On The Avenue

Text in the City Goes to the Head of the Glass for Chihuly

by Toby & Larry Milstein Photographed by Angela Pham and Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

On Thursday evening, the New York Botanical Garden was in full bloom, as supporters flitted among the flowers for the annual Conservatory Ball. Philanthropists, fashion designers and even a few insta-celebs gathered to admire glass artist Dale Chihuly’s magnificent sculptures. AVENUE’s own Larry and Toby Milstein take you there now…


Thursday, 7 PM

Stuck in traffic on my way to the Bronx—can’t wait to trade this freeway for some flora

It’s a schlep, but wish I could be there with you all the same—stuck in San Francisco for work. Excited though for our first ever “Text in the Garden” tonight. Haha kidding. It’s still Text in the City. What are you wearing?

Let’s just say I’m not a “shrinking violet”—rocking a velvet tuxedo with metallic accents. Trying to channel my inner Chihuly for the festivities: bold and colorful like one of his sculptures

Oh yeah, his exhibit is debuting at the garden, right? There’s so much hype on social. It looks mesmerizing

Yes, it’s his first garden exhibition in New York in more than ten years. Excited to see what his work looks like outside of Las Vegas lobbies lol

Spending a little too much time in Vegas, eh?


Thursday, 8 PM

Just arrived at the Botanical Garden, and it feels less ‘secret garden’ than Bronx Zoo! Hundreds of people decked in black tie and floral-inspired garb are mingling among the hedges and topiaries. Two women are even wearing the same floral ballgown lol

Uh oh, that’s always so awkward. They should acknowledge each other and move on… or embrace it wholeheartedly and get BFA to do a shot of them together

Guests are being greeted by the gala chairwomen Alexanda Lebenthal, Gillian Miniter, Deborah Goodrich Royce, and Catherine Marlette Waddell. Also, guess who just came up to me and complimented my tux…

I have no idea…

Naeem Khan, the designer! He was with Linda Fargo, the head shopper at Bergdorf’s who just graced the cover of the store’s magazine rocking one of Khan’s bright pink dresses

#Casual. How are the gardens looking?

Let’s just say spring has definitely sprung. The combination of flowers in bloom and the striking Chihuly sculptures is breathtaking. Gonna get that #Insta shot in front of his “Citron Sun” sculpture, will text you when I head into the dinner…


Thursday, 10 PM

The night is really taking off. I’m seated at a table with the head of Verdura jewelry, Ward Landrigan. That brand has such a fantastic history. Apparently, the Duke Fulco di Verdura was the go-to designer for everyone from Coco Chanel to Cole Porter and Vincent Astor

Ooo interesting… did I mention my birthday is coming up?

Very subtle. Anyways, you’ll need to try the “bird of paradise” dessert they served, this egg-shaped shell with a surprise custard inside — it was like a grown up Kinder Surprise eggs

Sounds very #OnBrand

So true. Gonna head to the dance-floor now to work off some of that chocolate. Not many wallflowers here—everyone is turning up, including Insta-power couple Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers

So jealous. Let’s save the date for the Winter Wonderland Ball

I’m down, but still defrosting from the chilly spring. We’ve got a big summer ahead of texting on the beach

For additional coverage of the New York Botanical Garden Spring Gala, click here.


R.I.P. Mario Buatta, 1935-2018

The Prince of Chintz has died after a life of loveliness and laughter.

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