Last year, it was Mother’s Day. This year Memorial Day weekend marked the move back to the Hamptons — “officially” ending the season in Palm Beach. But those that extended their island stay exclaimed, “May and June are the best kept secrets in Palm Beach,” especially when you can “walk into your favorite restaurant and get a table without a reservation again.”
So, what has it been like in Palm Beach leading up to this mass exodus? Busy. Even a bit crowded. For many local residents, a bumper sticker seems to sum up their sentiments of late: PALM BEACH SUCKS. DON’T MOVE HERE.
One newcomer to the island that’s been very well received (read: better than expected) is the Carriage House — the new private Members’ club founded by Paula and Michael Bickford which held its soft opening this month. Located in the old E.F. Hutton building on South County Road, the club embodies the Palm Beach spirit with time-honored traditions of European hospitality.
Unfortunately, we have no photos to share, because picture taking is a no-no; so much so that upon entry a sticker is placed over one’s smartphone camera. But we hear it’s beautifully decorated, the food’s good, there’s adequate outdoor space, and the crowd is the perfect mix of older and younger Palm Beach families to keep things interesting. Membership is, of course, by invitation only. And jackets are required.
Speaking of beautiful decor, Steven Stolman ended his Conversations on Style Series at The Society of the Four Arts with Designer Alfredo Paredes, whom for more than three decades was instrumental in creating magical environments and experiences for Ralph Lauren. As EVP & Chief Creative Officer at RL, Alfredo worked on the design of all stores and merchandise presentations globally, from the New York City women’s and home flagship, aka The Rhinelander Mansion, to the Ralph Lauren store here on Worth Avenue, and all around the globe. That’s in addition to heading up the entire RL Home business.
Last but not least, he oversaw the look and feel of RL’s ventures into hospitality — including the ever-popular RL restaurants in Chicago and Paris, and the iconic Polo Bar in NYC.
Another welcome addition to Palm Beach is PALMER — a 200-page hard-bound quarterly that resembles more of a coffee table book than a magazine, and explores what the editorial director, Stefano Tonchi, calls “the new Palm Beach state of mind.” The first issue had an incredible 40 pages of ads from luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Brunello Cucinelli, Cartier, Hermès and Prada. There’s a white space that now exists in luxury media due to the pandemic migration to places like Palm Beach, Aspen, Austin and Montecito, and PALMER plans to hit those markets, too.
Tonchi is the former editor of W and The New York Times’ T magazine. He is married to David Maupin, co-founder of contemporary art gallery, Lehmann Maupin, which in 2020 added Palm Beach to its other locations (New York, Hong Kong Seoul and London). PALMER is backed by Michael Berman, co-founder of GEORGE with JFK, Jr. back in the day. Berman is married to interior designer Victoria Hagan, author of Victoria Hagan Live Now (Rizzoli Books, 2021), who recently opened a Palm Beach office and spoke about the book at The Preservation Foundation.
PALMER was first introduced at the AmfAR event at the home of Amy and John Phelan, followed by a soft launch at The Royal Poinciana Plaza. More recently, they co-hosted a private breakfast in Palm Beach with modern, sophisticated women’s fashion label, Lafayette 148 — which also held a trunk show in the solarium of The Colony Hotel.
Other fashionable moments this spring included a cocktail reception hosted by Ferragamo’s Daniella Vitale and Leonardo Ferragamo in Villa Poinciana at The Colony Hotel celebrating the re-design of their Worth Avenue store. Guests included: Tennis Star Venus Williams, Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan, Tamu McPherson, Allegra Fanjul Garcia-Velez, Bettina Anderson, Amanda Verderziel Cummings, Whitney Schott, Lauren Layne Merck, Sarah Bray-West, Devon McCready, Sue Jin Lee, Whitney Hesse, Simon Isaacs, Elizabeth Kurpis, Edo Ferragamo, Marco DiPietro, Shannon O’Rourke, Sarah Wetenhall and Michael Reinert.
Then, there was a dinner co-hosted by Ross Meltzer in the private upstairs dining room of Le Bilboquet Palm Beach. Decorated by David Lucido, the space was completely transformed into a tropical oasis by renowned floral designer Lewis Miller who brought in armloads of palm fronds to make walls of foliage. The tablescape included green apple topiaries, with cheerful yellow flowers and his signature “Flower Flash” candles, nestled amongst tangles of vinery. It was simply incredible.
Guests including Kyle Sweeney, Justin Lynch, Meg and Doug Braff, Nicole and Keith Williams, and Eric Brinker were offered spicy salted margaritas; followed by towers of seafood, including oysters, Alaskan king crab, tuna tartare and shrimp, Dover sole, and pommes frites. Miam-miam!
On another night, Steve Wynn’s step-son Nick Hissom and partner Kameron Ramirez — co-founders of Aktion Art — hosted a cocktail party for the brilliant emerging artist Nick Hornby whose sculpture was on view at The Wynn Fine Art in The Esplanade. Now closed for the summer, they plan to re-open with a “bang” in September.
The Colony Hotel hosted a book signing for A Newport Summer, an intimate love letter to summertime in Newport from photographer (and “modern-day Slim Aarons”) Nick Mele, along with interior designer Ruthie Sommers.
Both lifelong Newport residents, Nick and Ruthie share their entrée into the parties, lawn tennis matches, beach clambakes, and family gatherings that make up the glorious days of a Newport summer, from the foggy mornings of June, the traditional yacht races of July, the annual meeting of old friends at Marble House in August, and the melancholy close of the season after Labor Day. Published by Vendome Press, and distributed by Abrams Books, A Newport Summer is available at The Palm Beach Book Store and on Amazon.
Another book worth reading this summer is EAT YOUR HEART OUT: All-Fun, No- Fuss Food to Celebrate Eating Clean (William Morrow/Harper Collins, April 2022), by best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning television host of The Good Dish, Daphne Oz, pictured here with Candice Cohen, owner of The Palm Beach Book Store, who hosted a book signing for her.
In EAT YOUR HEART OUT, Daphne shares the techniques she’s used to get her mind, energy and body back on track after each pregnancy (she has four children!) or anytime she needs to reboot good habits — without losing the joy of cooking, the fun of mealtime, and the stress-free pleasure of doing it intuitively. Daphne lives by just four simple rules that remove the guesswork from healthy eating. They are: No gluten; no refined sugar; limit dairy; and take the weekend off!
Jane Lauder was honored along with sister, Aerin Lauder, who was unable to attend, for their leadership, advocacy and support of the prevention, treatment, and cure of Alzheimer’s disease at The Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation’s Fifth Annual Hope on the Horizon Benefit at The Beach Club. Their father Ronald S. Lauder presented the 2022 Hope on the Horizon award. Dr. Miia Kivipelto and Dr. Howard Fillit discussed the latest scientific advances in Alzheimer’s prevention research.
The event raised more than $1,000,000 — every dollar of which goes directly to researching the prevention, treatment and cure of this devastating disease. Family and friends in attendance included: JoCarole Lauder, William P. Lauder, Laura and Gary Lauder, Josh Lauder and Katherine Chan, Alice Tisch, Larry Leeds and Ginger Feuer, Bonnie Lautenberg, Nancy Goodes, Heidi McWilliams and The Hon. Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County hosted the 50th Anniversary Winter Ball with a black-tie gala at The Breakers chaired by Gretchen Leach with co-chairs Tom Quick, Jean and Tom Rutherfoord and Helen and Charles Schwab. Quick stole the show as volunteer auctioneer for the evening raking in millions of dollars in unexpected donations for the organization this year which serves more than 10,000 Palm Beach County youth ages 6 -18 providing them with award-winning development programs to help them build skills, self-esteem and values during non-school hours and offers summer opportunities. The Winter Ball is one of the most prominent and well attended events of the season. Bravo to all!
Wait, we’re not done yet. Sharon Bush Murray was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy by the Girl Scouts of South East Florida at a luncheon at The Four Seasons Resort. Proposed by Geri Emmett, the award was given by The Hon. Danielle H. Moore, Mayor of the Town of Palm Beach. Sharon’s children all flew in for the event.
Moving right along. Kamie Lightburn hosted a luncheon for YAGP, Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition and global dance network, providing education and opportunities for young dancers worldwide, at The Colony Hotel. Special guests included: Mayara Magri, principal dancer at The Royal Ballet, and Jacopo Tissi, principal dancer at La Scala Ballet, as well as Janna Bullock, Yaz Hernanadez, Eleanora Kennedy, Bettina Anderson, Danielle Rollins, Michel Witmer, Mish Tworkowski, Karen Klopp, Kim Renk Dryer, Kristen Krusen, Erin Lazard, Evelyn Tompkins and more.
Kim Renk, who, like Lilly Pulitzer, also owns a dress and jewelry shop on Worth Avenue, opened the historic Spanish Colonial home she shares with husband Greg Dryer (and their many cats and rabbits) to Capt. Richard Phillips. Capt. Phillips is an American merchant mariner and author who served as captain of the MV Maersk Alabama during its hijacking by Somali pirates in April 2009. The event was for Veteran Services USA to help raise awareness about PTS – Post Traumatic Stress and a new breakthrough treatment offered by Dr. Merle Griff, Ph.D., CEO & Founder of SarahCare.com.
Veteran Services USA is a non-profit organization committed to supporting veterans and seniors by offering programs that ensure successful life transitions including career support programs, with a focus on mental health and suicide reduction, affordable, independent housing, healthcare, and social service programs across the United States.
Congratulations to the 2022 Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce Award Winners: Marissa Collections; Taylor Materio; The Cancer Alliance for Help & Hope’s Janet Levy; and the 1909 Foundation.
And last, but not least, George Ledes celebrated a special birthday Surf Club style with a call from the legendary Toby Beavers and friends including: Lori Kanter Tritsch and William Lauder, Katie and Jim Robinson, Darrah and Bill Ford, Jennifer Ash and Joe Rudick, Pam Taylor and Eames Yates, Shannon Donnelly, Betsy and Wally Turner, Katie Carpenter, Tom Shaffer, Whitney Schott, Marc Rosen, Mimi Godfrey, Diana Auchincloss Cunningham, KC Pickett, Kirsten and Averell Harriman Fisk, Steve Schott, Christopher Bickford, Felicia Taylor and Peter Gottsegen, Kim Renk and Greg Dryer, Laura Anthony Johnston, Leonard Lauren, Kim Charlton, Debbie and Sam Blake, Susan and Hunter Cushing, among others.