Debbie’s Week at a Glance: Gobble, Gobble!

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Kappa Alpha Chic and its Co-Chairs, William Featherby and Geoffrey Bradfield at the book party for Geoffrey’s new book, Stage Set.

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.


The advance team: William, Helena Lehane, Tina Kivorshian Holmes, and Geoffrey.

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.


Click to order Stage Set: 50 Years of Style.

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.


So many boys, but my fave is the one with the real face.
Ambassador Omar Hilale, GNB, Greg Kan, and William.
L. to r.: Always snappy, Di Mondo and Eric Javits; Kristen Krusen, cruisin’.
Cornelia Bregman and Jeanne Lawrence.
Boys in the design hood — Justin Kincannon, David Sprouls, Roric Tobin, Kendell Cronstrom, and Alejandro Saralegui.
Still marvelous, Monique van Vooren.
Liliana Cavendish and Barbie Bancroft.
L. to r.: Picture perfect pals, Brian Stewart and Stephanie Krieger; Willem Hovnanian and his beautiful mom, Nina Hovnanian Donnelly.
I’m now sporting Nina’s ring. Not going steady, just a fan.

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 …


Love sandwich at Majorelle — Geoffrey with Brian and William.
Meanwhile, back in Sag Harbor at the American Hotel: Robert Zimmerman illuminated in the hotel’s clever, illuminated menu.

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.”


The Club’s (unmentionable) Grand ballroom and GNB preparing to speak.
Honoree Geoffrey Bradfield, FHS Board Chair Elizabeth Stribling, Gala Chair Cece Black, and FHS President Denis de Kergorlay.
L. to r.: Unusual and lovely, in theme black and white flowers by Odile de Schietere Longchampt at FHS Black and White Ball; Oops. Caught staring at the ceiling. Can you blame me? Like heaven.

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.


Founder portrait smiling looking down approvingly on French Heritage Executive Director, Jennifer Herlein, and amazing auctioneer, Heritage’s Kathleen Guzman.

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.


L. to r.: Honorees Gregory and Margaret Hedberg; Edith Andre Bjork and Jennifer Herlein.
Caroline Bassett and Charlie Scheips. They read the dress code.
Minxy me in the wrong color, GNB, Aida Dellal, and Ambassador John Loeb.

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. 


L. to r.: The Kitzby Hotel, home to Lot 15; Cocktail menu. Milly de Cabrol says Daquiri is pronounced ‘Dak QUEERY’ in Europe. Okay!
Lot 15, ready for the gals.

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.


Me, hostess Ann Barish, and European interpreter, Milly de Cabrol.
L. to r.: The dazzlers: Debbie and Loeffler and Tracy Snyder; Ann Barish, Lana Jokel and the emeralds.
Lit meets art meets fashion — Candace Bushnell, Leila Heller, Nicole Miller, Janna Bullock, and Julie Minskoff.
Candace’s snappy slippers.
L. to r.: Paula Peck, as nice as she is gorg; Lot 15 Creators Julie Mulligan and Chris Barish.
Nancy Silverman, Allison Stern, Stephanie Krieger, and Caroline Hirsch — the Golden Door gals.
Anne Dexter-Jones and Barbara Kalvaria.
Fried deviled egg that could be part of my skirt. Instead, it made it tighter.
A handsome man who listens to me and brings me Savignon Blanc. Oh, right, my waiter.
Cheerleading squad.

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.


Our late, beloved Pebble.

And at the end of the wonderful week, but tough month, we are grateful, at Thanksgiving and always …


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