-‘The Sun Shined Bright’:

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Not on “My Old Kentucky Home”, but right here in the middle of New York’s beloved Central Park.

Once again, the weather man (or rather, the ‘Man’ upstairs) saw to it that raindrops did not fall on the well dressed, well heeled, and for the most part, well- hatted group in attendance at the 22nd Annual Frederick Law Olmsted (FLO) Awards Luncheon hosted by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. The saying, that it “never rains” on this popular event, holds true one more time.

While it may not have been the kind of glorious sunny spring day that normally races this well turned out and popular event, it did stay dry nonetheless. Over 1100 guests attended (raising $2.2 million) this year, and while many in the crowd (who feasted on spring vegetable tart and a papaya basket of lobster and shrimp, courtesy of Glorious Food) resembled those that attend the Kentucky Derby (well, you know, with their conservative look, big brimmed hats, and well tailored suits), there were many other fashion statements worth noting.

Of course, the group in attendance is not exactly the oh so hip, cooler than cool group of fashionistas who congregate at fashion shows or the Bryant Park Tents, but rather, the well heeled, moneyed nucleus that forms the basis of New York society. While hats are favored (many of which are always undeniably over the top and statement making -see photo above), they are not obligatory. What was on display? Well, there were the usual and predictable tweed jackets and Chanel (or Chanel inspired) suits, bright colors (lots of grass green), pastels, and of course, floral printed coats which seem to become more and more popular each year.

Several in attendance (young and old..or should I say, ‘older’) opted for vintage Pucci- geometric cotton voile blouses, cotton skirts, and jersey dresses worn under jackets and coats. That’s not surprising since, let’s face it, after floral prints and patterns, nothing announces, ‘Spring is here’ more effectively than Pucci. Less obvious and interesting to note was the trend towards Orientalia. Several women chose straw hats that resembled Chinese ‘coolie’ hats and one woman even added a satin brocade coat reminescent of a Chinese robe.

Speaking of brocade, a well coiffed and hatless Joan Rivers was wearing a gold and ivory satin fitted brocade skirt suit- though hers was more ornate than Oriental. By the way, Joan was ‘thanked’ in the program for her “in-kind gifts and special support” along with the Estee Lauder Corporation, Fauchon, Hermes, Stoli Authentic Russian Vodka, Town & Country, and Wathne Ltd.

Also mingling with the crowd were the former and future Mrs.Trumps- I’m referring to Ivana and Melania of course. I’m sure “The Donald” has given his financial support to help the Central Park and the Conservancy, and knowing the huge ego this man has, I wouldn’t be surprised if he would at some point love to have this luncheon named after him, instead of Frederick Law Olmsted.

– Posted by 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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