Debbie’s Week at a Glance – Naples, Nassau, and New York

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The Gulf. Saw, didn’t sample.

You may have noticed (I hope you have!), that I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. I had one gentle, quiet week in Naples, and one highly decorative one (there’s your clue) in Nassau, that I am not able to tell you about. You’ll survive.

My Naples week was equal parts relaxing but also watching my shy hostess create a new business. Ansea, a surf inspired, eco line of women’s clothing debuted that week, with more appropriate mentions than mine, in WWD and But you’ll see in the pic, that I am already sporting it, and feel infinitely cooler, sportier, more eco-conscious and warmer (it’s earth’s answer to Neoprene — Yulex, made from rubber plants). They believe salt water is the cure for everything, and they may be right.

The Jr. Committee at the club in Naples, welcomes me.

Other than that, we did Naples-ey things like going for crabs at Kelly’s Fish House, toodling around on golf carts, and watching the gentle people from the Midwest that inhabit this civilized hamlet.

A gated, gold …
… getaway.
My hosts, Otis and Marvin. Or is it Marvin and Otis?
L. to r.: Bad idea; A piece from my hostess’s new line, Ansea.
Dazzling, back lit stone wall in my chic hostess’s home.
L. to r.: More carts than cars; Sexy table hearth, sans people.
Our entertainment and dance floor. Thankfully for my hostess, he didn’t know ‘It’s Raining Men’, so I remained seated.
Charming homes in old Naples …

Kelly’s Shell Shack, tchotchkes from the sea.
Kelly’s Fish House is the late night spot; Don’t mess with my purist martini.
Peaceful marina.
Hush my puppy and crab, of course.
Tin City, Naples. An early mall, with local stores and yet more tchotchkes.

It was back to snow, which I actually enjoy. If it’s going to be cold, it might as well be pretty.

Back home.

Then it was back to NY for Isabelle Bscher’s one night only, pop up art show, ‘What’s for Dinner’ at her Galerie Gmurzynska on East 78th Street. There were food inspired pieces from Picasso, Lichtenstein, Miro and many more, curated by Gallery Director Mathias Restofer and Isabelle. Daniel Boulud represented the actual food link, and explained the indelible link between art and food, taking a little creative license on brilliant Savarin’s quote, substituting food for art: “Tell me what you like, and I’ll tell you who you are.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I like iceberg lettuce and Reddi-wip.

Entrance to Galerie Gmurzynska.

Lucky Gallery visitors then gathered at Daniel’s Bar Pleiades at The Surrey Hotel for an artistic buffet of caviar, salmon and other beautiful bites. I had my monthly dinner at The Carlyle, table 12, with a friend. Artsy guests included Leon Black, Dan Loeb, Diandra Douglas, Libbie Mugrabi and Will Cotton.

L. to r.: Gallerist Isabelle Bscher; Daniel Boulud, whetting our appetite for food and art.
Reminiscent of my art history classes across the street, at Finch, curator Jerome Neutres.
L. to r.: Janna Bullock and Kevin Richards; Muffie Potter Aston and Grace Hightower DeNiro.
Nicole Miller.
Cece Cord and friend.
A sample of the art on display …

Before I launched again for Florida, about which you will hear next week, I attended the screening of “Emma” at The veddy English Whitby Hotel. Directed by Autumn de Wilde and based on the 1815 Jane Austen novel of the same name. Afterwards there was an intimate after party at the Hotel’s Orangerie. The evening was a flurry of style, beauty and British cheer. 

Anna was clearly very enthusiastic about her friend’s film, which she described as like “swimming in a cupcake,” and was especially gracious and welcoming to all, including my Spence girl that shares that alma mater with hers.

Anna Introducing Director Autumn de Wilde and the film, Emma — “like swimming in a cupcake.”
The panel, over Anna’s head, nodding in approval.

You may know the young, gorgeous, up and coming British stars, Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn, but Bill Nighy stole the film with his sly, funny performance which subtly sucked the air out the room and had us begging for more. Highbrow chap that he is, Nighy told us he is doing the tour for the film, then setting to work on Minimata, “A reimagined Kurosawa film.” 

He also apologized for his slightly curled fingers, when we shook. “I thought you were sending me a message,” I said. 

“I am always afraid of being thought a dirty old man, so I explain them.” All said in front of my horrified daughter.

L. to r.: Star, Anya Taylor-Joy, and pretty starry, too, Vogue’s Hamish Bowles; The man. Bill Nighy.
Creative triumvirate: Director Autumn de Wilde, Anna Wintour, and Grace Coddington.
It runs in the family: Autumn and musician daughter, Arrow.
Fashionable friends, Marina Rust Connor and Tory Burch.
Me and my two kids, Serena and … oops, that’s not Will, it’s Daniel Benedict.

This was Autumn de Wilde’s first feature film. However, my new best friend, Bill Nighy reminded me that Autumn had done many, very sophisticated music and fashion videos. Her background as photographer was apparent in her mastery of color, light and fashion.

Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, in his favorite purple togs, conducted a too brief panel discussion of the film, where we learned that Anya’s nose bleed in the middle of the most romantic scene, became real blood, among many other details about this charming and beautiful film.

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