Monday, August 3, 2015

I kind of love writing my August column in June, because at this point in the Hamptons, only the sweetest, most traditional, indigenous, and coziest events have happened. So far, we have enjoyed small dinners, celebrations of gardens and our fuzzy friends that wee-wee in them . . . and so that is what I will tell you about.

The Southampton Fresh Air Home kicked off its 114th season of camp for physically disabled children with the 23rd Annual Decorators-Designers-Dealers Sale and Auction Benefit Gala (a lot of descriptives, even more items within). It’s the first benefit of the season, and chock-full of well-priced treasures. We have a Dorothy Draper sofa, discovered here by our brilliant designer, Richard Mishaan, hidden from all else under old, matted brown velvet. Ansel Elgort was here (my daughter will never again roll her eyes when I invite her to join me), furnishing his new apartment, and charming the female campers. Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor strolled over from their digs around the corner, though I think Jamie Drake has already filled their home. Husbands were planted in front of a TV screen to watch American Pharaoh make history, and folks like Tory Burch and Aida Turturro shopped for a very good cause. Honorary chairs were Sarah Senbahar and Charlotte Bonstrom Assaf and chairs were Kirsten Solsvig Galef and Barbara Page Glatt.

The Parrish Art Museum also celebrates the flora and fauna that inspired so many East End artists, fittingly, at the Landscape Pleasures tour, symposium and cocktail party. The gardens of Toni Ross, Eleanora and Michael Kennedy, Jane and Michael DeFlorio, Robin and Fred Seegal, and David Kleinberg were featured. Since I am more interested in wine grapes than roses, I joined them at the cocktail at Marcia Riklis’ fabulous oceanside home, surrounded by carefully and beautifully landscaped gardens by Edwina von Gal and Abby Clough Lawless. Garden ornaments included Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, Linda and Russell Munson, Kelly Graham and John Barman, Jo Hallingby, Leslie Rose Close, and Fernanda Niven.

Have you noticed designers also design great parties? Packed into one weekend, with much overlap, were lovely dinners hosted by Amanda Ross and Zack Bacon, Lisa and Donald Jackson, and Dennis Basso and Michael Cominotto.

Amanda, who is debuting her own jewelry line (with Sanjay Kasliwal of Gem Palace), feted Veronica Toub’s line of clothes (VMT Los Angeles) and jewelry, some of which is carried at Muriel Brandolini’s eponymous Southampton pop-up. I know: a design inferno. I felt like an unadorned Quaker who lives in a root cellar.

Dennis Basso hosted the first of what we hope will be many intimate dinners at their home, dubbed “Hotel du Cobb” (on Cobb Lane). We savored the first of summer’s bounty: fiery red tomatoes, fresh corn and, of course, the ribs and chicken that tag along. Most of his guests moved on the next night, to the Jacksons’.

Lisa and Donald hosted dinner, preceded by cocktails for the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons 29th Annual Garden Tour. Lisa McCarthy, president of ARF, asked the other Lisa if she would host. Without missing a beat, Lisa J. said, “I don’t even like animals, but I’ll do it for you.” Happy outdoor lovers traipsed through six gardens, including Katharina Otto-Bernstein’s and Ashley and Jeff McDermott’s (a virgin tour—the first public viewing). For the 12th year, it rained on their dinner party, but it didn’t dampen spirits. Some hung in the library, cheering on Rory, Jordan or Jason in the U.S. Open, others compared their LJ Crosses (from Lisa J.’s jewelry line—more design than religion), but all—including Serena Boardman and John Theodoracopulos, Danielle and David Ganek, Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox, Debbie and John Loeffler, and Ingrid and Tom Edelman—thanked our lucky (though not visible stars) that we were here in this lovely hamlet at Blue Haven.

SEEGAL AND MILLER: Photos by Pam Deutchman /


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