It may be telling — about me, anyway — that the excitement September New York re-entry via the madness of Fashion Week has faded. A lot.
Fortunately, for those of you who are hanging by a thread for the news on newest threads, have thousands of blogs, social media sites and all forms of self-indulgent Insta posts. I chose, this year, to go gently into that fierce week.
Rather than traversing the city, which takes far longer than the actual shows, I chose to skirt the whole shebang. I only attended little events — not shows — given by pals, sipped champagne, nibbled macaroons, and viewed a legendary collection, with no crowds, no lines.
Nicky Hilton Rothschild is a darling of fashion, society and most importantly, her family — husband James, daughters Teddy and Lily Grace, and of course mom and pop Kathy and Rick and sibs. She is also my darling, never more so because she has just launched a line of comfortable, chic, largely flat or heeled shoes for French Sole.
No more fractured metatarsals for this girl. We gathered at her Bleecker street home, pawed over these welcome slippers, sipped Moët & Chandon, had a bite of Ladurée before the caviar came out. And in case we forgot which our favorite pairs were, we were gifted with a monogrammed Royce diary on the way out.
Style personified was celebrated at the luncheon for the upcoming Christie’s auction, American Style: Lee Radziwill. Hosted by Lydia Fenet and Jonathan Rendell of Christie’s, and Stellene Volandes, Editor and Chief of Town and Country, it gave us teasing highlights of the October 17th auction.
Furniture, art, jewelry and memorabilia from her remarkable life beckoned. Terms like ‘sophistication and erudition’, ‘singular elegance’ and ‘style and intellectual curiosity’ used in describing her collection, drew our noses close to the vitrines and probably closer to ownership, come October.
Her daughter, Tina Radziwill, my former Finch classmate, was there and I asked how it felt to see her mother’s home restaged here. She admitted it was a bit odd, but had happily retained some personal items. Billy Norwich, a close friend of Lee’s, gave an intimate intro by reading from her decorating notebook:
“I love books, plants, dogs, music, fireplaces…nothing too set or careful — that loses the coziness. No yellow for a sunny room, choose continuity in a small apartment.”
During the following panel, Jonathan Rendell told us she was “high WASP of the ’40s, who used 1 or 2 colors, often pink, in a white room with chintz.” And that she “edited our excesses and possessed a stubborn and persistent allure.”
Stellene told us that when she interviewed people for Town and Country’s Fashion Director, “everyone had Lee on their storyboard” and that T&C had followed her from Deb Ball to her newly married days in Hattie Carnegie shrugs. Stellene liked the sunglasses collection — “Putting on a pair of Lee Radzwill’s sunglasses would be a powerful way to leave the house.”
We dined on Lee’s favorites — tomato and fennel soup, her signature chicken salad, and Diet Coke, and left with her bio, just Lee.
Jackie Rogers, former Coco Chanel model, and no slouch in the designer legend department, came back to Southampton, where she once had a pizza shop/boutique (a genius solution to maximizing space and rents, like the barber shop/boutique she had in town). This year, she held a buzzy cocktail and collection viewing at Dena Weiner’s, a friend and client, and lucky owner of that windmill house we all admire on the corner of First Neck and Gin Lane. Former residents (not concurrent) Lisa Crawford and David Nadal came by to reminisce.
20% of sales went to the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. Its Director Kate McEntee and volunteer Kingsley Crawford had two lovely adoptable pups with them. I hope they went along with the fab, draped dresses, sequined dresses and signature chiffon blouses. Next, Jackie will be off to spread her feminine chic at her Palm Beach boutique.
Why bother coming back to New York without a killer dinner in the most beautiful room in New York? I mean of course, Majorelle, launched from Geoffrey Bradfield’s predictably chic home, and ending with French 75’s at Danielle’s. Sublime.
My other favorite part of being back in Gotham are the premieres rolling in, this season. An eagerly awaited one was “Goldfinch,” the film based on the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Donna Tartt. Cinema Society, Warner Brothers and Bergdorf Goodman hosted a screening and after party at BG Restaurant.
Bergdorf also dedicated a window to the film. If you haven’t read its 760 pages, I’ll tell you it is an uber New York story … from The Met (and an unfortunate explosion), a Park Avenue family, and village antique dealer and forger, and of course that Goldfinch, once native to that Met.
Condensed into a relatively tight 2 ½ hours, it features an impressive cast including Ansell Elgort, Nicole Kidman and an especially affecting Jeffrey Wright. Darcy Penick, President of Bergdorf’s, led a group including Joy Behar, Zachary Quinto, Lauren Remington Platt, Andy Cohen, Reed and Delphine Krakoff, Derek Blasberg and John Varvatos over to BG’s top floor restaurant (once the Goodman’s apartment), and sated us with Goldfinch cocktails and fortunately no actual goldfinch hors d’oeuvres.
And then I got pneumonia. Too much New York, too fast. Back to the country to mend and back atcha, next week.