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The Glittering Days of Summer

Originally Posted: August 31, 2006

Nicole B. Brewer

Jacqueline Stahl, Marjorie Myles, and April at The Project
Fashion Show at the Parrish. Photo by John Wegorzewski

It was fashion under the stars, as the Parrish Art Museum's dynamic new group The Project brought a little bit of Seventh Avenue to the lawn on Job's Lane Thursday night. Begun by a couple of young staffers, The Project is dedicated to providing modern programming and highlighting the East End's contemporary visual arts.

This month's event showcased the work of three local fashion designers in a runaway show that was as professionally staged as any you would see in the Tents during Fashion Week. Thanks to tech wiz Peter Eilenberg, the lighting and sound were perfect.

Rising star Alissa Smith who recently opened her own boutique Smith on Nugent Street was first up with a smashing collection entitled Birthday Party, coyly flirty baby doll dresses in hand dyed silks and vintage lace. Alissa who designs cuts, drapes and sews each piece by hand in her tiny shop has already drawn a sizeable following that was clearly visible in the number of PYTs (pretty young things) sporting her sexy dresses mini boleros and appliquéd bags. Switching from innovate to high voltage vamping, Victoria Phoenix showed a dazzling fire engine red collection of dresses guaranteed to turn up temperatures and sure to be seen on the dance floor of Boutique.

Nepalese designer Shail Upadhya closed the show with his signature oversized, bold prints on suits with matching hats. Shail a walking work of art himself shows up regularly in the New York Times fashion pages wearing his eye-popping outfits... Following the show, DJ Stylus cranked up the volume and the party slipped into high gear.

Designer Alissa Smith and her mother Wendy at The Project
Fashion Show at the Parrish. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Swirling around the lawn we spotted The Project's driving forces Jessica Ferrari with beau Paul Bastion and Jackie Pizza. Also on hand Rachel Collins, Jacqueline Murphy Stahl, Ian Wright, Brian Preiato, Edith Kirk, Ann Thomas, Lynn Paulsin, Christian Brashears, Orson Cummings and brother Benjamin, Bravura Art and Objects' Jeff Katz and Leonard Barton sporting a sterling silver turquoise inlaid Zuni cuff, guy around town Donegal Fitzgerald, Brian McDermott from Circus Remedy and scores more.

Thanks to Southampton Publick House who provided their tasty drafts and local vineyards Bedell Cellars, donated their Main Road Red and Corey Creek their "perfect for summer" chilled Rose, no one went thirsty. The Project's Amanda Pellettier and Jason Grigsby just back safely from a year tour of duty in Iraq made sure everyone's cups were full. The Projects Committee promised more celebrations of art, music, film and fashion in the coming weeks. Keep this innovative young group on your radar.

The fifth week of Bridgehampton Polo went smashingly with Lance Bass and his new boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl hosting the day. We spotted Charlie Walk, Jeffrey and Linda Chodorow, Peter Tunney, Stella Keitel, and Tim Vincent enjoying the day sponsored by OK! Magazine and Vincent Longo. Love the cosmetics! During the match Dr. Scholl's for Her pampered guests at the VIP tent with reflexology treatments and product giveaways. Ending the day at polo there was a surprise performance by Grammy Award winning Singer/ Songwriter Johnta Austin after the match.

Proving the pen is mightier than the boards - pun intended - the writers whipped the actors and painters in the 58th Annual Artists & Writers Softball Game in East Hampton Saturday.

Vincent Longo and Lance Bass at Bridgehampton Polo. Photo
by Rob Rich copyright 2006 516-676-3939 robwayne1@aol.com

Alec Baldwin, Roy Scheider, Eric Ernst, and team got royally whipped by Ken Auletta, Mike Lupica, and company with the final score 18 to 9. A 14kt gold baseball mitt necklace courtesy of DK Integrity Jewelry Co. and Alchimia Marketing & Public Relations was presented to most valuable player, Roy Scheider.

Rudy Giuliani umpired with the assist of local legend Dan Rattiner at Leif Hope's annual rite of summer. Broadway's Christine Ebersole, stalled in traffic missed singing the National Anthem and instead, mid game led the crowd of 2,000 with Rudy in a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".

Carol and Todd Rome's second Red Hot Cross Ball on their palatial Southampton estate once again drew a bejeweled and be-gowned crowd of the East End's fashionable, many of them sporting red in honor of the evening's beneficiary Suffolk County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

From the moment the guests poured through the gates, Couture Catering kept the tasty treats rolling throughout the much extended cocktail "hour" as the assemblage would rather have kept schmoozing than settle down to their seats.

Fashion king Tommy Hilfiger all in white received the organization's Humanitarian Award for his efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Hilfiger donated over $300,000.00 and 20,000 items of clothing during the relief effort. In addition to Hilfiger, The Red Cross also honored children's rights advocate Sheila Rosenblum and philanthropist Henry Buhl.

Kristin Cole of CBS emceed the evening which featured a double header entertainment bill included the sizzling Elvis White Band and a special performance by Andrew Hilfiger, who once played with Tommy and their late brother Billy.

Todd, Skylar, Jessica, and Carol Rome at the Red Cross Ball.
Photo by Rob Rich copyright 2006 516-676-3939 robwayne1

Under the enormous lanterns strewn above the trees were Jill and Bobby Zarin, Denise and Larry Wohl, Braden and Jennifer Keil, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Suzanne Murphy, Lauren Day, Michelle Herbert, Dottie Herman, Coleen and Gary Rein, Lu Ann de Lesseps, Pamela Morgan, Dolly Lenz, Henry Buhl, Jaid Barrymore, Ahmad Rashad, Paola and Arnie Rosenschein, and more.

While it's never a surprise when the ladies pick up on a dress theme, it was interesting to note how many of the guys sported red and white striped shirts, giving them a chance to skip the requisite blue blazer as did co-chair Ricky Sitomer, Dan Rosenblum in Hilfiger, and Dennis Hirdt tricked out in a nifty Harmont & Blaine, and Michael Smith, clearly having visited the same stores.

Highlights of the evening included watching Hilfiger dancing his tush off to brother Andy's band X Brothers. Post party found the brothers and pals in one of the Rome's cabanas having an impromptu jam session - with Tommy on guitar!

Christine Ebersole, Ruth Vered, and B. Smith at the Artists and
Writers Softball Game. Photo by John Wegorzewski

The torrents that began late last Saturday had us wondering if one of our favorite events On the Bay would still go on. But miraculously the rain stopped early and it was off to Bellport to the home of Sava and Roger Thomas and their son Phillip overlooking the bay.

The exclusive lawn party for 300 pulls in all the town yacht crowd and guests from as far as Montauk and Manhattan for this fundraiser for LIGALY, Long Island Gay & Lesbian Youth. Since 1993, LIGALY has provided services for gay, lesbian and transgender youth and their families fighting discrimination. Sunday's party raised funds for their "Safe Schools" program.

Guest of honor was award winning playwright and author long time Hamptons resident Terrence McNally a long time supporter of the organization. McNally clad entirely in our favorite color - Hamptons.com lime green - joked that he was on his way out the door before he learned it was a white party. The playwright with partner Tom Kirdahy by his side graciously introduced the 2006 Honoree Tony award winning actor Alan Cumming to folks in the tent.

We had a chance to catch up with our friend Alan who rocked Broadway audiences with his sensual portrayal of the host in Cabaret taking a role seemingly identified with Joel Grey and making it his own.

Currently rehearsing in London for his starring role in the chilling but life affirming stage play BENT (in a role created by Richard Gere), Alan had taken the overnight flight from the U.K., came directly to the party to receive his award and caught the 8 PM return flight that evening. Talk about dedication to a cause. When we asked how he looked so rested he smiled and simply said "Ambien".

Michael Heitner, Congressman Tim Bishop, Alan Cumming at
On The Bay Bellport. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Also honored was Congressman Steve Israel whose impassioned acceptance speech in which he slammed the country's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy in excluding openly gays and lesbian soldiers in the services. The extraordinarily diverse audience roared their approval. SIRIUS radio host, Derrick Hartley sans partner Romaine emceed and introduced cast members of the Gateway Playhouse's production of La Cage Aux Folles who treated the audience to a thrilling rendition of the defiant showstopper "I Am What I Am".

Stopping every few minutes to gasp at the beautiful vistas, we ran into Passport Magazine's Don Tuthill and Robert Adams, Cliff Love, Derrick Carroll, Suzanne and Bruce Poli (her photo of the 1990 Pride Parade snared top dollars in the auction), gallery owner Gloria Kennedy, Briarcliff College President George Santiago and his partner David Dovnarsky, Bellport Film festival honcho Joe Varsalona, Ann McArdle, Denis Roche, Anne Marie and Paul Allen with son Luke, Ursula Day, Peter Paranicas, Congressman Tim Bishop, and NY State Assemblyman Chuck Levine.

Kudos to LIGALY's, CEO Executive Director, Dr. David Kilmnick, president Michael Heitner, Director of Development Robert Vitelli, board member Andy Stern and the scores of LIGALY's young volunteers - gay and straight whose made this one of the summer's loveliest affairs!

Hard to believe that the film that made us think twice about going into the surf was released 30 years ago. That's right! JAWS has now been part of beach life for three decades. Steven Spielberg, its creator celebrated the milestone in his usual low key manner with a special screening August 24th at his local rec center - Guild Hall - to benefit The Hayground School. Joining him were the film's star Roy Scheider and War of the Worlds screenwriter David Koepp.

Sava Thomas with her son Phillip at On The Bay Bellport.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

Spielberg who maintains an "Average Joe" profile here, walking the beach, sailing with his kids and hitting the less glittering eateries arrived solo for the pre-screening reception in the Garden and mingled with supporters of the Hayground. Toni Ross and Susan Ringo pitched in to co-host with Scheider and his wife Brenda Seimer, co-founders of Hayground School, a culturally, racially and economically diverse school that is now celebrating its 11th year. Both Roy and Steven like any PTA member are passionate supporters of the school as their children are students there.

Prior to the screening and most unexpectedly, Steven, Roy, David, and Brenda met with local and national media to reminisce about the making of the film but mostly to talk about the extraordinary programs of Hayground and the effect it had on their children.

The screening - the first large size showing since Jaws original release - proved that Spielberg's man against big fish saga can still make you jump out of your seat. From the opening strains of John Williams' brilliant score the tension was palpable and the gasps and "oh no's" were audible.

After the credits rolled to thunderous applause from the packed theater, Spielberg and Scheider with Koepp as moderator fielded questions from the audience for over an hour! The Oscar winning director was clearly at home and at ease and seemed willing to answer queries all night.

Outside students were handing out homemade cookies in the shape of sharks and swimmers both male and female to guests, all too ready to bite off a leg or two! Much to the delight of the young bakers Tanya Willock, Morgana Keller-Tetherow, and Kericia Walker and chagrin of parent Michele Bacher.

Nachos Figueras and Delfina Blaquier at Drive Gorgeous.

Among those who helped make the evening a sell-out were Guild Hall Chairman Mickey Straus, Maria Tennariello, Barry and Donna Slotnick, Gina Glickman our Main Street Series Correspondent, Alma Phipps, Rose Billings, Dan Rattiner, Henry and Peggy Schleiff, and hundreds more.

Just another night at the movies in a small town - only in this case a historic event too!

Jaguar + Hogan's "Drive Gorgeous" event consisted of an afternoon in the finest Jaguar vehicles, where several high-profile guest drivers explored secret locations and off-the-map estates for enchanted gatherings with the other hosts of the event. Jaguar and Hogan chose an elite group of notables to participate in this event which showcased the most stylish vehicle of this year, the 2007 Jaguar XK.

Drivers met at the former summer estate of the Bouvier family for a welcome reception. From the estate, they set out on the "Drive Gorgeous" rally, which led them to the fabulous Church Estate in Montauk, and ultimately back to the Bouvier estate for victory cocktails and a clam bake dinner catered by R. Cano - delicious! At the dinner, drivers received a limited edition, one-of-a-kind "Jag Bag" that Hogan has designed to celebrate this special occasion.

And who were these lucky drivers and guests? We spotted Allison Sarofim, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Candy Pratts and Chuck Price, Dave Lieberman, Nacho Figueras and Delfina Blaquier, Fabian Basabe, Hayley and Jason Binn, Jonathan Farkas, Justin Bartha, Kelly Bensimon, Kelly Klein, Luigi Tadini, Lydia Hearst, Martina Basabe, Patrick McMullan, Stella Schnabel, Thalía, Thom Filicia, and Tommy Mottola.

Martina and Fabian Basabe at Drive Gorgeous.

Friday evening, we took the chance to head back to Madam Tong's in Southampton for the Hillary Flowers Fashion Show. After the dinner rush is over, the tables in the dining room are pushed aside to make room for a dance floor as guests flow in through the indoor bar, dance floor, patio, and onto the back lawn where they had set up a large tent and runway for the show.

We found a bit more room in the back as we spotted Dawn Kallman, Janet Sindoni, Shari Goldsmith, and Adam McClue soaking up the cool evening air. With the success of the Lychee fruit martini on our last visit, we were eager to try another signature drink, though we weren't the only ones with this thought as the bars both inside and out were packed three deep. A perfect opportunity for a cute bystander with more height and volume to place our order for us to the bartender.

Heading back out to the tent, the fashion show warmed up with a scintillating belly dance performance that had everyone's attention. The casual and fun atmosphere continued as a few of the ladies in the crowd took the empty runway as a chance to try their own walk and pose for pictures before security shooed them away as the show was ready to start. A parade of colors took the runway as the collection included many of the rich jewel tones that are going to be popular this fall, as well as texture in lots of lace accents and ruching.

The line was such a hit, as were the lovely models, they took two turns to show off the clothes. After the show, the models seemed as excited about the success of the show as the crowd, as we're sure the celebration lasted well into the evening.

Much to the relief of the 3rd Annual On Our Toes in the Hamptons Gala co-chairs Joyce Mullins-Jackson and Loida Nicolas Lewis, the skies cleared in time for the Evidence Dance Company's triumphant return to the East End.

Gary Sanders and Ryan Toscano at Madame Tong's. Photo by
Katrina Lovett

As guests arrived, they were greeted by the good folks from Wine Cellar Sorbets who served up tiny cones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and May wine sorbets. Just the ticket after a hike through the glorious sculpture filled Nova's Ark Project.

Joyce and Loida, joined by Evidence Chairman of the Board Reginald Van Lee and Honorary Chairs Susan L. Taylor and Khephra Burns, welcomed guests to the enormous barn for cocktails including Peg Alston, Virginia and Earl Arrington, Clyde Butler, Sybil Chester, Scott and Elizabeth Corwin, Anthony Clark, Lloyd and Patricia Howell, Deborah Lee, Neil Lowe, Yvonne Doggett Rhea, Audra Gaul, David Robertson, Dr. Marcy Street, super chef Doug G, Hamptons.com media sponsors Editor in Chief Nicole B. Brewer, Vanessa Leggard and scores more.

Norma Jean Darden of Spoonbread served up a delectable array of Caribbean, Cajun, African and Soul Food treats: Yucatan chicken, black eyed peas fritters, spicy shrimp, country ham & biscuits, mini sweet potato pies and peach cobblers. Moet Hennessy kept the Veuve Clicquot flowing like the Seine. A big hit was the signature "Belvedere Pirouette" cocktail, a yummy blend of Belvedere Vodka, Nahan Cognac and fruit juice created by their mixologists especially for the fete.

The fashionable crowd had plenty of time to pore over the Silent Auction. There was some fierce bidding for a number of lots - the Raymond Weill his and her watches, ducats to the already certified Broadway hit musical Grey Gardens, a wonderful painting by Marjorie Myles, the original African inspired artwork commissioned by Evidence from world renowned artist Cheryl R. Riley, a sexy red jewel encrusted bag from La Casa Chic and a one-of-a-kind Gerri Rafferty pearl and vermeil necklace donated by Bravura Art and Objects. CBS co-anchor Rene Syler, the afternoon's vivacious host lost out on the necklace but scored the red bag.

Co-chairs Joyce Mullins-Jackson and Loida Nicolas Lewis at 3rd
Annual On Our Toes in the Hamptons Gala. Photo by Katrina

But the best was still to come when Rene Slyer brought to the stage amidst thunderous applause the Evidence Dance Company and its founder Ronald K. Brown. Preceded by a choir comprised of singers from several local churches, Evidence began the first of a thrilling, emotional and achingly beautiful trilogy "Truth Don Die". This exhilarating and often soul wrenching performance was a sneak preview of this newly completed work by Brown which will debut in New York this winter.

Following a brief intermission with enough time to snatch another Pirouette cocktail and throw in final bids, it was back to the tent just as the sun was beginning to set. The pastoral backdrop of horses grazing on the fields and the violet-orange sky was the perfect setting for Evidence's signature piece "Grace", an athletic romp that swung all around the world of the African Diaspora. The high energy performance left the audience - and the dancers - breathless. But not without enough to give this extraordinary group a three minute standing ovation!

Early Saturday evening Yerba Buena came to Guild Hall in East Hampton. We stopped by during the cocktail reception before the show. We sampled some of the tasty Caribbean themed drinks sponsored by Rums of Puerto Rico, with enough choices to satisfy any taste, and tasty hors d'oeuvres on the back lawn. DJ Geo Leche had the guests upbeat as they chatted and enjoyed the day. While we couldn't stay for the show, it was gearing up to be one hot party!

The Junior Council of Safe Horizon, the nation's leading victim assistance organization, held their first kick off event for over 180 supporters on Saturday, August 26th from 5-8PM hosted at the East Hampton home of Board Member Jane Rivkin. As the sun made an unexpected appearance that evening, the Mexican themed event was the perfect setting for guests to mingle, enjoy frozen margaritas and hors d'oeuvres by Zarela, white wine by Barefoot Wine and to learn about an organization that's moving victims of violence from crisis to confidence.

Nicole B. Brewer at Reggie Van Lee at the 3rd Annual On Our
Toes in the Hamptons Gala. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Safe Horizon's Associate Vice President, Youth Programs David Nish and Junior Council Co-chairs Anna Richardson and John Ordway spoke about Safe Horizon's critical work and welcomed guests and Junior Council members Sam Goodyear, Joanna Kornfeld, Blair Morris, Bradford Nugent, Sara Pollack, Leila Rastegar, Loryn Schwade, Vijay Shroff, Anne Trott, Lauren Weinstein, and Ashley Musfeldt.

Future plans for the Junior Council include a fall 2006 fundraising kick-off event for Justice Served, "In Our Own Words". The event will be held on November 2nd at Henri Bendel in New York City. Additional fundraising and community awareness events will be held throughout the fall and winter as well. For more information on the Junior Council's fall event or how you can get involved with the Junior Council, please visit www.safehorizon.org or email juniorcouncil@safehorizon.org.

Next we headed to watermill to the "Under the Tuscan Sun" to benefit the Bailey House, the nations first provider of supportive housing for those with HIV/AIDS. The ball gowns and perfectly coiffed hair was out in full force as the royals held court under the cozy tent at the home of Joan and George Hornig. We spotted hosts Barry Gordin and Patrick Christiano, guests Tim Kofahl, Baruch Shemtov, Bruce T. Sloane, and Rose Billings as well as the georgous Trai LaTrash, Emperess 19 Robin Kradles and Princess Royal Angela Mercy surveying the silent auction items. Goodies up for bid included photographs, artwork, gift certificates to Almond Restaurant, 2 nights at the Maidstone Arms, and beauty makeovers from renowned stylist Fernanndo Bianco lining the sides of the tent offering conversation starters as guests placed their bids.

At sunset, we put metal to the peddle and hightailed it off to Quogue racing the clock so as not to miss a moment of the electrifying Queen of Rock n Soul, Patti LaBelle who was revving up for a performance on behalf of the Diabetes Research Institute. With minutes to spare, we pulled up to the oceanfront estate of Jill and Cliff Viner and walked up the 350 foot long red carpet to the house which at first glance looked like the QE II docked on the beach. Talk about enormous!

Walking up the long ramp we first thought we were ready to set sail and felt we should be looking for our Louis Vuitton trunks. On the main deck, we joined the crowd of Westhampton's movers and shakers and worked our way to the smoking nitrogen bar where the bartenders were serving up the chilliest martinis ever.

Jeffery Brodersen, Emperess 19 Robin Kradles, Princess Royal
Angela Mercy, and John D'Oraszio at the "Under the Tuscan
Sun" benefit for Bailey House. Photo by Katrina Lovett

As event producer extraordinaire Barton G. had devised a menu that was not only sugar free but heart hearty especially for this evening, we felt no guilt diving into the mounds of lobster, shrimp, "julienne pasta" made from chicken and best of all chocolate mousse, strawberry shortcake, and peach cobbler.

Within minutes of our arrival, LaBelle took to the stage and performed a quintessentially Patti set, emotional and high voltage, that brought the audience from tears to exhilaration. No way about it, Patti at 60+ packs a punch that no 20 year old in the biz can. In a word, she is electrifying!

Swooping into her signature Lady Marmalade (Voulez vous couches avec moi ce soir?) the divine diva plucked several of our party onto the stage to be both back up singers and dance partners. Unforgettable!

After the show, Patti invited us back to her "dressing room" - a five room suite in the mansion. Patti immediately got out of her onstage garb, tossed on a terry cloth robe from the cabana and clad in nothing more than that and her 22 carat diamond ring and Fendi 6 inch stilettos, held court for an hour and a half before hoping into a waiting limo, dressed as she was, and speeding off into the night back home to Philadelphia.

Sunday rolled in with the storm clouds as rain put a damp note on the day, but this didn't stop partygoers from heading to Hampton Bays for the 3rd annual Dinner in the Dunes to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Long Island. The conclusion of the Hamptons Offshore Invitational Tournament, run by The Shinnecock Marlin and Tuna Club, there was an interesting crowd of fishing enthusiasts as well as a few big brothers/sisters and their sponsored siblings.

Patti LaBelle at the event for the Diabetes Research Institute.

Oakland's Restaurant closed to the public to dedicate their spacious dining room as well as the tents spread across the deck and yard. There was plenty of room to mingle with 2nd place finisher Jerry Kociuruba as well as, Annette and Rich Mansfield, Floyd Carrington, Sandy Dumais and wildlife artist Vito De Vito as we nibbled on tasty stuffed clams and other seafood hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Plenty of fun was to be found as long as you didn't mind a bit of rain navigating between the restaurant and the tents, or waiting for the thankfully speedy valets.

In Amagansett, we stopped to take a look at the Raven Gallery's new exhibit, "In Search of Eden" by photographer Sandra Russell Clark. Despite the rain, guests jumped at the chance to take a look at the New Orleans photographs, well timed for the 1st anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Sandra Russell Clark is a survivor, having lost nearly 30 years worth of work in the storm. But she was all smiles as she greeted guests with her husband Evert White and gallery owner Greg Wessel. Despite the hardship, she set right to work in forming a new collection, and these lovely sepia toned pictures capture the beauty that is hidden under the disaster.

A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, Katrina Artist Fund and The South fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center, hopefully to help other artists start their own rebuilding and renewal. On display through September 10th, we highly recommend stopping by for a look.

Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer


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