Fashion and Flamenco

Missives from the Jet Set.

Livin’ La Vida Loca


New England Conservatory went Latin with its annual Feast of Music gala—an evening of food, music and dancing with sizzle seldom seen north of Caracas.

Held at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, the fiesta began with cocktails in the Oval Room, followed by a feast in the ballroom, each course interspersed with performances of music by composers ranging from Astor Piazzolla to Boston’s own Osvaldo Golijov. After dessert and coffee, it was back to the Oval Room to samba, salsa, meringue and tango the night away.

Present and accounted for: the strikingly lovely Sydney Winthrop and her architect husband, Jonathan, New York import Permele Doyle squired by the dashing Miguel de Bragança, his swanlike sister, Annabel, smoking-hot painter Fernando DeOliveira and Brazilian beauty Giuliana Moltin, force of nature Doreen Corkin and leading man Chris Mitchum, interior design avatar Duncan Hughes and his ivory-tickling other half, Cameron Stowe, Russian Bond girl Rita Rudyak, the flawless Deb Hanley, M. le Chevalier Marvin Gilmore, department store heiress Hope Lincoln Baker, Japanese pop star Yuki Hori, and so on and so forth. Noticeably absent: Frank Wisneski and his wife, Lynn Dale, who were thanked repeatedly for their largesse throughout the evening but who were, in fact, sunning themselves on Mustique, having sent daughter Ashley Wisneski and her main squeeze, Will Heward, in their stead. Additional fun fact: Ashley and Will ended up winning the raffle prize.

The twinkle-toed tripped the light fantastic well into the wee hours, and the general consensus was that the whole thing was swanky to the nth degree.

Meanwhile, the evening’s most amusing exchange: A guest said to a friend, “That’s quite a dress,” to which she responded, “It’s quite an ordeal to get into it.”


Treading Water


Cross-pollinating nonprofit efforts, Save Venice Boston hosted an afternoon soiree, Vivaldi’s
, featuring a performance by the Handel and Haydn Society at Symphony Hall.

The highly entertaining concert was followed by a highly edifying reception at Horticultural Hall, where guests could rub elbows with the likes of Beacon Hill party pair Liz and Peter Georgantas, the stunning Anne Fitzpatrick Cucchiaro, MFA big cheese Frederick Ilchman, über-do-gooder Hope Stockton, hedge fund hipster Shane Merriweather, art dealer Richard Baiano, the dashing David DeSimone with brunette beauty Gina Morda, BU professor James Johnson (who gave a brief and fascinating lecture) and numerous equally sparkly others.

A buffet supper was served. The wine flowed freely. And, as one guest put it, “The only better way to spend a Sunday afternoon would be to actually be in Venice.”


Tyra Banks Won’t Be Calling


In an ongoing quest to experience the humiliation of a reality TV star, yours truly took a page from the America’s Next Top Model playbook by agreeing to appear in Denise Hajjar’s annual fundraising fashion show to benefit the Big Sister Association.

A runway ran the entire length of the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s ballroom, which was packed to the rafters with the likes of emcee Susan Wornick, mega-philanthropist Don Rodman, fashion designer David Josef and his handsome husband, Danny Forrester, Back Bay brunette Lori Sullivan, the eternally blond Anja Kola, WBZ babe Lisa Hughes, marketing guru Joan Jolley and countless others, who watched the models strut their stuff, escorted by the likes of advertising tycoon Jack Connors, TV stud Paul Burton, party planner extraordinaire Bryan Rafanelli, the absurdly handsome Jeff Bellows and yours truly, fervently praying that I wouldn’t trip.

The good news is that I didn’t. Even better: The evening raised more than $100K for a very worthwhile cause. On the downside, though: There is now further photographic evidence that I walk like a constipated duck.

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