DERBY TO-DO: Given the frenzy of photographers, television crews and fawning women who swarmed Mark Badgley and James Mischka at the 23rd annual Derby gala held in Louisville, Ky., Saturday night, the designing duo may as well have been George and Brad. The fund-raiser, held a week before the big race to benefit the Kentucky Derby Museum, was a grand Southern society affair, held on the infield of Churchill Downs. Over 1,000 guests — its largest crowd ever — filled the exquisitely appointed tent produced by Douglas Riddle.
Riddle, chairman for the event and president of local design firm Bittners, one of the evening’s sponsors, scored a coup with the first-time attendance of Owsley Frazier, a member of the Brown-Forman Distillers’ family, whose wealth, real estate and philanthropy are synonymous with Louisville.
The next morning, before Badgley and Mischka left for their farm in Lexington, they were treated to a tour of the back side of Churchill Downs, which houses the thoroughbreds that will run in Saturday’s Derby. The pair even got to visit Colonel John, the prerace favorite whose owner, Susan Casner, showed almost as much hospitality to the men as their fans the previous night. And she didn’t even know who they were.
TRIBECA REPORT: “Mmmm, welcome to Lake City,” cooed a guest as soon as he laid eyes on the hunky waiters working at Allison Sarofim’s West Village town house for a party celebrating her Tribeca Film Festival entry, “Lake City.” Dressed in tight jeans, tank tops and trucker hats, the catering crew manned hay-bale bars and passed out frozen cosmos, milk shakes and popcorn to guests including co-stars Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity, Jane Fonda, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Feith, who had trekked uptown after the screening.
The film, written and directed by Hunter Hill and Perry Moore and coproduced by Sarofim, involves one Southern family’s struggle with love, death and drug addiction. The burgeoning producer couldn’t resist casting herself in a cameo part in which she appears first in a slinky silk robe and later being assaulted by a violent drug dealer (played by Dave Matthews). But Sarofim had been so wrapped up in post-production work that until she saw her own face on-screen, “I forgot I was even in it,” she laughed.
The following evening, nightcrawlers packed into the Village East Cinema for the premiere of Douglas Keeve’s “Hotel Gramercy Park.” The flick documents the hotel’s recent transformation from a family-run, neighborhood property owned by the tragedy-stricken Weissberg family to the klieg-light attraction it’s become under Ian Schrager. After the screening, guests including Waris Ahluwalia, Poppy Delevingne and GQ’s Jim Moore headed down the block to Shoolbred’s for a nightcap.
This story first appeared in the April 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.