It was an inconvenient storm — warning that is — in the Hamptons last weekend. But, “ex-pats” finally found another use for their New York homes. The exodus began on a sunny Saturday, and continued late into the night. Most returned to find just a lawn chair or potted plant overturned. We’ll take an evacuation vacation over devastation, any day.
All were partying up a storm Saturday night at the Southampton Animal Shelter “Unconditional Love” gala. Hurricane plans discussed during cocktails and weather reports, during the meal. At 8:30, it started “raining cats and dogs.” Water poured down the sides of the tents. Then, it started parading dogs: adorable adoptable ones.
Shelter dogs are today’s status pets. One day they are living on the street, the next, they are flying private and eating sirloin. “I could never be friends with someone who bought pedigree,” I’ve heard more than one animal activist (not me!) say.
Andrew Sabin and April Gornick were honored. Jean Shafiroff chaired. “My greatest passion is protecting animals,” Sabin told the gathering. “I grew up in Brooklyn, literally in a coldwater flat.” He shared it with “any stray dog or cat (my mother) found on the street. And obviously it rubbed off on me …. I‘ve got rescue peacocks, rescue goats, rescue you name it — I’ve got it!”
“He’s done incredibly good things around the world for animals,” Kimberly Goff, who ran the iconic Elaine Benson gallery with mom Elaine, told me. “Larry and Rose Halsey were at a koala rescue site in Australia when they saw a truck with a Sabin logo. People started crying when the Halsey’s said they knew him. He had funded the center.”
After listening to Sabin on the podium, our dinner companion told us the eye of the hurricane was turning east. That was a relief. Still, many of us left for the city after dessert, including Jane Rothchild and TV personality Bill Boggs. Boggs wrote a book about his shelter dog, The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog, and gives a percentage of the profits to the SHASF. Jane still misses her shelter dog, Coco, the Cockapoo. “Someday we will probably get another dog,” Bill said, “but Jane and I move around too much, right now.”
The Shelter was run by the Town of Southampton until budget cuts in 2010. Then, the community stepped up to privatize it, with Susan Allen, an instrumental, under the radar supporter. If you are a homeless dog, this is where you want to be: with vet care, socialization classes, loving walkers and a mobile van to increase visibility.
Georgina Bloomberg was the Honorary Chair. Junior Chair: Katie McEntee, and Junior Co-chairs: Kingsley Crawford and Nathania Nisonson.
The host committee: Antonella Bertello, Amy Cosman, Missy Hargraves, Randi Schatz and Robert Lohman. Auction committee: Rolise Rachel, Carol Nobbs and Monica Reiner.
Steven Baldwin, NYS Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Margo and John Catsimatidis, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneidman, Martin Shafiroff, Beau Hulse, Katie McEntee, James Marzigliano, Greg D’Elia, Patty Raines, Cornelia Bregman, Barbara McEntee, Craig Dix, Alex Hamer, Matt Rich, Ann Liguori, Kathy Murphy, Nicole Salmasi, Brigid Fitzgerald and Michael Katz were there as well.
From fashionable shelter dogs to fashion, we enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada panel animal lover Fern Mallis led at the Southampton Arts Center, the week before. The movie, for those born under a rock, told the thinly veiled story of a young woman’s “glamour job” as one of Anna Wintour’s assistants. Wendy Finerman, who produced the movie, Tom Florio, the publisher of Vogue at that time, and fashion TV personality Robert Verdi all came out for Fern.
Before it started, Florio and Verdi, then Judy Licht and Jerry Della Femina ran over to greet Stan Herman and Jeffrey Banks. Simone Levinson, Whitney Stevens and Elyn Kronemeyer were also there. Florio is now CEO and founder of ENTtech Media Group. At Paper Magazine, which he acquired, they have been working in actual, not virtual, NYC offices. Creatives need to bounce off each other in the same space, he told Stan and Jeffrey.
The movie was a much more sympathetic look at Wintour than the book her former assistant, Lauren Weisberger, wrote. But, until friends of Anna realized that, they blackballed the film. The Museum of Modern Art and the NY Public Library wouldn’t let Finerman film there. Fashion glossies ignored it.
“From what I read, the book was harsh.” Said Florio of Anna’s situation: “Here you’re getting a messy divorce — most of them are. At the same time, the other fashion magazines are taking a significant market share from Vogue. Your business partner, the real Mr. Big, is aggressively saying ‘forget editorial integrity, follow the money.’ Glenda Bailey comes on the scene and everybody loves her. Then, your assistant, who in that world is like your relative, does this.”
Many designers were afraid to cross her. Not, Valentino. He appeared in the movie. Then said there had been no throwback, they were still friends. “Part of that is true,” said Florio.
Valentino took his yacht to the Venice Film Festival. And being on it was an “Aha” moment for Meryl Streep (the Wintour role). “Meryl hated fashion and all that,” Finerman remembered. But the yacht, with Valentino standing in front of Warhols of his likeness, was “the most decadent set in the world … Meryl had never embraced luxury like that before. It was so much fun, she kinda got the bug. And he started dressing her.”
Anna had a last laugh. She went to a screening — where she and Streep eyed each other almost as much as the film — and showed up at the opening, in head-to-toe black Prada. “She’s one of the most brilliant marketers,” Florio said. “She took control of the situation,” said Finerman.
And just a week earlier, Fern, surrounded by her peeps — Stan Herman, Ivan Bart, and Jeffrey Banks — received the ‘Fashion Icon’ award at a three-day Hampton Fashion Week celebration at the Southampton Arts Center.
Want to take control of your bedroom walls? Learn from designer Richard Mishaan’s master suite at the Inaugural Galerie House of Art & Design in Sag Harbor, to benefit Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. He learned it from Versailles.
“I met the art dealer who bought the house of Bunny Mellon, in Nantucket,” Mishaan told us. “He had a very fancy French boyfriend, or husband, whose great, great, grandfather lived in Jouy-en-Josas. The town was next to Versailles and he used to provide thousands and thousands of yards of Toile de Jouy fabric for the king, who had it in every color. They would have it on grommets and change it weekly. So, everything here is panels on grommets. Take it down, it turns into a white room. You can switch out your upholstery overnight. I got Lisa Fine to do a very bold, modern day toile print. Because we’re not channeling Lee Radziwill. It’s blue gardens, not Grey Gardens.”
Two nine foot Hockney iPad drawings and a Jane Froelicher painting grace walls. There’s Fromental wallpaper hand painted in London, a Stark rug, Theodore Alexander tables, Circa lighting, Schumacher print curtains and Matouk linens.
He took us onto the terrace and showed us the “very, very modern Bernhardt furniture. It’s extraordinary quality,” he told us. “I love that everything is just clean, clean, clean, clean. And it’s all very cheap and cheerful, not the thousands of dollars you find from companies in New York.”
So, live like a king and go buy another Hockney!
Photographs by Rob Rich/Society Allure & Patrick McMullan (“Unconditional Love”).