Cocktail Party to Celebrate the 2013 FIT Gala Honorees

Last evening, I attended a cocktail party that had it all:

Click here to see photos of guests on

A fabulous venue: Liz and Jeff Peek’s spectacular Park Avenue duplex apartment which boasts a magnificent landscaped terrace. And because it felt like the first day of summer (forget spring), the 100 or so guests were able to sip champagne (which the waiters kept re-filling) and nibble on delectable hors d’ oeuvres while taking in the swoon-worthy view.

Jean Shafiroff, Alexandra Lebenthal, Valerie Salembier, Julie Macklowe

A dynamic and varied guest list: Stefano Tonchi, Kay Krill, Jonathan Marder, Amy Fine Collins, Richard Lambertson, Jonathan Pomerantz, Larry Leeds, Teri Agins, fashion designers Maria Cornejo, Angel Sanchez, Yigal Azrouel, Dennis Basso and Jill Stuart; Hamish Bowles, Linda Fargo, Valerie Salembier, fashion photographer Albert Watson, iconic decorator Mario Buatta, Tamara Mellon, Julie Macklowe, Jean Shafiroff, Alexandra Lebenthal, and China Machado (who was senior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar when I was first hired as an assistant fashion editor). By the way, from a fashion point of view, two of Spring’s biggest trends were on display amongst some of the guests. Julie Macklowe wore a fitted Balenciaga dress with a short full skirt rendered in a beautiful floral print (when she was on the terrace, she not only blended in with the glorious flowers, but attracted one very large bee). And both Alexandra Lebenthal and myself, opting for bold jailbird horizontal stripes in black & white, looked as though we were escapees from a fashion prison. Ha!

Minty Mellon & Tamara Mellon

A perfectly FIT-ing raison d’etre: The cocktail reception, hosted by Joy Herfel Cronin, Julie Grenier, Yaz Hernandez, Jane Hudis, and Liz Peek was in honor of the 2013 FIT Gala Honorees: longtime supporter George Kaufman (chairman, Kaufman Organization), Kay Krill (president and chief executive officer, ANN INC.), and Stefano Tonchi (editor-in-chief, W magazine). Of the trio, FIT president Joyce F. Brown said, “Each brings a wealth of experience, expertise and creativity to their respective fields.”

Angel Sanchez & Liz Peek

Co-chairs of the event are Liz Peek,(Liz chairs the Couture Council, is dedicated to supporting the Museum at FIT, serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Fashion Institute of Technology, and became chair of FIT’s board of trustees last year), Pamela Baxter, Julie Greiner, Yaz Hernandez, Jane Hertzmark Hudis, and Joy Herfel Cronin. The event raises money for the FIT Educational Development Fund. The annual gala will be held on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street. (Cocktails start at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner at 7:30 pm).

I had a chance to chat with the always impeccably turned out and dapper Florentine born Stefano Tonchi, who was the creator and Editor-in Chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine (which was introduced in 2004), prior to assuming the role at W. When I asked what was next, he quipped: “in addition to ascending the alphabet”? Of course, when I thought about it, if he wanted to create a style magazine called X, that would be very appropo, since he certainly has the X Factor in spades. His editorial roots are in what he refers to as “niche” publications, and he has said that “tradition and ‘good taste’ are the enemy of change and evolution.”As far as what it is about fashion that most interests him, he told me it is it’s context within art culture, and society.

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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