Wednesday, March 7, 2012


A squirrel eyes a woman and her dog. 2:35 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Sunny and bright, and cold yesterday in New York. Almost full moon over Manhattan.

Midday I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Francine LeFrak. At the next table Joan Collins and her daughter-in-law Victoria Newley, and Catherine Saxton were lunching.
DPC and Francine LeFrak.
Joan can always get a smile out of you because plays Joan so well, and that’s not like any other. You have to be her to do her. It’s a kind of pure, although not naïve personality. It’s what was called A Movie Star. Movie stars do not disappoint. So it’s always a treat to see her. Besides, it’s Joan Collins!

Steve Millington the GM of Michael’s borrowed my camera to get a couple of shots of La Collins. Might he? Why of course. She looks good. As you can see. She looks good without her dark glasses too but she put them on for the shot – to garnish it with a little mystery, no doubt.
Joan Collins.
That’s Catherine Saxton with Steve. Catherine is a New York public relations consultant who’s always has a roster of very famous (even sometimes some regarded as infamous) characters in the national psyche. She manages it so seamlessly as to be the invisible hand in the image.

Catherine is British although she’s been in business here in New York for decades. You already know those British girls who “invaded” American media are all always quite serious about it. Joan Collins might be a client, but she might not. She might just be a friend. She’s quite serious about her business also. British girls.
Steve Millington and Catherine Saxton.
There were lots of things going on last night. Down at Rouge Tomate at 10 East 60th Street, there was an event benefit Harlem Prep – a K-5 charter school on 123rd and Second Avenue. Formerly Harlem Day, it was founded by Ben Lambert of Eastdil Secured. After 10 years in operation, the school was due to be shut by SUNY this past fall and the students sent back into the traditional public education system. 

With Ben’s help and blessing, a charter management organization stepped in with the goal of taking over the school and transforming it from one of the lowest performing schools in Harlem to one of the best. 

Around the corner and down the avenue at FAO Schwartz, the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was hosting its 21st Annual Bunny Hop. This is Kids Night Out extraordinaire, and it’s funny and cute and fun just to watch. (At least if you’re not a parent/guide).

I don’t know what the kids themselves are thinking because it’s a lot to take in for a little one. Kind of like what going to the circus used to be for kids way back when. They just know they like it.

The co-chairs for the evening were Kate Doerge, Chiara Edmands, Blair Husain and Palmer O’Sullivan. Proceds benefit a pledge to raise $2 million over the next five years for the Pediatric Family Housing Endowment – which pays for overnight stays at nearby accommodations for children and their families when receiving treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Pediatrics and are unable to afford this expense.

Also last night, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center was hosting its FacesGala2012 at Pier 60 of the Chelsea Piers with cocktails, dinner and a live auction. Amy Pollner Moritz was chair of the evening. They honored Loretta Brennan Glucksman and Leah and Michael Weisberg. Jon Stewart, the very same, emceed the evening. You know he kept everyone listening (and laughing).

Meanwhile on the Upper East Side just down the block from Central Park, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld hosted an opening for Paris artist Nicholas Pol at 22 East 71st Street. The exhibition is entitled Neverlodge.
Nicolas Pol and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld.
I didn’t make the reception but I heard they were expecting a stellar crowd with such notables (to those in the know) as: Larry Gagosian, Carine Roitfeld, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Maria Bell, Serge Azria, Alexander Acquavella, Henry Allsopp, Corice Arman, William Bell, Fabiola Beracasa, Attilio Brillembourg, Ginevra Caltagirone, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Jeisa Chiminazzo, Nick Cohen, Simon de Pury, Sante D'Orazio, Alexia Elkaim, Eric Eisner, Stacey Bendet Eisner, Richard Evans, Honor Fraser, HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan.

More, you want more? Okay: David Ganek, Gherardo Guarducci, Marjorie Gubelmann, Kim Heirston, Michael Janssen, Rashid Johnson, Michael Lynne, Sean MacPherson, Ashley McDermott, Tamara Mellon, Matthew Mellon, Stavros Merjos, Enrique Norten, Annelise Peterson, Nicolas Poniatowski, Pietro Quaglia, Molly Rand, Renee Rockafeller, Jane Rosenblum, Cynthia Rowley, Richard Sachs, Shelter Serra, Marc Spiegler, Ferebee Taube, Eve Therond, Alexander Tisch, Bara Tisch, Bj Topol, Claude Wasserstein, Dustin Yellin. It was held in an historic neo-Italian renaissance mansion owned by Aby Rosen.

I was told that Mr. Roitfeld had transformed the palatial house  into “a den of standardized iniquity -- Pol’s new body of work exists in a realm where sin and forbidden fantasies have been commoditized as carnivalesque. Part brothel, part ticketed amusement park…” Okay? (You probably had to be there).
The entrance to the Wade Thompson Drill Room of the Park Avenue Armory for last night's preview of The Art Show, which opens today and runs through Sunday.
At the time, I was over at the Park Avenue Armory for the opening night preview of the 24th annual Art Show, organized by Art Dealers Association of America and benefiting Henry Street Settlement. Our intrepid photojournalist Jill Krementz will be providing her incomparable coverage of this remarkable art fair.

And it is fabulous to see. The Wade Thompson Drill Hall was jammed with guests. I only regretted that I hadn’t got there earlier because there is so much to see, so many wonderful works of art and fabulous photography. The Art Fair Show runs through Sunday.
Eric Brown from Tibor de Nagy with Charlie Scheips. George Farias, Drew Grant, and Patrick McMullan.
Jay Diamond and Alexandra Lebenthal. Susan Magrino and Julie Loria.
Back to Monday night: almost 300 guests were on hand at Doyle New York last night to honor acclaimed interior designer Bunny Williams. Bunny and they were doing all this to raise money for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. 

The evening included a book signing of Bunny Williams’ Scrapbook for Living, a silent auction, and a raffle, all benefiting Kips Bay.
The event took place within the exhibition of Doyle at Home, Including the Contents of Quawksnest, an 1896 home in Cutchogue decorated by Bunny. In keeping with the East End theme, guests enjoyed sliders, crab cakes, and Southsides.

Bunny Williams is also the Chair of the 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, which will take place in May. The girl never sleeps. Much.
Kathleen M. Doyle and Bunny Williams.
Shelia Camera Kotur and James Alan Smith.
Dr. Ivy Engel and Bob Siegal.
Sonia Bendt and Kips Bay Executive Director Daniel Quintero.
Ralph and Clifford Harvard.
Rachel Carr and Mario Buatta.
Samantha Santiago from Kips Bay.
David and Pamela Hottenroth.
Michael McGraw, Etienne Coffinier, and Ed Ku.
Ashlyn Casiano, Jaylene Brown, and Jessica Catalano from Kips Bay.
Barbara Ostum and Cary Crain.
Stephan and Arlene Bassett with Samantha Gore.
Carolyn Coulter, Chip Dort, Elizabeth Swartz, and Kathleen Carroll.
Marisa Marcantonio and Maria Parasugo.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mott with Jill Bowers.
Linda Zagaria and Robert Riggs.
Dr. Ifeoma Aitkenhead and Mr. Ben Aitkenhead.
Bunny Williams and Christina Juarez.
Joan and Jayne Michaels with James Druckman, President of the Board of Kips Bay.
Jim Kelly, Joanne Mournet, Gillian Ryan, and Kathy Kelly.
Justine Oddo, Phyllis Trivolezzi, and Trisha Duvall.
Catching up. This past Monday night, The School of American Ballet (SAB) held its highest profile annual benefit, the Winter Ball, a black-tie dinner dance at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.  More than 400 attended, including the School’s board members and alumni as well as leaders from the New York corporate and social communities.

The event featured a one-time-only performance by the advanced students of the School of American Ballet choreographed specifically for this event by SAB and NYCB alumna Melinda Roy.
Nicholas Bos.
Proceeds from the will be used to award scholarships, maintain world-class studios and residence halls, and offer vital student programs beyond the classroom. Almost $1 Million was raised to support the School of American Ballet. I’ve written about the SAB more than once before. It is a very impressive institution, and that includes not only the faculty but the student body.

This year Winter Ball guests stepped outside of everyday life and into a fantasy world as the School honored ballet’s Russian heritage. The David H. Koch Theater Promenade was transformed by Ron Wendt and Van Cleef & Arpels into a dramatic and elaborate Winter Palace.

After dinner, 200 of the city’s philanthropic chic young professionals joined the Winter Ball for dessert and dancing to music by DJ Coleman Feltes. That part of the evening is called “The Encore.”
Brie Bythewood, Amanda Brotman, and Ann-Marie Macfarlane. Caroline Lagerfelt and Kelly Rutherford.
Guests included Brie Bythewood, who was a Young Patron Co-Chair along with Amanda Brotman, Ann-Marie MacFarlane and Chelsea Clinton; Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of the Americas, Van Cleef & Arpels, Ashley Bouder, Charlotte D'Ambroise, Lindsay Degen, Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond, Diana and Joseph DiMenna, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Elizabeth Miller, Effie and Robert Fribourg, Pamela Joyner, Alfred J. Giuffrida, Sterling Hyltin, Jill and Harry Kargman, Julia and David Koch, Coco and Arie Kopelman, Caroline Lagerfelt, Nicolas Luchsinger, Viktor Luna, Terrence Mann, Nole Marin, Darci Kistler and Peter Martins, Sara Mearns, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Liz and Jeff Peek, Lisa Perry Betsy and  Robert Pitts, David Prottas Kelly Rutherford, Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Marjorie Van Dercook, Eileen Guggenheim, and Russell Wilkinson.
Lisa Perry. Alexandra Lebenthal. Chelsea Clinton.
Julia and David Koch.
Julia Koch, Diana DiMenna, and Betsy Pitts. Liz and Jeff Peek.
Van Cleef & Arpels at table.
Jill and Harry Kargman.

Photographs by Edgar Pineda (Bunny/Doyle); David X Prutting/ (ABT).

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