Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It's Posh Time!

By Ki Hackney

The curtain rolls back on everybody’s favorite designer tag sale tonight with a sneak preview benefit, and the four-day run with the public starts on Thursday at a civilized 11:00 AM. This year the annual POSH sale is extra special, as the Lighthouse International is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its fashionable, philanthropic event. Helen O’Hagan is the chair and Barbetta; Frederick Wildman and Sons, Ltd.; Loehmann’s; Walter C. Maffei Architect; Juli B.; The New York Times; The New York Observer, and Titan Cares are sharing the sponsorship honors.

The yellow Bakelite bangle with jeweled Maltese cross, a carved wood cuff, and a YSL coral floral brooch from Nan’s jewelry stash.
Polish up your track shoes. It can be a little chaotic in there, but dreams of bargain Chanel jackets, Manolo spike heels, rows of pearls and more drop-dead clothing and accessories by Carolina Herrera, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, John Anthony, Prada, Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Bill Blass, and many, many, more can come true over the next few days.

And the crowning jewels of this too-good-to-be-true sale are the donations from Grace Mirabella and Gloria Vanderbilt, plus a spectacular 300-piece collection from Nan Kempner’s celebrated wardrobe, plus accessories that her family gave to the Lighthouse for this sale.

The Metropolitan Museum has its Nan Kempner collection, and a well-known thrift shop on Third Avenue has a piece of the pie, but the Lighthouse sale was the recipient of rolling racks, tubs and wardrobe boxes containing “over 300 garments,” says Kurt Willett, who works all year organizing this event and the companion home-furnishings sale in the fall.
L. to r.: Lucky bootleg jeans, $25 and Helmut Lang’s dark denim (from the back), cropped jeans have a classic button fly; Nan Kempner’s red/navy striped T-shirt is so au courant.
“We’re expecting 500 guests, give or take, for the benefit and about five thousand women and men for the public portion,” says Willett, noting that three-quarters of the attendees are repeats and that one loyal couple plans its vacation in New York around the POSH sale. The sale was launched in 1972 by the Women’s Committee and brought in $65,000, which was a lot at that time. With great pride, Willett points out that “last year, by comparison, the sale generated three-quarters of a million dollars for the Lighthouse.” The race is on.
Also from Nan: the lace-up YSL suede tunic and magnificent Larry Mahan black boots with gold embroidery and trim; The beige embroidered chiffon tunic with brown velvet pants are also part of Kempner’s amazing collection of designer clothing; These Yves St. Laurent red velvet shoes, size 7 ½, are also Nan's and they’re $200 (there is another pair, in black, in the sale, too).
Etro for him – a brown with orange, fuchsia, and green striped silk tie, $30.00; An ultra-stylish orange clutch; The gold jacket by Galanos is $600.00, shown with brand new Manolos, size 9, for $200.
The red Chanel jacket (shown without its matching skirt) and the orange and white Chanel jacket, with a bit of glitter, are naturals for jeans and white pants on those cool June nights in Southampton.
Tickets are $150 and $250 for the preview/ benefit and $10 per day for the rest or $30 for a four-day pass. Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, 212-821-9200.

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