The gang's all here.
The angel who produces the always superb Winter Antique Show, launching New York’s season, is Eula Johnson. Last night she was serenely gowned in gray.
'Let's get this party started!'
More than at almost any other party, people make an effort to ‘dress to impress’. Neither regarding the fabulous antiquities offered, nor in terms of the fastidious attire of fellow guests, am I ever let down. Indeed so exceptionally are many shod, it occurred to me, ‘perhaps it should be renamed, the Winter Antique Shoe?’ On the other hand, dreamed up and spearheaded by Mario Buatta to help improve life in the city among those in need, whatever it's called, for 50 years now, it's been the greatest show on earth!
Renauld White on Thursday the 25th, He's pictured below, on opening night, with a friend.
As wonderfully welcoming as Mrs. Johnson are her devoted volunteers. Included among this group are luminaries like fashion legend Renald White.
Students who benefit from the East Side House Settlement's scholarships also figure among the Winter Antique Show's helpful attendants and ticket takers. Their warm welcome, on a cold night, helps to make sure that that the gala private viewings are always a memorable experience. One thing distinguishing the show, is that its parties more closely than any others, reflects the city’s true diversity.
Tony and Freddy Victoria, the father and son team who run the eighty-year-old firm, Frederick P. Victoria & Son, Inc, established by Tony's father. It's the scrupulous vetting of authorities like Toney, which makes the Winter Antique Show so respected a world-venue.
The faithful patronage of addicted collectors like Martha Stewart keeps the Winter Antique Show going strong, year, after year.
Martha wore the most marvelous abbreviated boots.
Winter Antique Show galas are always embowered by flowers.
Like many who attended both of the Antique Show dos, Stefan Handl, Harlem's most fashionable florist, was decidedly more relaxed in his atitre for the Young Collector's night.
Fortunately, for tradition's sake, this was not universally so.
Bon vivant Larry Bentley, seen with his handsome friend Daniel Bianchi at the opening preview party for this year's Winter Antique Show, sported a necktie of Japanese brocaded silk.
A 'dressed-down', but still unerringly chic Larry Bently at the Young Collector's night in Jean'Paul Gaultier. Men's haute couture being unfamiliar to some, one inevitably heard echoes of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham repeated.
The intersecting curves of Emily Israel Pluhar.
Nate Berkus and Kipton Cronkite admirably exhibiting modern urbanity.
Unstoppable, the man for whom Winter Antique Show guests dress to impress, Bill Cunningham of the still great New York Times. Despite having seen so much that he might reasonably regret, Mr. Cunningham remains hopefully appreciative of originality and suitability.
New York Magazine's Design Editor Wendy Goodman chairs the Young Collector's Night Design Council proceedings. No coat among 1,000 was more stylish than her polka dotted confection ornamented with antique star brooches.
As for me, a perennial delight of the Winter Antique Show is running into old friends. Some take the form of objects or paintings, like the ravishing Boldini extravaganza behind me. It depicts Elizabeth Drexel Lehr, who later married the Irish peer, John Graham Hope de la Poer Beresford, 5th Baron Decies, becoming, Lady Decies.
The portrait is owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County, which also owns a dozen remarkable historic houses it operates as museums. The Preservation Society were this year's Museum partner for the Antique Show.
With H.R.H., the Prince of Chintz.
With H.S.H., the Prince of Harlem.
There are certain extraordinary people...
Possessed of such brio...
And panache, one wishes one knew who they are? Who is Ms. Lana Smith, who has such nice yellow shoes?
Paul César Helleu's bravura etching of Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough, hanging in the Preservation Society of Newport County's installation, has been a friend since I was 12 and read her insightful memoir, The Glitter and the Gold. Interestingly, in the Associate Artists firm's booth across the way, a chair from the reluctant Duchess's grandfather's Fifth Avenue Drawing Room was on display.
As it's the 100th anniversary of the opening of Grand Central Terminal, it's worth noting that Helleu was also the artist responsible for the landmark's starry night-sky ceiling painting.
The side chair referred to: made by Herter Brothers around 1882 of gilded wood lavishly inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
William Henry Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper's great-great-grandfather turned the fortune he inherited of nearly $100,000,000., into nearly $200,000,000. by the time died as the world's wealthiest man, in 1885. The triple brownstone-faced house he erected for himself and two of his daughters at 640 Fifth Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets, was planned by architect Charles B. Atwood of the Herter Brothers design studio. It is accessed by historians as a marvel of Aesthetic Movement exuberance on a scale never before attempted in the United States.
1885: The Drawing Room, 640 Fifth Avenue.
A side chair, commode and bronze mounted jeweled alabaster columns from William Vanderbilt's Drawing Room at 640 Fifth Avenue.
I failed to notice the asking price for the Vanderbilt side chair, but, the easy chairs above, from the same suite of custom designed furniture, sold a year ago for $250,000. They had been estimated to fetch a mere $10,000-$20,000.
Antique Show dealers, such as Ms. Lesley Hill, a principal of Hill-Stone, always set a good example by dressing impeccably.
John Singer Sargent, Cicely Alice, Marchioness of Salisbury, was one of three well-born sisters he drew in 1923.
Frederic, Lord Leighton, The Sluggard.
Chicago dealers, Taylor B. Williams, L.L.C., are well-known specialist in American and English furniture, English enamels, European ceramics, and glass. Since the death of his partner the firm has been owned by David J. Bernard. As if his matchless offering of early nineteenth-century French, Creil earthen-ware, glazed yellow and green beneath transferred designs in black, were not inducement enough to linger, no matter when one turns up, this knowledgeable gentleman is always flawlessly turned out.
Peter Finer's Maximilian suit of armor, though a composite, is splendid! Mightn't just such armor to have inspired the statuette below?Sir Alfred Gilbert, R. A. St. George, The statuette is a variant of one of the saints encircling the operatically romantic tomb of Queen Victoria's ill-fated grandson, Prince Edward, Duke of Clarence.
A Tiffany Studios' decanter and beakers.
A gold, enamel and mother-of-pearl Faberge sedan chair.
A South African bronze of a boxing champion.
A fetching green necktie.
Esteemed and elegant interior designer James Andrew.
Mr. Scott Houston Mcbee, a gifted decorative artist in the tradition of Robert Winthrop Chanler or Porter Woodruff. Mr. Mcbee and Mr. Andrew are spouses.
As with the trend-setter James Andrew, the evening's most popular accessory was a mobile telephone and the texters were quite active.
An artful tied scarf worn by Michael Arguello.
Lovelies in lace and sparkles.
A flash of silver.
Time moves on, more silver, and everything grows more like everything else?
Some among us still appreciate making some occasions special by wearing something unusual. Olivia Wright, festively garbed, accompanied by gallant Gary Alexander.
Wearing exceptional clothes, to mark a gala occasion, was certainly true for all the young smartly attired people shown above.
Cheryl Green with long and lean Larry Bentley.
'Garcoon, s'il vous plait...Oh dear, one thought...'
It was not just women who donned red trousers.
Red trousers, like patent leather shoes were definite trends observable at the Antique Show parties.
A paisley patterned gown dotted with glinting tiny paillettes was extremely pretty.
Whether working or pretending, the Antique Show has the most attentive waiters!
Proof positive, that diamonds really can be a girl's best friend. at any rate, far more real than most on Facebook.
The one that got away! A whimsical chandelier from a line created by my designer friend Eddie Zajac, of Zajac & Callahan, that came from the decorator's apartment. It was priced at $14,000, far more than the $3,500 it realized at auction last Spring. Whoops, my bad!
Mr. Jamie Drake, the decorator par-excellence of our age.
Lindsey Harper, Jay Lohmann, and Beth Holman.
Serious jewelry, significant décolletage and boldly patterned dresses, with metallic embellishments are all nice enough, but is any accessory as desirable, or admired as much as, a sweet smile and a dashing companion in a cashmere scarf?
An expert hair-cut even helps to enhances the appearance of someone as terribly attractive as this gentleman.
How astute of this young lady of fashion, to understand how effectively a little scarf and the right shoes, can allow for an effortless transition, from everyday, to an enchanted evening.
The Winter Antique Shoe?
Lauren Chisholm, a skilled goldsmith from Darien, wears her own orbiting creation.
A young friend joins restaurant and club owner, Brian Washington-Palmer for a cocktail.
Shall it be a scarf...
Or a cravat? Either way, smiles rule.
Great minds, they say, think alike!
Our hostess, as it were, Mrs. Johnson in a cunning sleeveless grey dress.
Sinje Ollen and Stefan Handl pose with two gentlemen who have correctly chosen to don four-in-hand neckties. Ms. Ollen is wearing one of her own complexly made crocheted sweaters .
Sheila Maniar, Stefan Handel, Dale Dobson and John Reddick.
Refinement personified, Dale Dobson with MHA.
Éclat, underlined in coral-red! Please say the muff is back?
Most of us could never pull off dressing so casually and still looking well.
Two well-tailored swains. Imagine, just a short 50 years ago, after six o'clock, no gentleman in New York would be caught without a cravat, nor in a shirt that wasn't white, ironed and starched.
A dealer in Modernist antiques shows a modernist sense of chic.
Black and vibrant color: each employed to great advantage.
An apparition of impossible splendor, Ms. Keita Turner, in yellow, pearl-beaded silk shantung, with purple slippers.
Saint Valentine's Day is on the way.
Believe it or not, some attending the Young Collectors' party, are indeed, rather young!
Insofar as we are able to understand it, perfection.
Besides these two stylish lads, I counted ten other men wearing patent leather shoes .
The most delicious little cocktail dress!
The beauty of black, nothing basic about it!
Jean Shafiroff, a pert, petite snappy dresser and a special friend of Mario Buatta.
Black and blue can be beautiful, too.
Nicolette Balmer, who keeps things jumping at the Red Rooster, and a friend, both wore black, from head to toe, including smart short boots.
Joshie Armstead, still as alluring as when she was a teen-aged Ikette, laughing with Larry Bentley and Cheryl Green.
Finding the right adornment can be key.
Double breasted coats can be so becoming.
Charissa Craig-Jordan, a friend and Bob Phillips, take time to catch up.
Miss Sheila Maniar with MHA.
Once Michael Jackson started singing, the Antique Show was all over. Right there in the decorous aisle it was on to the Winter Antique Show Discotheque!
Some choose to sit it out.
The pause that...
A backward glance from a lovely lady in the most exquisite silk dress. It's printed with a pattern derived from the embroideries of eighteenth-century imperial Chinese robes.
A most charming and distinguished couple. They said I reminded them of '' Frolic'' Weymouth that, 'I should know him.' Alas I am not acquainted with Mr. Weynmouth, a du Pont heir, who paints and is a conservationist and devotee of coaching, as in a four-in-hand closed carriage. Of course, we might meet...for, anything is possible at the Winter Antique Show.
Today, anything is beginning to be possible in America.
Ms. Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz the leading dealer in historic wallpapers, particularly examples from the famed manufacture Joseph Dufour et Cie, with her friend, New York's preeminent francophone and patron of French culture, Elizabeth Stribling. The flair for invention and attention to detail of each lady makes one happily anticipate their next ensemble. They never disappoint.
Miss Sadie Kargman, simply arrayed in lustrous velveteen, the youngest, 'young collector', on opening night at the 59th annual Winter Antique Show.