With Designer Chairman Fen Fulk.
After my recent trip to the beautiful Orchid Show, I made a return trip to one of my favorite places, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, with TD to attend the Antique Garden Furniture Fair Preview Party and Collectors' Plant Sale. The Preview Party kicks off the weekend-long Antique Garden Furniture Fair when leading antique dealers offer furniture, art, and accessories inspired by the garden for sale. I'm a big fan of garden antiques used indoors; I love things that bring nature and flowers inside and give a room a natural, relaxed feeling.
At the Botanical Garden, the Antique Fair was set up in a spacious tent next to the elegant glass Enid Haupt A. Conservatory. In the courtyard between the Conservatory and the tent, Elle Decor, one of the event sponsors, presented a glamorous garden vignette created by the magazine's interiors editor Robert Rufino. Mannequins languidly dressed in ballgowns made out of Chinese newspapers and covers of Elle Decor were posed around the latest Roche Bobois furniture collection.
The Collectors' Plant Sale was well underway. Collectors arrive early to scoop up treasured plants. Martha Stewart and Bette Midler had already come and gone by the time we arrived.
Inside the tent, the party was in full swing with about 500 guests in attendance. We chatted with Michael Boodro, Elle Decor Editor in Chief and Honorary Chairman of the event, and then ran into Ken Fulk (pictured above) who we had met at John Derian's opening for artist Hugo Guinness. The celebrated San Francisco-based designer, who was resplendent in a green, floral, bell-bottom Gucci suit, was the evening's Designer Chairman. Ken told me that jeweler Mish Tworkowki, an event Chairman, had first enlisted him to get involved. "Gregory Long [the longtime President and Chief Executive Officer of the Garden] gave me a beautiful tour proving that this is the most important garden in the world," said Ken. "I love the Botanical Garden."
To give the party a fun, zippy flair, Ken came up with a yellow and black bumble bee theme that ran though out with fabrics, napkins and accessories. To enhance the theme, Ken told me that three giant bee hives were constructed in San Francisco and shipped to New York. The gorgeous L.A. DJ Kiss spun records inside one of the big bee hives –
We strolled around and perused the offerings. It was a chic, good-looking crowd – a favorite ensemble with the women guests was a simple, short evening dress with a short matching evening coat with bracelet sleeves plus slingback shoes. I love that kind of style that is polished and sophisticated but also easy and effortless at the same time.
There were handsome urns at Finnegan Gallery from Chicago –
and a wall of colorful watercolor botanical paintings at Earl Vandebar of Knightsbridge –
These metal garden hoops hung on a charcoal wall looked like a modern abstract painting, like a Cy Twombly –
Buying and packing at Withington & Company Antiques from Portsmouth, Maine –
At the end of the party, on the way out, candles lined the Conservatory courtyard reflecting pool -
and dusk was falling on the Conservatory.
It was a lovely night in New York.