After seeing the photo of myself and Ilona Royce Smithkin taken at a party I attended in New York in October, some readers expressed interest in seeing more photos from the party. As I have nothing else to post about so far this year, I'm happy to oblige. But first, the back story....
Last year I started following a woman named Tutti Bennett on Instagram. I discovered her through her daughter Cecily's account, and when I saw her photo, my first thought was, "I bet she'd be a whole lot of fun to hang out with".
I sent a message to Tutti's daughter saying that I hoped I could meet her mother one day, and found out that unfortunately, Tutti and her family live in Australia, and although they travel extensively, there was no plan to come to Canada in the near future. Then in the summer Cecily mentioned that Tutti was going to be in New York in October, and as it turned out, she was going to be there the same time I was. It was fate. Emails were exchanged, friends in New York were contacted, and the ever gracious Debra Rapoport offered to host a gathering at her partner Stan's apartment to welcome Tutti and her family to New York.
I had spent the afternoon at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show with Jean and Valerie, and at the appointed hour we headed to Stan's apartment.
Photo taken by Denton Taylor
Valerie, Jean (aka The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas), et moi. Valerie is wearing the beautiful feather hat she purchased at the Vintage Show.
The funky and fabulous Tutti Bennett, in person! We squealed and hugged, and agreed that Instagram was pretty awesome for bringing us together.
Tutti's husband Paul (aka The Cranky Guru) and daughter Sonia accompanied her to New York. Paul is a modern renaissance man - graphic designer, musician, singer, writer and philosopher. Sonia is a fashion designer who currently works for British designer Zandra Rhodes. The Bennetts are all very charming, with a great sense of humour, and are very engaging. They mingled with everyone at the party and made many new friends during their visit.
It seemed like every single person at the party had unique, and very visible personal style, and women like artist Elke Kuhn (left) were sporting the most drool-worthy accessories.
The vivacious Ilona Royce Smithkin
Debra and Stan have an enviable talent for bringing creative people of all ages together at their parties. The young man in black above is Iman Chenonceau, a talented artist and designer. Iman accompanied us to brunch the next day, and held his own conversation-wise with a group of people who were almost all three times his age.
The man in the centre is Spanish artist Fernando Diez-Cabeza, a very talented painter who completed a portrait of Lynn Dell Cohen, Advanced Style's "Countess of Glamour", shortly before she died. Unfortunately, I didn't get the names of his two companions.
There were a couple of other Canadians in attendance, including Ruth, who was visiting from Vancouver with her husband, shoe designer John Fluevog.
Speaking of shoe designers, the young woman on the right is Italian shoe designer Gioia Maini. I loved the print on her friend's dress.
Maini was wearing shoes of her own design. You can see more of her colourful creations on her website.
Nonnie Balcer, wearing one of her many extraordinary hats
I loved this head-to-toe graphic black and white look worn by Claire, above.
There was also a lot of black and white in the guests' choice of footwear. That small object on the floor turned out to be one of my earrings, which I discovered I was missing shortly after I took this photo.
I was entranced by Mary's jaw-dropping collection of rings and her funky necklace. We were obviously kindred spirits, at least when it came to our jewellery.
At some point Debra and I went out to the hallway to take some photos of her wearing the Freakish Yellow Skirt, which had been delivered to her by blogger Suzanne Carillo when she was in New York in September. Debra's addition to the skirt was the colourful shoulder attachment.
I couldn't resist capturing an overhead shot of Ruth, Tutti and Ilona engaged in an intense conversation.
I took the opportunity to take a last photo of Tutti before leaving, and we exchanged hugs, grateful for whatever twist of fate allowed us meet in my favourite city, surrounded by creative and engaging people. Til we meet again!