Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Up

Mother and children scooting down Fifth Avenue. 4:40 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Yesterday was another cold and sunny day in New York. The President was in town.
85th Street transverse backed up. 5:00 PM.
I had lunch at Michael’s with Deborah Buck, owner of Buck House on Madison Avenue and East 90th. Deborah, who is an artist, designer, collector and purveyor of art, objet, jewelry and furniture at her petite emporium, is one of those modern women who have their hands in many interests, as well as being a full-time mother (her son starts college in the autumn), wife, and friend to charitable causes.

Buck House, you may have noticed, advertises on the NYSD. Last week she was in Amsterdam for three days, shopping for her business as well as taking in the museums. Next week she’s off to Austin, Texas for a project. Travels extensively is the phrase we’re looking for. And she keeps a web site active. Each week she runs an image under the heading “Designer’s Eye,” which she says are a collection of Buck House moments. You’re traveling extensively now too. Here’s an example below.

Designer's Eye is a collection of "Buck House moments" curated by Deborah. Moment #13: 1960's English Cast Painted Resin Hippopotamus; Heavy Brass Shell Dish; Pillow featuring custom Buck House fabric from the Tableau collection, available exclusively through Buck House; Marble and Travertine trunk by Maitland-Smith, 1980s (photo: Dahae Kim).
Deborah and I have known each other for years now. We met through our mutual friend Charlie Scheips who met Deborah when she hired him to curate a show on New York Glamour for Buck House. I knew what her business was then, and I knew, somewhat, what her charitable interests were. I knew she was married (for 22 years) to Mr. Buck.

I wouldn’t have described us as anything but social friends, the way so many New Yorkers know a relatively large number of people. It’s possible in New York to know hundreds on a social basis. And New Yorkers tend to talk about themselves often in a way so personal, that you can’t help feeling you kinda “know” them. Then occasionally, there comes a moment when you get to sit down with a person and it’s like going from black and white to Technicolor. That was yesterday’s lunch.

She has an outgoing personality and she’s also one of those people who covers a lot of territory with lots of tasks as well as pursuits of interest. So she meets people wherever she goes. And because art has been her core interest since she was a young girl, the world is her oyster.

Curious to know more:

Last night in New York down at Christie’s, they held the 2nd annual Bid to Save the Earth, which benefits four separate environmental non-profit organizations. This was the go-to Party of the Night in New York. There must have been a thousand guests filling many of the galleries of  the great auction house. 

The invitation read: “Christie’s, Runway to Green, & Vogue; Anna and Graydon Carter, Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault, and Susan and David Rockefeller” as hosts. It was such a large party that there was more than one planner. Vogue and Anna Wintour, for example, were the force behind the runway show and everything around it. The top models were there for them. Luisana Mendoza and her committee planned the reception before. The evening was generously supported by Tiffany & Company.
The red carpet (green) background for arriving celebrities and models, outside Christie's.
Ted Dansen being interviewed outside Christie's.
Fashion was the word of the night. Green, of course. The organizations benefiting this year are the Central Park Conservancy, Conservation International, NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) and Oceana. Last year they raised more than $2 million for the cause.

This year they were hoping to raise more. There is also a CharityBuzz Auction that runs on the site through next week, I’m told. Seth Meyers of SNL was emcee. His standup was funny but when it came to the matters at hand, some of the humor was not so much dark as grim. And rightfully. There was a brief auction and then the Runway Show.
Richard Prince, Untitled Fendi, 2011. Handbags are specially designed for auction.
Bid for all bags here.
Damien Hirst, Spin Fendi, 2011.
KAWS, Untitled Fendi, 2011.
This was one of the best “large” parties I’ve been to in a long time. Not to be confused with a dinner, etc., this was cocktails and champagne, hors d’oeuvres frequently passed, space to stand and walk around in, and literally hundreds of guests milling, mingling. A lot of tall leggy girls dressed for a room where Anna Wintour was present as one of the organizers. A lot of men in suits too. The Runway show wasn’t just any runway show, it was hers. There was a strong, if subconscious awareness of her kind of presence.

It should also be noted that the world is dressing up more these days, and it enhances the mood of the evening. There were a lot of familiar faces we see often on the NYSD, including prominent men and women who move these events forward with their money and their executive skills. And there were a lot of young people, 20-somethings and onwards.
One of the galleries during the cocktail reception last night.
There were so many photographers recording the event that I decided, except for a few photos, to try and catch the feel and the look of the evening. These past couple of weeks have been much quieter in the social events department. That is partly because the private schools have been on vacation and off they go to the slopes or the beaches en famille. Last night’s Bid to Save the Earth revved up the week a bit. The mood was low-key but up.

I left before it was over (missing the runway) show, for a dinner with a friend at The Lion on West 9th Street. Nine o’clock table. Very busy night at The Lion.

Back uptown, after the Runway Show at Christie’s, there was an after-party over at Graydon Carter’s Monkey Bar.
Surprise!! Lydia Fenet at work.
Joan Davidson. Helen Lee Shifter.
Gilian Miniter with Claudia and Alexandra Lebenthal. Patsy Tarr.
  Suzanne Cochran, Eleanora Kennedy, and Anna Safir.
Luisana Mendoza and Richard Turley. Candy Pratts Price and Carlos Mota.
Susan and David Rockefeller. Lisa Perry.
Lesley Stevens. Chris Del Gatto.
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