Nothing like dark obsession and adultery to kick off a hectic July weekend in the Hamptons.
The overachievers of the party circuit got an early start Friday evening with a Hamptons Film Festival screening of David Mackenzie‘s “Asylum,” starring Natasha Richardson, Sir Ian McKellen and Marton Csokas (a poor man’s Clive Owen if you ever saw one). Csokas — joined by gal pal Eva Green and guests who included Calvin Klein, Marjorie Gubelmann Raein, Debbie Bancroft, Janice Combs, James Lipton, Kathy and Rick Hilton and Tinsley Mortimer — then hiked to Bob and Rowann Villency‘s Southampton beach house for a bonfire-lit soiree on the sand. One guest, however, was not quite as gung ho for the weekend’s back-to-back events. “Unless you’re buying art, reading about it is as good as being there,” quipped Jackie Astier of her plans to opt out of Saturday’s Watermill event.
But many of her more ambitious peers still managed the next morning to attend Super Saturday, Donna Karan‘s annual event, which raised a record $2 million for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. As bargain hunters Christy Turlington, Petra Nemcova, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Lorraine Bracco and Kelly Ripa got busy, the kid band Laughing Pizza entertained the boisterous little ones with their upbeat tunes.
Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, for one, hadn’t planned to do any damage, but quickly found motivation in her baby daughter. “I did Sienna shopping. I found these cute dresses by this Japanese brand, Miki House,” said the new mommy later that night at the benefit for Robert Wilson‘s Watermill Center. The artsy locale was transformed into a Brazil-themed extravaganza, and many guests got into the “tropical chic” invitation cues. “I was thinking Brazilian, bananas, Carmen Miranda,” said a fruit-bedecked Jamee Gregory of her accessories choice. “I have a drawer full of all this stuff — this bracelet has to be 20 years old.”
This story first appeared in the August 2, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
After cocktails, guests like co-chairs Helen and Tim Schifter, Fabiola Beracasa, Kelly Bensimon, Cecilia Dean, Catherine Malandrino, Bettina Burda, Olivia Chantecaille, Nicole Davis, Stella Schnabel, Ross Bleckner and Kim Heirston moved outdoors for a Brazilian seafood feast. Simon de Pury called a rowdy live auction for lots like a video portrait by Robert Wilson and customized perfume (Heirston was a particularly enthusiastic bidder, finally scoring a Philip Glass musical portrait).
Some guests, like Alex Kramer, weren’t ready for dinner to end. “I’m feeding people grapes,” she said, plucking bunches from the lush fruit-tree centerpieces before preparing to head out. “We’re trying to figure out where to go next — probably home.”
It can’t have been too wild an after party, though, because Kramer showed up the next day, along with Barbara Walters, Ben Bradlee, Bettina Zilkha and Joanne de Guardiola, for a special screening of Fernando Meirelles‘ “The Constant Gardener,” starring Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes (sponsored by Prudential Douglas Elliman). Later, at an Italian dinner at Savanna’s, Weisz stuck close to her main fashion squeeze, Narciso Rodriguez. Though the crowd was full of old Hamptons party hats, this was Weisz’s first premiere on the island. “I’d never been to Southampton before — I was in North Fork and Amagansett. It’s very sophisticated — there’s a Saks Fifth Avenue,” said the actress.
“That’s very diplomatic of you,” quipped Rodriguez.