August 04, 2010 | Talk of the Town
My brother, artist Hunt Slonem, swooped into the East Hampton Airport on the private plane of his pal Marlyne Sexton, that rarest of all birds. A charming real-estate tycoon, she was being honored at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Rita Hayworth Gala kickoff at Alan Grubman’s house on Friday night. Sexton has two pilots (always a comfort) and another friend kindly served lobster and champers on board. The flight is said to have taken 20 minutes.
In an endearing manner, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, who spends a good amount of time skiing in Utah (I’m so jealous), uncharacteristically seemed a touch off her game at the mike on the back patio of Grubman’s sprawling Lily Pond Lane lair.
Sexton wore a lemon-yellow knit Chanel sweater set, soft to the touch. Khan spoke in hushed tones. And, unfortunately, called Sexton by the wrong name. “Madeline, don’t be shy,” she said. “Come right up here, Madeline.” But this was super-polite society (Anne Hearst, Somers Farkas), so no one looked askance or breathed a word. They just cringed inside and felt bad for both parties. Easy mistake… and all for a sensational cause.
On the way out (picture a gently curving driveway with lots of crunchy gravel), Sexton’s stretch limo couldn’t make the turn and had to wait at the gates. So a golf cart whirred her, her daughter and Hunt back to the car. Crunch. Woosh.
Saturday, July 31: Whirl of Fortune
Super Saturday 13 was an alignment of so many stars and fêtes that it made one feel as if the Apocalypse were under way. Kelly Ripa raced down the red carpet at the event, headed for the QVC studio tent like a lightning bolt.
The Kardashian sisters and their mom looked like they were sprinting from press with their overheated rep, Jill Fritzo. “Please, let them get ten minutes of shopping in,” barked Fritzo. She later corralled Kim and one sis in a port-o-potty as lesser press pursued. Hilarious.
Loved the shopping this year. Brooks Brothers brought out so many styles and colors of polo shirts I may be dressed in sorbet tones for decades to come. Fiona, my wife, snapped up a Narciso Rodriguez pencil skirt for $10. Gayle King and her beautiful daughter shopped hard all afternoon. And our kids loved the air-conditioned Nintendo booth, where they Wii-bowled. (If it doesn’t require wearing those dank borrowed two-tone shoes, I’m in.)
Zipped off to the Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge. At 4:15 PM, the VIP tent was literally empty except for the bartenders. Chandeliers made from Patrón bottles glistened over the tables. Ponies circled into place on the verdant field. Wii polo, anyone?
Rather than wait for Michael Lohan and the glass-clinking minions, I headed out to the ALS benefit at Sportstime in Amagansett. Tracy Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s very private trainer, led a behemoth class on a tennis court. My friend Nancy Kane, who reps Neuro Drinks, sponsored the event. Neuro Drinks owner Diana Jenkins is a tall, thin, dynamic Brit social who also sponsored Elton John’s Oscar dinner this year. At John’s I sat with my buddy Lydia Hearst. But unfortunately, Jenkins was off on her yacht in the Mediterranean. Neuro Sonic fueled the Anderson session. And after three grueling hours, Anderson, who attended Jessica Seinfeld’s Baby Buggy benefit on Further Lane that night with Paltrow, looked as if she had just woken up from a nap. I couldn’t find one tiny dot of sweat on her entire body. Wow!
To launch the Skinny Girl mojito (as yet unbottled), Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy peopled a back terrace at the Montauk Yacht Club with Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen and Ramona and Mario Singer of The Real Housewives of New York City fame. Frankel says she’s not coming back to that show. Her baby, Bryn, was with her baby nurse at the villas. (By the way, van Kempen told me he’s leaving the hotel where he works this month to create social networking online for hotels.) Ramona said that she and Mario had had lunch with Frankel and that Bryn didn’t act up once. The wee baby is apparently gaga for Gaga.
Zoomed back to West Kill Farm, owned by photog Steven Klein. Could barely find it in the dark. Parked on the far side of Channing Daughters and, again, rode a golf cart along a path lit by tiki torches to the tented Calvin Klein fête for ACRIA. Daphne Guinness wore a sheer gray sheath over her head, giving her an incongruous nun-like appearance. Delfina Blaquier told me she loved my story on her photography on the Hamptons website. She invited me to watch her husband, Nacho Figueras, play a quieter match on Thursday in Bridge.
Cheers to a Well-Situated Emu and Things to Come
Next day, Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst, my favorite hosts on the East End, gave an afternoon pub party for Taylor Plimpton’s book Notes from the Night. They served cocktails and sushi and placed a raw bar poolside at their modernist guesthouse. My pal Alison Mazolla organized the dreamy soiree. Spotted Bettina Zilkha, Cristina Greeven Cuomo, Victoria Wyman, Annemarie Iverson and her son, Giacomo. I also brought my son Finbarr to see McInerney’s emu, Einstein, which now has the run of a full-fenced field. Impressive chickens and two astonishingly tall 100-pound geese now inhabit a smaller penned lawn next to the guesthouse. McInerney himself kindly gave my son a full livestock report. Sadly, they lost their beloved llama, possibly to Lyme disease, last winter.
In the distance, one could view the lovely shingled main structure based on the original ranch house at San Simeon. The next morning, on foot at 6 AM, I assisted a San Francisco native named John, who administers a hedge fund, in finding the East Hampton train station. He mentioned that he is dating a granddaughter of former Secretary of the Treasury William Simon. He’d spent the weekend playing golf and downing cocktails at the Maidstone Club (he gives the course high marks). Nice gent. Ran into him again that night in Manhattan at the premiere of Will Ferrell’s The Other Guys. What are the chances?
Next weekend, McInerney and Hearst will host Prince Albert and The Princess Grace foundation, his mother’s arts charity, at their dreamy Ashgrove Farm. Stay tuned…
BY JEFFREY SLONIM