real estate and mall developer who is also a cultural impresario for Southern California, was awarded the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence at a dinner.

A California native, Mr. Segerstrom’s family were the lima bean kings of the world with their farmland in Orange County just south of Los Angeles and within sight of the blue blue Pacific. Big Butter and Egg Men they called that kind of businessman in their day. That Segerstrom farm has turned into the golden lands of Southern California, home to the famous Noguchi Gardens, the South Coast Plaza, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. And now Broadway!

Henry and Elizabeth Segerstrom
Pia Lindstrom and Jamie DeRoy at The American Theatre Wing's 2010 Annual Spring Gala at Cipriani 42nd St.
His glamorous Polish wife Elizabeth was with her husband, and the large Segerstrom family all came from sunny Cal to New York for the Gala. The Starlight Roof was packed, including many of the Segerstroms’ California friends, such as Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin, Michael and Pat York, R.J and Gloria Brandes, Betty and S.L Wang, Elizabeth An, Dean and Kaly Corey, president of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and many Newport Beach friends who jetted to New York to honor their friend. The Hon. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sanford I. Weill, chairman of Carnegie Hall, were the Honorary Chairs of the Gala.

Denyce Graves performed Mr. Segerstrom’s favorite songs after dinner. You get the picture. And what more can a man ask for? For Henry, I can assure you, it was heavenly, as it should have been. Our friend Christopher Mason attended for NYSD and will be filing momentarily.

Meanwhile down on 42nd Street at Cipriani, The American Theater Wing held its annual Spring Gala celebrating the centennial of Frank Loesser: Heart and Soul, the Legacy of Frank Loesser featuring performances by Harry Connick Jr., Megan Mullally and Kelli O’Hara.

While up on Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street, the Museum of the City of New York was hosting its annual New York City Leadership Dinner honoring Credit Suisse.

I meant to start out at a book signing party that Bunny Williams and John Rosselli were giving for their friend Duane Hampton and her new book Mark Hampton; An American Decorator (Rizzoli publishers; $60.)

Well I missed it. Called for 6 to 8, it was a priority because I know Duane and admire what she’s done with the archive of her late husband’s work. However, I was mistaken as to the party’s whereabouts. I went to the two different Treillages that John owns, and couldn’t think of a third possibility except maybe their apartment. And at that hour (7) I didn’t know where they lived.

Click to order Mark Hampton: An American Decorator.
So I missed it and the big crowd I heard it drew. They sold out of books (it’s coffee table size) for Duane to sign after 200. Rizzoli told somebody that that was a record booksigning sale.

Nevertheless, Duane. Book. She and her husband created a leitmotif of a “brand” of a contemporary New York couple in the New York social world in the 1970s through the 90s. The World they traveled in was high end/high profile and international. Yet they also maintained the milk-fed sensibilities of mid-America. Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

They were a couple who exuded American taste and style but with an international flair. I mean they’ll be written about someday as having created an interesting life and marriage for themselves (and their children) through their mutual interests and history. It was a fascinating fit.

This book of Duane’s, about Mark, ostensibly, is about Duane and Mark, because they were a team. A rather winning team, it would seem. They kept busy; oh my dear, they lived the New York life. And this book is a tribute to that and what two people can do to make a good life, and a rich life. If “living well is the best revenge.” As indeed many still think.
The Palm Court at the Plaza during Mark Gilbertson's annual Spring/Summer cocktail party last night.
I went from my state of confusion down to the Plaza where Mark Gilbertson was hosting his annual Spring’s over cocktail party. This is like the Botanical mentioned yesterday. A lot of these people will be saying good-bye/see ya in September to each other. Or see you next weekend in the Hamptons or up in Newport. Stuff like that.

The Palm Court was the scene of the Gilbertson cocktail and I don’t know how many passed through before the evening was out but I’ll bet it was in the hundreds. This is one cocktail party that is full of chat. A lot of people go to Mark’s cocktail parties with the intention of staying at the party because there are always so many people to see, meet, catch up with, and the mood’s an up. I meant to take more pictures but I got caught up in several conversations, all of which were a pleasure, and also Cutty McGill was busy with his camera for another Diary day.
Mark Gilbertson with Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner. R. Couri Hay and Janna Bullock.
Cricket Burns, Julie Dannenberg, Leslie Stevens, and Polly Onet.
Mark Gilbertson. Brian Stewart, Stephanie Krieger, and Eric Javits.
Somers Farkas and Brian Stewart. Blaine Caravaggi and Grace Meigher.
Sherlock Hackley and Heather Leeds. Alison Mazzola, George Farias, and Bettina Zilkha.
George Farias and Rachel Hovnanian with Ara Hovnanian in the background.
Robert Rufino, Rod Winterowd, Dr. Douglas Steinbrecht, Imogen Webber, and Jeff Sharp.
Tony Ingrao swears by it. Barbara Bancroft and Peter Gregory.
Randall Kemper and Edmundo Huerta. Tom McCarter and Frannie Scaife.
Carolyne Roehm, Cece Cord, and Katherine Bryan. Gene Williams and Katherine Bryan.
Anthony Thompson and Diana Quasha. Celerie Kemble, Christina Murphy, and Amanda Taylor.
Fred Anderson, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, and Douglas Hannant. Martha Glass.
Ann Jeffries, Kitty McKnight, and Joanne de Guardiola. Nicole Hanley and Elizabeth Meigher.
DJ David Chang and Louis Rose. Sandy Golinkin, Bronson Van Wyck, and Polly Onet.
Leaving the Plaza about 8:30, looking west to Columbus Circle, the Time Warner Center and the Trump tower; and looking southeast toward the Pulitzer fountain, Bergdorf Goodman, 745 Fifth, the Philip Johnson designed Sony Building on Madison and Trump Tower, still home of its builder. 8:35 pm.
Around the town. Last week Jim Mitchell and Tony Manning hosted a dinner at Morton’s on East 45th for Pia Lindstrom and her sisters Ingrid and Isabella Rossellini. The children of Ingrid Bergman were all going to a memorial for their late step-father, Lars Schmidt, on a private island he owned off Sweden. Pia Lindstrom, whose father Dr. Peter Lindstrom was also a Swede, will also be interviewing Swedish writers and musicians for her Sirius radio show “Pia Presents.”

At the dinner: Marianne Castle and her son John S. Castle; Maria Cooper Janis and Byron Janis, Judy Collins and Louis Nelson; Mickey Palin and Podi Constantiner, Joan Chorney, Anka Palitz, Elaine Stritch and her music director Rob Lowman, and Laura Montalban.
Judy Collins, Maria Cooper Janis, Pia Lindstrom, and Laura Montalban.
Podi Constantiner, Mickey Palin, and Maria Cooper Janis.
Pia Lindstrom and Louis Nelson. Maria Cooper Janis and Pia Lindstrom.
Nicholas Daly, Sabine Singh, and Justin Daly.
Maria Cooper Janis, Judy Collins, and Pia Lindstrom.
Marianne Castle. Jack Carley and John S. Castle.
Joan Chorney and Jack Carley.
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Photographs by DPC/NYSD
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