“New York Observer? Right this way!” yelled a publicist with a headset, who promptly guided us through a back entrance to the red carpet of last night’s “Party in the Garden” benefit gala at the Museum of Modern Art. The annual spectacle honors MoMA trustees and other artsy do-gooders. We’re not a huge fan of red carpet step and repeats, they bore us and it makes being mischievous all the more difficult. But we cooperated and grabbed a few words with notables with greater ease as their wranglers forced them in front of the photography pit, making friends with other reporters while we asked the likes of Santigold (in a Marni confection with Cartier bijoux) and Rachel Roy pesky questions.
“My brother is the film curator, I’m his date,” said Ms. Roy. “Whenever he has a major event here I’m his date. I love being in the outdoors.”
Not that the “garden party” was all that green, but let’s allow the fine folks to pretend for a night.
We asked Santigold about her after-party gig.
“We’ll see if we can get anyone up on stage,” she said skeptically eyeing the all too prim and proper crowd.
“Any headaches today getting ready, or was it all easy-breezy?” The Observer inquired.
“It wasn’t bad. I was just running late per usual. I almost missed this!” she laughed.
Kim Catrall and visual artist Clifford Ross posed eagerly for the flashing lights, as did Solange Knowles, whose star seems to be shining a bit too bright for her own good. But we’ll give her a break—she killed it in a Flaminia Saccucci number paired with Cartier jewels and she is one hell of a DJ. Not that we even got to hear her work her magic, but more about that later. Chuck Close in his tricked out wheels looked delighted beside Cindy Sherman. Philanthropic art empress Agnes Gund cut her red carpet appearance short when her gown and heel got caught in the stone walkway, sending her flailing into the arms of Jerry Speyer. We finally had enough and grabbed our arm candy for a round of drinks.
“The bar is closed sir, would you please proceed to the gala dinner inside the Museum?” a server sternly implored.
Fine! We marched over the pool bridge toward the courtyard entrance of MoMA. We spotted Martha Stewart in Lanvin for the second time that evening. (She had just scurried down from Ricky Lauren’s book launch at the Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue flagship, where Mayor Bloomberg had also been in attendance.) We chatted, brièvement, about our mutual experiences summering in Seal Harbor, before we had to move on. We saluted our dear friends Todd Bishop, MoMA’s Director of Exhibition Funding, and Molly Epstein, Assistant Director of Barbara Gladstone Gallery, and her curator pal from MoMA PS1 before prancing over to the banquet entrance.
“I’m sorry—we can’t seat press at the dinner tonight,” barked MoMA publicist Paul Jackson.
Bon Qui Qui said it best: “Rude!”
With the outdoor bars on pause and the sweltering humidity leaving us uncomfortable in our couture, The Observer called it quits. We skipped the bitchin’ after-party—Santigold concert and all—but our GalleristNY colleagues were there.