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Parrish Presents Kicks Off Season With Super Shopping

Originally Posted: November 30, 2009

Edward Callaghan

Crowds packed the Concert Hall for the Parrish Presents Preview Cocktail Reception. Photos by John Wegorzewski

Designer Stan Herman with the CFDA produced American Fashion Cookbook.

Southampton - It's official! The holiday season of cheer and gift giving is here. Main Street and Jobs Lane are lined with brightly colored Christmas trees, the shops are ablaze with festive lighting and Parrish Presents, the Parrish Art Museum's popular Thanksgiving weekend sale, kicked off the Holiday season in grand style with the Preview Cocktail Party for Benefactors, Patrons, Sponsors, and Friends on Friday, November 27.

Thanks to the stellar efforts of co-chairs John Bjornen and Celeste Wecker and their dedicated committee, hundreds turned out for the preview bash - some paying as much as $1,000 per person to get to the amazing bargains first and of course to aid the Museum. As in previous years, the event had four components: The Gift Bazaar, The Silent Auction, The Book Signing and the perennially popular one-of-a-kind emporium, The Market.

This year's Silent Auction was brimming with luxury items that anyone would be thrilled to find under their tree on Christmas morning. For the style conscious gals there was a huge selection of the latest in handbags and totes from Dolce & Gabbana, Erik Javits, Natori, Gucci, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Luca Luca, Missoni and Prada. The hip host could select all manner of sparkling crystal ware and chic bar accessories such as a Salta Champagne bucket with onyx handles from H. Groome or a hand crafted goat skin serving tray from Nancy Corzine. One of a kind experiences are always a big draw and this year was no exception. Hot items included coveted Yankees tickets; a critic's preview of a Broadway show with New York Times Chief Theater Critic Ben Brantley (there was more than one theater devotee in the crowd who wanted to win so he could give Brantley "a piece of my mind"); VIP wine tastings at Martha Clara Vineyard and Water Crest Winery and a week stay in a private villa in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.

Image guru Montgomery Frazier.

The Gift Bazaar, located in the Museum's concert hall, transformed into a retail winter wonderland by Bjornen and his team at Bjornen Design, offered a wide range of luxury items from such specialty merchants as Antique Rug Galleria, Artikay Cashmere, Black Cat Books, The Bruce Murray Collection, Hampton & Co. (selling their preppy fashion wear for a cool 50 percent off!), LSC Designs Fine & Estate Jewelry, Lynch's Garden Center, and Walker Antiques, among others. A big hit was the section staked out by artist George Dean Callas and his wife Maura Schley for a display of his stunning beach and seascapes of such local favorites as Cooper's Beach and those of Maura's native Galway, Ireland. Author and journalist Jonathan Capehart snapped up one and Michael Cominotto grabbed a pair for his and partner fashion designer Dennis Basso's Cobb Isle home.

Meanwhile Basso was over at the very popular author's table where he congratulated fellow designer Stan Herman on the "American Fashion Cookbook." Basso grabbed up a dozen which Stan was all too happy to sign. Published with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) with a foreword by Martha Stewart and text by Lisa Marsh, "American Fashion Cookbook" is a chic book containing recipes and original illustrations by more than 100 American designers. Recipes include Isaac Mizrahi's Mushroom Truffle Spaghetti, Carolina Herrera's Pommes Toupinel, Mark Ecko's "Adults Only" Chocolate Chip Cookies, Derek Lam's Yellowtail Crudo, John Varvatos' Calaloo Soup and proves food can be fun and fashionable, too.

Powerhouses Jean Shafiroff, Maribeth Welsh and Lucia Hwong Gordon.


Also busy at the author's table were Leslie Banker and William Mullins happily signing copies of their hilarious, clever, and spot-on "Britannia in Brief: The Scoop on All Things British." Better than Frommer's, it is an indispensable guide for clueless Anglophiles. Nearby design doyenne Nancy Corzine offered up tips to the novice home designers and inscribed copies of her new book, "Nancy Corzine: Glamour at Home." Diane Tuft who was profiled in Hamptons.com earlier this year proudly displayed her acclaimed first book of photographs, "Unseen: Photographs by Diane Tuft." The "unseen" refers to the light that can only be captured with infrared cameras. Presigned copies of "Delicious Flavors" by Victoria Amory were also available

Parrish Presents co chairs John Bjornen and Celeste Wecker.

But the big draw for the savvy shoppers and keen-eyed connoisseurs is always the high-end thrift shop termed "The Market" which fills not only the adjacent property The Carroll Petrie Center for Education but the tent covered passage from the Museum through the garden. First timers are always overwhelmed by the passageways covered with the fabulous finds from the big estates on Gin Lane and Further Lane. Antique tables, Chinese chests, bedroom suites and mirrors line the passageways and are usually the first items to be slapped with the "Sold" sticker. In the main building the rooms are overflowing with fine crystal, china, leather goods, rare books and knick knacks of every sort. In another room are the sumptuously upholstered sofas, chairs and chaises that have that have cushioned the bottoms of many a well bred socialite. Sumptuous draperies at a fraction of their original five-figure price are a steal - if the measurements are right and even if they are not. One woman was heard to say, "They're way too long for my house but, heck, that's what sewing machines are for."

Tara Oliver and Judge Barbara Wilson.

Throughout the evening scores of volunteers rang up and packed purchases, helped buyers to their vehicles and loaded everything from a delicate porcelain lamp to an enormous highboy into waiting trucks soon to find a new home. Nowhere is the old adage of "One man's trash is another man's treasure" more true than at this annual fancy flea market which rivals the famed Les Puces in Paris for sheer diversity and bargains aplenty. Thanks to Grand Benefactor, B & N Moving and Storage guests were able to arrange low priced transport for their over sized treasures. B & N throughout the year moves and stores the donations for the gala event.

Nowhere is shopping made more pleasurable than at the Parrish Presents Preview. Delaney Oser's Thyme & Again served up platters and platters of tasty hors d'oeuvres and there was an ample stock of the fabulous ales and lagers from Don Sullivan's Southampton Publick House and plenty of tempting cocktails at the amply stocked bar thanks to Niche Import Co. It also helped to loosen the resolve of more than a few shoppers to avoid that last extravagant splurge. No matter 'twas all for a good cause.

Society portrait painter Zita Davisson and architectural historian Gary Lawrance.


Special thanks to all the members of the community who made this an extraordinary weekend and enabled the Parrish Art Museum to meet its financial goals. Three cheers for:

Maura Schley and artist George Dean Callas.

Grand Benefactors B & N Moving & Storage, Bjørnen Design, Mary Kathryn and Alexander Navab; Grand Patrons, Mrs. Mildred C. Brinn, Dorothy Lichtenstein. Grand Sponsors Gary and Annette Bierfriend Diana and Joe DiMenna, The Arthur Loeb Foundation, Frank Lopez-Balboa and Carolynn Rockafellow, Niche Import Co., Glacier Potato Vodka, Southampton Publick House and Celeste and Jeffrey Wecker. Benefactors, Greta and Stanley Bezubek, Bloomingdale's, Terri and Peter Nelson, Gloria and Richard Nilsson, Donald and Maggie Sullivan.

Patrons Mr. and Mrs. C. Minot Amory, Montague H. Hackett, Jr., Noel and Deborah Hare, Mr. and Mrs. H. Peter Haveles, Jr., Norman L. Peck, Robert Stilin, Mr. and Mrs. R. Peter Sullivan, III, Dan K. Wassong, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wolfe.

The evening's Sponsors Jeffrey Akard, Rome and Lisa Arnold, Mrs. Pamela Banker, Pat Birch Becker, Chris and Francesca Beale, Madeleine Bennett, Leslie and Brian Brille, Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Calder, Chapin Carson, James Croak and Tomoe Ito, Susan and Timothy G. Davis, Zita Davisson, Jill Fingar, Etta Froio, John L. Griffin, Melinda Hackett and Michael Drury, Mrs. Warren G. Hamer, Nancy Hardy, Natalia Hatgis, Leslie Horn, Margot Rowan Horn, Henry Koehler, Mrs. Winslow M. Lovejoy, Jr., Martha B. McLanahan, Susan Mead, Donald R. Mikel, Dede Gotthelf Moan, Linda and Russell Munson, Mr. and Mrs. James Nederlander, Barbara and Stephen Phillips, Douglas and Stacy Polley, Suzanne Allen Redpath, Audrey Lou Sevin, Aline Shapiro, Alexandra Stanton and Sam Natapoff, Mr. and Mrs. A. Alfred Taubman, Phyllis Toohey, Dorothy Vislocky-Steigerwald, Ellen Welsh, Maribeth Welsh, Anese Young and Cynthia Zirinsky.

Committee members and longtime forces behind the event Etta Froio and Mildred C. Brinn with Terrie Sultan, Executive Director of the Museum.


And a special Hurrah for the members of the Steering Committee who have been working all year to make this gala event a reality - Gillis MacGil Addison, Victoria Amory, Laura Blair, Grace M. Bollo, Mildred C. Brinn, Cee Scott Brown, Kathleen Ciriello, Diana DiMenna, Jody Donohue, Whitney Fairchild, Diane Ferran, Etta Froio, Barbara Gardiner Reisner, Blossom Gluck, Karen Gluck, Lyn Hamer, Leslie Horn, Angela Lee, Mimi Lenihan, Adam Leskinen, Lynn Mortimer, Leslie Murdock, Mary Kathryn Navab, Martha Olson, Catherine Paez, Christina Redding, Tracy Shopkorn, Nancy Toon, Ellen Welsh, Maribeth Welsh, Sheila Wolfe and Ronni Zimmerman.

Dr. Martin Gluck, Laura Perrotti and Blossom Gluck.




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