What to Wear to the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s annual Dinner Dance

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Let’s get the party started in Bradley Park, as the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s annual Dinner Dance sets the mood for swinging into spring.  The Foundation was established in 1980, after many of the architectural treasures considered old fashioned and out-of-date to some, were bulldozed into the sand.  The years since have been spent in pursuit of preserving the unique scenic quality of the Town of Palm Beach.



Imagine this charming hamlet  without the iconic Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture favored by the architects of the time. Addison Mizner, John Volk, Maurice Fatio designed homes that both described and created the envious Palm Beach lifestyle — soft-shaded clay roofs, hidden courtyards dripping with lush vegetation, spacious breezy logias and verandas for living out of doors, pastel shades of a lingering childhood, and the mesmerizing sounds of tinkling fountains.



The Foundation has attracted dedicated preservationists and philanthropists who share the insightful vision.  When they come together to raise funds for the cause, it becomes a who’s who in Palm Beach — attendees kick up their heels and generously open their wallets.



The Dinner Dance has given us a wonderful opportunity to explore on-line for some fresh florals to welcome spring and bloom straight through summer. This Badgley Mischka one-shoulder gown is an asset to any collection. With its soft print and feminine silhouette, you can almost see it swaying to the sounds of celebration.  We paired it with a pair of platform sandals to give it a lift and with the thick heel, it is perfect for maneuvering across the grass. The J.McLaughlin clutch is pure retro chic, its plexiglass shell encasing a vintage wicker print. And Sylvia Toledo’s earrings continue the evening’s breezy look.


Badgley Mischka Floral print gown, $890 / Sylvia Toledano drop earrings, $270 / J.McLaughlin Wicker Printed Ash Clutch, $228 / Mercedes Castillo Platform Sandals, $450

Our search turned up a bountiful bouquet of frocks in soft floral shades.


Marchesa Notte Pleated Tulle, $795 … Marchesa Notte V-Neck Mermaid, $517.

Teri Jon One-Shoulder, $940 … Marchesa Notte Sweetheart Floral-Print, $795.

And we also discovered more vibrant florals to spice up the tropical night.


Amur Isabella Off-Shoulder, $748.

This one calls for some double sided tape!


Badgley Mischka Puff-Sleeve, $1095 …  Mestiza New York Georgina Floral, $895.

Borgo De Nor Alyona Twill, $1125 … Borgo De Nor Metallic floral, $1695.

While I was digging up the flower beds, the ever-chic Hilary had another theme in mind. “I am loving the florals we found but thought bold bright color would also pop at this classic Palm Beach event. Yellow, and pink especially, are having their moments in the sun right now. This warm toned golden chiffon dress by Allfos is so flattering and the long sleeves are feminine while offering coverage. And the long rose gold earrings are the perfect complement. Of course when I think of Palm Beach, I think pink! This beautiful sheath is for the figure confident and I love it with white accessories for a true Florida look.”


Allfos Silk Chiffon, $725 / Solace London Linza Crepe, $585 / Oscar De La Renta Crystal Earrings, $320 / Nickho Rey Rose Gold Earrings, $315 / Rosantica Cage Me Pearl Clutch, $815 / Cult Gaia Eos Marbled Box Bag, $358 / Aquazzura Metallic Sandals, $750.

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary, J.McLaughlin has partnered with the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach with a limited-edition collection. The designs were a big hit on Worth Avenue where Pauline Pitt, the Chairman of the Board, was the perfect fit model for the dreamy cashmere sweater.


Pauline Pitt, Talbot Maxey, Jack Lynch, and Amanda Skier.
Grace Meigher, Jack Lynch, and Susan Cowie.
L. to r.: Tom Shaffer and Pam Taylor Yates; Steven Stolman and Rich Wilkie.
Guy Clark, KK, and Harrison Morgan.
Stock up for Father’s Day.

The silk scarf was inspired by a wall fountain from the infamous Casa Apava, which is now installed in Pan’s Garden.


Photographs by CAPEHART

For aficionados of historical architecture, discover the story of the Casa Apava in an article by Augustus Mayhew, on NYSD.


Solid color Mizner tiles embellish the stone wall fountain at Pan’s Garden, where as a centerpiece the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach utilized period Portuguese tiles depicting a Persian-style motif acquired from Casa Apava.

And while not everyone will have the pleasure of attending the formal festivities, the historic sites and parks secured by The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach are open to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Here are a few:

Sea Gull Cottage is the oldest house in Palm Beach and was once owned by Henry Flagler.




The Little Red Schoolhouse is the oldest one-room school in the area.  The Foundation runs an educational living history program for school children.




Pan’s Garden is in the heart of the town and offers educational programs about native plants and butterflies.



To find out more about events, visiting, and educational programs, go to Preservation Foundation Palm Beach.

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