What to Wear to the Boys’ Club Fall Dance: The Green Gala

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The brilliant Chairs of the Boys’ Club of New York 71st Annual Fall Dance have created a decidedly different yet dedicated dress directive for this year’s anticipated celebration.  The Pierre Hotel, on Thursday, October 17th will be the most festive environment for The Green Gala, as Chairs Gabrielle Bacon, Stephanie Kearney, Ros L’Esperance, Anjali Melwani and Gigi Mortimer create a sensational soiree to celebrate the grandest dame of all, Mother Earth.




To begin, the resourceful theme of the invitation is email only — no paper and postage needed — and it clearly states, Attire:  Recycle! Black Tie & Gowns.  And lest you think the glamorous gals will be clad in cardboard, no, no, no!  The renewable suggestion is to shop your closet or swap with a friend, also known as “Swishing!”  This is truly an idea whose time has come.


Women’s Board President Anjali Melwani.

About to receive her PhD in Environmental Sciences at Cambridge University, UK, Co-chair Gabrielle Bacon spent the last few years focusing her research on the human rights-environmental degradation nexus. Suggesting the environmental impetus for the fete, she offered: “Sustainability is a global issue, the most unifying on the planet — as we share resources and unintended consequences of neglect.  As the sum of our individual daily choices permeate our entire grid, making meaningful change can only come from the sum of our parts.  It is doubly wonderful that everyone, on all levels at BCNY, is embracing this environmental initiative.”


Alexia Hamm Ryan, Gabrielle Bacon, Mark Gilbertson, and Silvia Zoullas.
Lauren Santo Domingo, Betsy Pitts, Tatiana Perkin, Tabitha Simmons, Coco Brandolini d’Adda, Kathryn Miller, and Mary Kathryn Navab.

The event will showcase and celebrate the commitment of BCNY to implementing education initiatives surrounding sustainability across programming, clubhouses, and administration. One of the sponsors of the fall dance is S’well Bottle.



Sarah Kauss launched S’well in 2010 with the mission of ridding the world of plastic water bottles by coming up with something that fused fashion and function — and the reusable stainless steel water bottles truly took the world by storm.  The boys’ visit to the headquarters of S’well, was one in a series of environmental education initiatives.



In recent years, “sharing fashion” has become very popular.  Hilary is a devotee of  Armarium, the couture rental company that specializes in high end luxury brands.  Here is a stunning photo of her Zimmermann dress from Armarium, taken by Nick Mele at the Preservation Ball, in Newport this past August.



Hilary notes, “I have always been an enthusiast of sustainable clothing.  I love to buy vintage, and to delve into my grandmother, Bunny DuPont’s closet for treasures. After testing out Rent the Runway many moons ago for What2WearWhere.com, I became an instant fan. I was delighted when Armarium, co-founded by my dear friend Alex Lind Rose, came into my radar. It gives you an introduction and access to many designers who are new on the scene as well as those who are well established. I found this beautiful green dress by Alejandra Alonso Rojas on their site as well as these fabulous earrings and clutch. And the best part is they will hem and tuck a frock so it is the perfect fit for the night.”


Alejandra Alonso Rojas Emerald Degrade Dress, $490 / Alessandra Rich Star Earrings, $50 / Lala lexa Onyx Victoria Clutch, $75 / Aquazzura So Vera Sandals, $1350

There is nothing like a visually themed party — the ballroom should be a whirl of vibrant verdant shades.  I am following Hilary’s lead to lease a frock. Rent the Runway turned up quite a few Badgley Mischka gowns.  Then I went shopping on TheRealReal, purveyor of “previously cherished items” to find the perfect bag (Valentino) and earrings (Oscar de la Renta).  For shoes I will shop my closet and hope I find this gorgeous pair of Aquazzura Sandals there.

Lace and Garden …


Badgley Mischka Floral Lace Gown / Oscar de la Renta Floral Earrings, $195 / Valentino Satin Bow Clutch, $260 / Aquazzura Ruffle Sandals, $795.

Grecian Green Goddess …


L. to r.: Badgley Mischka Emerald Gown and Column Gown from Rent The Runway.

Must-Have-Fun Frock …


Sachin and Babi Floral Gown.

And I found some other wonderfully repurposed accessories on The Real Real.


Gucci Green Fringe Clutch, $170.

Gucci Fringe Dragon Series, $2100.

Bounkit Multi Stone Earrings, $225.

After dinner the soiree sizzles at young beaus and beauties arrive to liven up the dance floor.  Co-Chairs Lizzie Edelman, Lourdes Fanjul, Yesim Philip, Harry Williams together with the Young Advocates Circle will lead the revelry until the wee hours.



Dancing to DJ Nyted.

Jackie Williams’s leadership on The Women’s Board has been an inspiration to her family and friends. Here she is with her stunning family a few years back at the BCNY Fall Dance.


Claire Vinson, Philip Williams, Gene Williams, Jackie Williams, Francesca del Balzo, Harry Williams, and Eugene Williams at The Boys’ Club of New York’s 64th Fall Dance.

And when the evening winds down, devoted BCNY supporters, young and young at heart, will take their leave, secure in the knowledge that the funds from the evening’s merriment will go directly to the Sustainability Education Initiative.



In 1876 when the club was founded by railroad magnate E.H.Harriman, the planet was in a vastly different state of affairs.  At that time, the word Ozone was defined according to Merriam Webster as “pure and refreshing air.”  Today, the meaning can be ominous and forebodes an uncertain future for the next generation.


2018 Sleepover Camp Harriman State Park.


Boys Club New York is taking up the challenge and creating young environmentalist while remaining true to its vision, “That all boys are competent academically and emotionally, connected to their communities, rich in character, and confident in their futures.”

For information and to donate, please go to Boys Club New York.


BCNY Boys hitting the mark.

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