by Debbie Bancroft Photographed by Cara Delevingne
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The inverse relationship between overpublicized parties and private ones continues to grow. Store events, festooned with ball gowns and circa ’60s prom hair reign supreme on the party pages, and simple dinners are held in bunkers, with nary a posting or—horrors!—members of the press present. So where does this leave your earnest scribe in trying to reveal the loveliest wonders of the summer season? Well, fortunately for the Chronicles column, there is always the trusty charity event, bridging these worlds, uniting all factions in support of philanthropy (a term that has been sorely diluted of late).

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s 18th Annual Super Saturday, the ultimate

guilt-free shopping experience, ensured all would be well attired for the Water Mill benefit around the corner that evening, and raised $3.4 million in the process for the charity. It is a girl’s dream: dramatically reduced luxury items, manicures, psychic readings, hair braiding, food by Sant Ambroeus . . . the only thing missing was a sleepover. Those who attended included hosts Donna Karan and Kelly Ripa, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Rudolph and Judith Giuliani, Rachel Zoe, Ali Wentworth, Dennis Basso, and Gayle King.

I should probably post a video in order to truly capture Robert Wilson’s 22nd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit and Auction. It is a goulash of performance artists, acrobats, works of art, collectors, cads, glamazons and oddities, and we love it. This year it was called ‘“Circus of Stillness . . . The Power over Wild Beasts,” and featured work by artists and designers from more than 25 countries. Guests wound through the forest, encountering portrait-covered sleeping performers (many of us thought, “Good—something my kid could do!”), a sonic cacophony band crammed into a little house, a Pietà scene in yet another little cottage, and so much more that, necessarily, led to the bar. During dinner, a courageous group of high-wire performers called Cirkus Cirkör, who had performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, spun, wove and dangled overhead sans nets, requiring yet more from the bar. The beautiful Inga Maren Otto was honored and told us she never would have met Bob if her daughter Katharina Otto-Bernstein hadn’t made her seminal film, Absolute Wilson. Conducted by Simon de Pury, art was auctioned, live and more silently, and the whole shebang brought in more than $1.9 million to support the Watermill Center’s Year-Round Residency and Educational Programs. Enchanted guests included Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney, Christophe de Menil, Barbara Goldsmith, Laurie Durning Waters and Roger Waters, Patricia Hearst Shaw, Terrie Sultan, Rufus Wainwright, Bill T. Jones and Brooke Shields.

By now you’re mostly back on the avenue, for many good reasons. Even as the beaches beckoned, I dashed back for the Cinema Society’s screenings. Woody Allen’s Irrational Man opened to a packed house of loyalists, including Parker Posey, Laverne Cox, Anna Wintour with Annette de la Renta, Arianna Huffington (who celebrated her birthday there), Lee Radziwill, Sony Picture Classics’ Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, Martha Stewart, Swoosie Kurtz, David Blaine (yes, he did card tricks) and Damian Lewis. Even Woody adjourned to the courtyard of the New York Palace to celebrate, attached, as always to his Soon-Yi Previn.

And I have to mention the Paper Towns screening, if only to bring my average age of subjects down by a few decades. Cara Delevingne is so captivating, not only for her looks, but for her talent and wit. She is the girl whom all love—straight girls, not straight girls, men, boys and inanimate objects. She is one to watch, and we will.


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