If it wasn’t Geoffrey Bradfield National Holiday Week, it should’ve been. Geoffrey was feted for both his new book Stage Set: 50 Years of Style, and his 50 years of design magic and philanthropy, and two concurrent events.
Full disclosure, I am Geoffrey’s oldest — and I’d like to think one of his closest — American friends. We have been up to mischief and fun for over 40 years. And have not slowed down. Well, at least he hasn’t.
Wednesday night, 350 of his fans flooded the Georgian Suite to celebrate Stage Set, a glamorous tome of the extraordinary life Geoffrey is living, the legendary parties Geoffrey has hosted — often in his equally extraordinary homes — and snippets of his remarkable journey.
The chapter titles say it all: Halcyon Days: Johannesburg, Coming to New York, High Stakes, High Style and High Jinks, and much more. And you just might be in it! Grab it and find out.
Greeting guests were Geoffrey’s signature — naked, but for a few decorations, live statues. This time they were golden; with Valdes butterfly headdresses, a pastiche of the interior of his NY home, which appears in the first chapter of the book. But the Insta ready, still golden boys weren’t enough. There were a dozen beautiful boys mimicking Geoffrey’s book cover pic, in tight orange sweaters, with masks of Geoffrey’s face.
It was an exhausting outpouring of love and admiration. I left him alone, knowing I’d have a slider and nightcap with him at Majorelle, afterwards. And in an unusually responsible manner, I left early and rested up for the next night …
It’s been a wearying couple of weeks, as you may have read here. So when I showed up in my bronze gown at a party that couldn’t have been more clearly designated — The French Heritage Society Black and White Ball — I just chalked it up to yet another miss. Fortunately, the honoree, Geoffrey Bradfield, didn’t bat an eye.
“Oh, you did it to stand out!” someone I already didn’t like gushed. It couldn’t have been further from the truth. I slunked down, on Geoffrey’s right, till coming erect to see Gala Chair CeCe Black award him the FHS Lalique trophy for his 50+ years of design excellence and philanthropy (Desmond Tutu wrote the intro to his book). Geoffrey quoted Proust, “If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two. For me this is a magical moment that transcends fantasy. It is a wonderful, extraordinary reality.”
Margaret and Gregory Hedberg were also honored. “They are so nice, so philanthropic, and so Francophile,” gushed FHS Chairman of the Board Elizabeth Stribling. We were also informed by FHS President Denis de Kergorlay, who traveled from Paris for the event, that Elizabeth would be receive the Commandeur Legion d Honneur in Paris next week. You have to love a Francophile with a Southern accent.
Legions of friends attended, including Aida Dellal, Helena Lehane, Ambassador and Mrs. John Loeb, French Ambassador Philipe Étienne, Tara Rockefeller, Eric Javits and DiMondo, Guy Robinson, Patricia and Harry Macklowe, Barbara and Donald Tober.
The FHS protects and restores French architectural legacies here and in France and sponsors 35 students in this field annually.
After all those boys, it was time for a girl’s night out. Ann Barish provided just that at her son and daughter-in-law, Chris Barish and Julie Mulligan’s new hot spot, Lot 15. Tucked into the Kixby Hotel, next to Chris’s Black Tap (the out-of-this-world burger spot that is now international), it’s the kind of sexy spot that we probably would never find without the Barishes. But now that we know, they’ll never get rid of us.
Fortunately, Chris calls it ‘old school’ so we old school gals felt very comfortable. Dim lighting (always a plus), charred black wood walls, street art by Fumero, and relatively intimate — seating 0nly 70 plus the bar stool that I laid claim to. We pretended we were obligated to try all the scrumptious food and give critiques: “The club sandwiches are over the moon. Let me have another and figure out why.” Or “Hmmm, do I like the falafel slider better or the Wagyu sandwich?…” And so it went. And there may have a been a few signature cocktails consumed, too. Among the tipplers and nibblers: Julie Minskoff, Debbie Loeffler, Patricia Duff, Anne Dexter-Jones, Patricia Duff, Nicole Miller, Caroline Hirsch and Nancy Silverman.
And sadly, in a week where I signed away my Dad’s home, I lost another beloved part of my life, my dear pup Pebble. DPC just wrote lovingly about losing his Buster, and I know it’s a universal, painful passage for many of us.
We did Pebble all wrong. After being lured into a pet shore (I know-never again!), by my then small daughter, we were pitched Pebble — “Please take this little guy, he’s been marked down.” He’d been languishing in his metal cage for 7 months. That’s all we needed to hear. 14 years later, Peb put his head down at bedtime and didn’t wake up.
A blessed way to go, but hard on those who remain. And you will remain, dear Peb, forever in our hearts.
And at the end of the wonderful week, but tough month, we are grateful, at Thanksgiving and always …