Quelle chance that the venerable philanthropist and socialite Jean Shafiroff invited The Observer to wine and dine at her table at the David H. Koch Theater for Fashion Institute of Technology’s 2012 Couture Council of The Museum luncheon. Despite the hefty $1,000-a-head price tag, around 600 guests, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Barbara Walters, Anna Wintour, Simon Doonan, Fe Fendi, Diane von Furstenberg, editrix and realty star Nina Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Mario Buatta, Yaz Hernandez, Martha Stewart, Dennis Basso, Ruben and Isabel Toledo, YUE editor Chiu-Ti Jansen and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, paraded uptown for the ruckus. FIT’s clout was undeniable with so many powerful New Yorkers packed into the gold-leaf foyer. Truth be told, 2012 Couture Council Artistry of Fashion honoree Oscar de la Renta certainly deserved credit for the monumental turn-out.
“It started about seven years ago as the brainchild of one of the of the Guild Hall board members,” said Nina Gillman, a Guild Hall Garden Committee member, about the summer the Garden as Art tour in the Hamptons. “It was first launched with an art exhibit at the museum, which focused on all the paintings and artwork done by artists out in the area on gardens.” Ms. Gillman fired off a list of venerable East End artists that had been featured in the years since including Donald Sultan, April Gornik, Eric Fischl, Mary Heilmann and Bryan Hunt.
Over the years the garden series has become quite popular, reported Ms. Gillman. Thanks, in part, to Hamptons art bigwig Ruth Appelhof, who has championed the tour. These lush, East End gardens are prideful displays that highlight the diverse collaborations between esteemed architects, landscape and visual artists and wealthy homeowners.
As Seen in SCENE
Can’t get a yacht this summer? Get a table.
La Piscine—the rooftop bar, restaurant and pool at the Hôtel Americano—is helping busy New Yorkers find a moment of European bliss when they just can’t get away from the city’s sweltering heat. “You almost feel like you are on holiday in New York, like on a trip to the South of France,” says Carlos Couturier, who owns the hotel, along with ten others in Mexico, with co-owner Rafael Micha. The pristine rooftop, which opened simultaneously with the Chelsea hotel last September, hadn’t been able to fully flaunt its potential until the weather reached warmer temperatures this past spring. But now that summer is in full swing, artists and A-listers have been flocking to the small but chic space for a drink and a dip.
As Seen in SCENE
Enter the Four Seasons restaurant on East 52nd Street, and you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Soaring ceilings, chain metal curtains, a tapestry by Picasso and that dramatic pool haven’t evolved since the Mad Men era, when the space, designed by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe, first awed diners.
There is one significant change, however. In place of the previous low-key owners, a puckish Julian Niccolini and his partner Alex von Bidder have overseen the grand restaurant since they purchased it with Edgar Bronfman in 1995. Tuscan born Niccolini has the gift of gab and breathes life into the elegant room as he works it masterfully, from table to table, speaking with irreverence and routinely playing pranks on his regulars. Now, after 17 years of honing his skill charming the Midtown power set,
Question of the Week
Ah, Memorial Day weekend. The official start of the summer. And as The Observer traipsed from event to event this week in the thick fog and pouring rain, we asked everyone we encountered: How are you spending your summer? (Assuming, of course, that it isn’t as dreary as this week was.)
The answers ranged from Read More
“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 Read More
the eight-day week
The preservation of the park (you know to which park we refer) is one of those grand old New York causes, like the opera or the ballet. This year’s Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon is for the ladies who do that sort of thing, with a co-chair list that reads like the Social Register and Read More
On Tuesday night Meryl Streep hosted an advanced screening of Lee Hirsch’s new documentary, Bully, at the Paley Center for Media. Bully is a film that follows the lives of six families and children for whom taunting, teasing and violence has been an unlivable problem. Celebrity anti-bullying advocates sounded off on the MPAA’s controversial R rating for the film, how the film resonated with their own experiences and how Dhuran Ravi’s conviction of a hate crime, in the death of Tyler Clementi, is raising questions about the line between youthful pranks and serious criminal acts
“I was really upset when I saw it,” Ms. Streep said of Bully. “When I watched it, it brought me back to New Jersey in ninteen fifty. . .—a long time ago. I was eight years old and up a tree and a group of kids was below me and my nemisis, this one bully, was hitting my legs with a stick until they bled,” she said. “It was very lord of the flies—a very nice Republican community.”
We’re not touching that last one.