Lauren Hutton let out a delighted shriek at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center Benefit in Water Mill, New York, on Saturday night. During dinner, magician J.B. Benn was mesmerizing the group, which also included Patricia Duff, with seemingly impossible card tricks.
“I’m from the South. Where I’m from, they’d burn you for being able to do that,” gasped Hutton. “You better not take your show on the road.”
For the party, sponsor Giorgio Armani covered the lawn with groupings of low sofas under a vast tent, and the effect, according to various guests, looked like a Newport lawn party or the Geneva airport. Here and there under the white big top, Jessye Norman was the guest of honor at Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamondstein’s table. Claudia Cohen roamed and chatted. And Donna Karan made a late appearance with her daughter, Gabe. Artist Donald Baechler had the distinction of seeing one of his paintings fetch $21,000 in an auction conducted by Sotheby’s Simon de Prury. That was small potatoes, though, compared to the $55,000 Irving and Dianne Benson paid for an Anselm Kiefer. In hushed conversations backstage, Wilson hinted that he might cough up a major piece to add to the miniature Einstein chairs he had donated for the sale. But as the auction tally climbed to $218,000, it never materialized.