Eichner’s Eye: Super Saturday in the Hamptons and the Watermill Center Benefit

WWD's photographer sees it all and shares his unique perspective from a packed weekend in the Hamptons.

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WWD photographer Steve Eichner sees it all and shares his unique perspective from a packed weekend in the Hamptons, from the annual Super Saturday garage sale to the Watermill Center summer benefit.

Super Saturday at Nova’s Ark Project, Water Mill, N.Y.

11:19 a.m.: Wild-eyed shopping maniacs in the VIP ticket line studying the floor plan so they know where to run at the stroke of noon. I hope no one gets trampled.

11:21 a.m.: Going over in my head my assignments for the day. Lots to do and all with a torn muscle on my left calf.

11:58 a.m.: It usually annoys me when a cell phone fan gets in my way to get a picture, but now I’m that guy. I’m in the way of some pros so I can Instagram Kelly Ripa for WWD.


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12:12 p.m.: Like bees rushing out of a hive, the velvet rope opens and the bargain hunting begins.

12:24 p.m.: “I like the way you took her picture and they ask who you are anyway,” a Super Saturday volunteer tells me.  We both laugh because Diem Brown’s reply was “MTV personality.”

12:26 p.m.: The most wonderful fashion shot of the day! A cute guy rides in on one of those collapsible bikes — flower print shirt, black shorts with white words painted on them, striped socks and a perfect metrosexual bag. Wait, did I say cute?

12:35 p.m.: “Without these, by the end of the day I’ll have broken legs,” Jean Shafiroff says of her sneakers.

12:37 p.m.: “Did you hear? The truck got stolen — French Connection, Theory and Ralph Lauren.” Apparently, they are still rolling in with new stuff trying to replace what was stolen.

12:46 p.m.: Beth Stern pushing her way through the paparazzi. “Enough with the photos. I wanna go shopping now,” she says. OK!

12:56 p.m.: And the award for longest time giving interviews on the red carpet goes to: Kelly Ripa!

1:19 p.m.: “What time is Donna arriving?” I ask her [vice president of public relations] Patti Cohen. “She’s not. She’s stuck in Bali,” she says. Nice place to be stuck.

1:21 p.m.: Rachel Zoe finishes the carpet and makes a beeline for her husband, who gives her a drink. “It’s a margarita,” he says. “Oh, goody!” she says before a big gulp.

Click Here for More Eye Coverage of Super Saturday and the Watermill Benefit >>

1:37 p.m.: Nicky and Kathy Hilton strike their trademark pose for me. Then Nicky hands me her phone. “Will you take one for me?” Sure. She looks at it. “Will you do one more full length please?”

1:41 p.m.: Finished the press line and now it’s onto the food line. All this delicious catering by Sant Ambroeus and some idiot is eating a hot dog. [Editor’s note: They weren’t bad!]

2:22 p.m.: I have good taste. I see two very pretty girls and ask them for a snap. Their publicist hands me slips of paper with their names. They happen to be Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Miss Universe Gabriela Isler.

2:47 p.m.: Was about to head out when Alec Baldwin arrives with his wife and child. Surprisingly he stops and poses. Phew. Thought I was going to need my football helmet for a second.

3:34 p.m.: Is this the Long Island Medium? She sure looks like her. Waiting in line for a tarot reading, I strike up a conversation with two ladies. “I bought a table for $6,000,” one of them says. Finally, I ask my three questions to the psychic, ‘Will I ever pay $6,000 for a table?’ I’m told, “Either way it will work out.” Vague much?

5:23 p.m.: From the height of consumerism to the highest of art. I’m on the way to the Watermill Center summer benefit. One of my favorite events of the year!

NEXT: Steve Eichner Heads to the Watermill Center >>

Watermill Center Summer Benefit and Auction, Water Mill, N.Y.

6:02 p.m.:
Walking under a big cloud suspended above the path. Gorgeous! “This guy’s horny,” a jokey photographer says, referring to the trombone player’s headpiece.

6:14 p.m.: Passing through the Watermill building, Jim Jarmusch is concentrating on playing a guitar with a vast array of effects pedals. He catches a beautiful woman passing by and his trance is broken. He can’t stop staring. I don’t blame him. She’s wearing a skintight gold sequin dress.

6:17 p.m.: A performance artist hanging from a rope on the wall above. I lay down on the ground and get some good frames looking up at him. Uh, oh. He’s stuck in silver tinsel.

6:21 p.m.: My favorite part of the evening is walking through the woods at sunset where there are various performance art pieces in the golden hour light. The first I come upon is a fat man lying on his back with a huge white balloon on his stomach. “Do you need some help,” is one comment. Photographer Kevin Tachman says, “That’s me after Chipotle.”

6:23 p.m.: Next are some corporate mascots in their underwear.

6:24 p.m.: Woman in a white burka hosed down with water by two men, like some kind of Middle Eastern wet T-shirt contest.

6:28 p.m.: Hashtag “knitting bondage.” A girl with red yarn tying herself to the woods.

6:33 p.m.: I’m singing The Spinners’ song “Rubberband Man” watching these rubber band masks.

6:35 p.m.:
Almost tripped over a woman in the hole in the ground.

6:44 p.m.:
My favorite piece of the night — two artists climbing through a broken wall. I get the key shot as the illusion of the top half of one body is backwards on the bottom half…eh, can’t explain…look at the photo.

6:49 p.m.:
To a young woman named Janelle, “And you are a model or artist?” Her answer: “Model, artist, actress, muse. All of the above.”

6:50 p.m.: People really went for the dress code, “Bazaar Chic.”

7:05 p.m.: “Oh My God, I was up late looking at my Facebook and saw the photo you posed with your bandaged leg,” squeals Jamee Gregory. “Are you OK?” “I’m fine, thanks Jamee. “

7:11 p.m.: Robert Wilson makes his grand entrance in some sort of a gold-trimmed judge’s robe.

7:18 p.m.: Down into the basement for the Lady Gaga video portrait exhibit — beautifully done! As I gaze upon the screen with Gaga in bondage ropes, all I hear over and over in the soundtrack is the word ejaculation.

7:53 p.m.: I’m shooting some kids sitting in a convertible Rolls-Royce that was weirdly out of place, then Joy Marks jumps into the shot and does her dramatic poses.

7:58 p.m.: The silent auction features a surfboard with the word “Lust” across it. Perfect!

8:12 p.m.: I spy a girl with interesting hardware and as I’m clicking away from afar her boyfriend spontaneously kisses her. Cute.

8:16 p.m.: Some photographers are waiting in a pack. Who’s coming? ScarJo? Gaga? No — Kim Cattrall.

8:17 p.m.: “Kim’s not doing pictures.” Huh?

8:35 p.m.: Down to the dinner. Fantastic photo of the centerpiece, a female dancer looking like a statue.

8:47 p.m.: My editor makes a move and gets his quote from Cattrall. I snap a few but they are not that flattering. Sorry, Kim.

10:01 p.m.: Ahhhh, how I love a charity auction. Not! Well, at least this one is interesting with Simon de Pury’s funky Swiss accent and some fine art.

10:17 p.m.: The Anish Kapoor piece is paraded around the stage. Samira Sine’s hand goes up. The bid is at $40,000. Going once, going twice, sold!


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