David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary

3 December 2009

Warm-ish like early May

Over at Asprey’s there was a cocktail party for the benefit of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Although the drizzle outside was freezing for those girls in bare-shouldered dresses, guests who attended were treated to a warm and friendly reminder of the impending holiday season. Asprey was lovingly decorated with bouquets of candy canes, ribbons, and bows in Asprey's signature purple shade, while the martinis and Champagne served throughout the evening contained clusters of Cranberries.

As the Asprey necklaces and brooches glimmered, Barbara Regna remarked, "Oh!" Time for some holiday shopping!” turning to her date upon seeing Asprey's sparkling selection of jewelry. Diana Quasha, Gala Chair and active member of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, was wearing green and white sequins. "It's Pucci. It doesn't immediately strike you as traditional Pucci. It's like Pucci on crack."

Someone else remarked, "Isn't Diana's dress beautiful? It's like an Cubist snow-covered-tree!"

The same seasonal sentiments seemed to linger over all of the guests, many of whom (after removing their furs at the door) sought out old friends for cheek kisses. Many of the dresses -- De La Renta and Herrera were labels overheard -- were white, black, or, in the case of Kathleen Giordano and Alison Minton, bright holiday red. Others chose bolder colors: Ramsey Neale was sporting a cheerful orange Lanvin dress. Marisa Tomenson wore a black and white checkered dress with pink and yellow accents by Bill Blass.

In keeping with the holiday theme, two of the “older” women were sharing the glory of years past. "We used to really get boys to pick up our tabs and everything!" they giggled. "This show 'Gossip Girl?' They don't know what they are talking about. We were really there!"

"El Morocco every night!" The other woman agreed. "Sean Flynn, Erroll's son, was my date!"

Talk was never far from the purpose of the evening. "They have nearly 600 volunteers," a guest told me, "and they help incredible numbers of people on the East Side. This is the most important time of the year to remember to do this kind of good."
Around nine-ish, with the gathering of the coats, furs, and umbrellas, guests moved over to a private club only a block or two away for dinner. The warm, rich woods of the clubs dining rooms on this early December night conjured up images of The Stahlbaum House from the Nutcracker -- all perfectly complimented the classic red and green trimmings of the room -- while the sublime, bewitching smell of fresh Paperwhites (set at each table) conjured the fond memories of holidays past. — TS for NYSD.

Ladies in Holiday Scarlet, Kathleen Giordano and Alison Minton