July 27, 2012
Shamin Abas, president of Shamin Abas Public Relations, splits her time between Palm Beach, New York, and the Hamptons. I’ve been watching her work her luxury magic for years at Palm Beach Polo, and now she’s brought her super-chic eye and deep knowledge of the game, and its players, to Bridgehampton Polo. Under her watchful eye, Polo is now very exclusive, with a VIP tent and the polo itself taking center stage—sponsorship is still key, but she is instrumental in ensuring that those involved are perfectly suited for Polo.
Abas is an absolute insider when it comes to the game, so much so that she gave me a preview of the tents as they were being set up and a private one-on-one polo lesson with Kris Kampsen the day before kick-off weekend. In this week’s installment of my six-part polo interview series, I sit down with my powerhouse friend Abas to talk about how she handles the public relations, event management, and sponsorship of Bridgehampton Polo. Last weekend, as I nibbled on bruschetta from Tutto il Giorno and purchased the perfect white linen dress from Michelle Farmer’s pop-up boutique, I realized polo can be about a little bit more than the game as long as the crowd is elegant, so we’ll talk about that, too.
The VIP area at Bridgehampton Polo Club is much smaller than in years past. Why shrink the size of the event?
SHAMIN ABAS: Over the years, as Bridgehampton Polo's Saturday matches had grown in popularity, the crowds had become so large that it had become more of a scene and less about coming to watch polo. When Peter Brant and Nacho Figueras awarded us the challenge of bringing it back to what it had been in the old days, we knew we had to make things a lot more intimate to bring back those that had been avoiding the large crowds for years. We have created a relaxed yet sophisticated environment and an afternoon that centers on the match itself. It has been very well received!
How did the first Saturday go?
SA: Despite the fact that we weren't able to play a full fledged polo match because of the field still being dangerously wet from Friday’s downpour, the reception drew a wonderful crowd of Hamptonites who made the best of the afternoon catching up with friends, nibbling on tasty hors d'oeuvres from Tutto Il Giorno, and sipping rosé! Many of those that attended had not come to Bridgehampton Polo in years and I can't tell you how many friends said that they absolutely loved the new look and feel of the VIP tent.
How did you get involved with the sport of polo?
SA: I grew up riding in Wales and always loved horses. And then, seven or eight years ago, Kelly Klein introduced me to the sport in Wellington and I fell in love with it. Then three years ago my PR firm took over public relations for International Polo Club Palm Beach and I became immersed in the sport. (I’ve even dabbled in playing a little of it myself!) We couldn't be more thrilled to have taken over the sponsorship, event management, and public relations for Bridgehampton Polo Club. More and more so in the US, my firm is operating as a bridge for luxury brands that are looking to integrate into the sport of polo.
What is it like to work with Nacho?
SA: Nacho is a perfectionist and the ultimate professional in everything he does. I enjoy working with Nacho very much and I especially enjoy his dry sense of humor!
When you’re not rubbing elbows with the polo elite, where do you like to spend your time in the Hamptons?
SA: In the mornings my sanctuary is Yoga Shanti (32 Bridge St., Sag Harbor, 725-6424), and if I’m not there, I'm taking long walks on the beach with my two dogs. For long lunches I'm at Pierre’s (2468 Main St., Bridgehampton, 537-5110) with friends, and for dinner my favorites are Tutto il Giorno (6 Bay St., Sag Harbor, 725-7009), Sen (23 Main St., Sag Harbor, 725-1774), and Fresno (8 Fresno Place, East Hampton, 324-8700). My dream Sunday involves a late afternoon boat ride over to Shelter Island and an early dinner at Sunset Beach.
Stay tuned every week during polo season on hamptons-magazine.com for a new Insider Polo Q&A.
July 27, 2012
What: The Alzheimer’s Association previews its October Rita Hayworth Gala with a cocktail reception hosted by the gala’s chair, Robin Meltzer. The Rita Hayworth benefit events—this one in its 29th year—have raised more than $54 million to support care and research.
When: Friday, July 27
Where: The home of Robin and Roger Meltzer, Southampton
Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival
What: This year’s benefit offers a preview of what’s to come from Long Island’s longest-running classical music festival, now in its 29th season. A concert of music by Haydn, Schubert, Martinu, and Dvorák precedes an elegant dinner featuring fine wines.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: Atlantic Golf Club, 1040 Scuttle Hole Road, Bridgehampton
What: The 2012 Chefs Dinner benefits the Hayground School’s Jeff’s Kitchen and The Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund. Notable chefs including Eric Ripert, Justin Smillie, and Jessica Craig join the festivities, which include a cocktail party and a VIP four-course dinner prepared by a few of the participating chefs and paired with wines chosen by world-class sommelier Aldo Sohm.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: 151 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton
Hedge Funds Care
What: Hedge Funds Care takes over the Southampton Social Club for its Behind the Hedges benefit cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres and music from DJ Cameron Smalls. All proceeds benefit Hedge Funds Care’s mission to prevent and treat child abuse.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: 256 Elm St., Southampton
Peconic Land Trust
What: The 10th annual Hallockville Barn Dance offers a night of contra dancing with caller Chart Guthrie and live music by Dance All Night. Picnic at the family-friendly affair, which benefits the conservation work of the Trust and education programs of Hallockville Museum Farm.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: Naugles Barn, Hallockville Museum Farm, 6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead
Perlman Music Program
What: Sidney and Morgan Stark and Lisa and Richard Perry host this year’s annual summer benefit replete with a reception, dinner, and performances by the Shelter Island–based Perlman Music Program’s String Orchestra and Chorus.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: Private residence, North Haven
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation
What: Anita Baker, Salt-N-Pepa, and Diggy Simmons will perform at Living in Color, this year’s Art for Life Gala. In its 13th year, the event brings together a wealth of celebrities including Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, and Kimora Lee Simmons to support the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in providing art offerings to inner-city children.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: Russell Simmons’s East Hampton estate
What: The Watermill Center’s International Summer Program participants will design installations and partake in performances during The Big Bang: The 19th annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit. The event marks the opening of the Mike Kelley: 1954–2012 exhibition to pay homage to the late artist and will include an art auction hosted by Simon de Pury and end with dancing alfresco.
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: 39 Water Mill Towd Road, Water Mill
UJA-Federation of New York
What: The seventh annual Hamptons Trunk Show presented by UJA’s women’s philanthropy will feature designer clothing and jewelry, furs, swimwear, and home accessories to be sold, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the organization.
When: Thursday, August 2
Where: Bridgehampton Historical Society, 2368 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL B. SHANE
July 27, 2012
Activities for Kids
Children can play the latest video games at Space Odyssey or experience Camp Divalysscious, which “this year promises to be [even] more exciting” with performances, arts and crafts, and a book reading all captured by photographer Heidi Green, says Lyss Stern, founder of divamoms.com and Camp Divalysscious.
The Aruba Happy Lounge offers Aruba Aloe hand massages, while Color Club Color Bar applies polish changes and the Fresh Beauty Cleanse Truck revitalizes shoppers with its soy facial cleanser and giveaways. “Good skin is a great indication of health,” explains Fresh cofounder Alina Roytberg. “What better place to celebrate this message than on Super Saturday, a day the community comes together to support women’s health?”
CoverGirl joins the presenting sponsors, with brand spokesperson Paula Patton as this year’s cohost. Since its inception in 1960, the company has worked with everyone from Hamptonite Christie Brinkley to Taylor Swift and Sofia Vergara. The iconic makeup label offers beauty demonstrations throughout the day.
“The beautiful thing about Super Saturday in its 15th year is it’s no longer only shopping; it’s about unity,” explains Karan. “We all get to raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer.” The designer was close friends with Liz Tilberis, the fashion icon who cofounded Super Saturday in 1998 before losing her battle with ovarian cancer in 1999.
The eternal Super Saturday host has held that role every year since 2004. “She has become the face of the organization,” says Katie Dillon, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s director of events. The cause is dear to Ripa’s heart as she lost a childhood friend to the disease.
“We are so excited to be a part of Super Saturday for the first time,” says Christopher Burch. “We will have the best of C. Wonder at our booth—apparel, accessories, home décor, and surprises.” AllSaints Spitalfields, The Art of Shaving, and Bugaboo will also be participating for the first time this year.
Booths including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, and Nicole Miller have been a part of the Super Saturday tradition from its inaugural year, when the fashion industry elite met for a casual garage sale of their designs in the backyard of a private Hamptons home. Today, people “know they can get a great cashmere sweater for everyone in their family [at the Ralph Lauren booth],” says Dillon.
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
Liz Tilberis was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1993 and, nearly five years later, began the Super Saturday tradition to raise funds for this organization with the mission to ultimately cure the disease. “This event is what put this organization on the map,” says Dillon of Super Saturday. Amazingly, the fund, which benefited from the more than $3.5 million raised at last year’s event, is now the largest private philanthropy in the US dedicated to ovarian cancer research.
Rachel Zoe Booth
For the fifth year, Rachel Zoe curates her highly anticipated Designers A to Zoe booth. This year, the stylist and designer selects items from designers such as Etro, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kara Ross, Marc Jacobs, and Marchesa. “People definitely run to it,” says Dillon.
Since 2007, QVC Presents Super Saturday Live has shared the Super Saturday experience with shoppers around the country and raised more than $2 million for OCRF. For two hours on event day, July 28, net proceeds from the sale of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and beauty products benefit the fund. “I think people are really excited about the Tracy Anderson package,” says Dillon. “She’s putting together some DVDs and hand weights.”
July 26, 2012
See E.T. at Coopers Beach on August 6
What better way to spend the last few weeks of summer than curled up on a blanket under the stars watching a good movie? From the plethora of outdoor film screenings taking place in July and August, we’ve narrowed in on the classics, a few surfer-dude favorites, and kid-friendly blockbusters.
July 27, 7:30 PM
Raiders of the Lost Ark at Mulford Farm. 17 James Lane, East Hampton
July 29, 7 PM
Blue Horizon at Solé East. 90 Second House Road, Montauk
August 3, 9 PM*
To Kill a Mockingbird at Silas Marder Gallery. 120 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton
August 5, 7 PM
A Brokedown Melody at Solé East. 90 Second House Road, Montauk
August 6, 7PM*
E.T. at Coopers Beach. 268 Meadow Lane, Southampton
August 10, 7:30 PM
Pirates of the Caribbean at Gosman’s Dock on the lawn. 500 West Lake Dr., Montauk
August 12, 7 PM
September Sessions at Solé East. 90 Second House Road, Montauk
August 13, 7 PM*
Hugo at Coopers Beach. 268 Meadow Lane, Southampton
August 16, 7:30 PM
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at Havens Beach. 1 Havens Lane, Sag Harbor
August 17, 9 PM*
The Shining at Silas Marder Gallery. 120 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton
August 19, 7 PM
Glass Love at Solé East. 90 Second House Road, Montauk
August 22, 7:30 PM
Jaws at Indian Wells Beach. Indian Wells Hwy., Amagansett
August 24, 9 PM*
King of Hearts at Silas Marder Gallery. 120 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton
August 26, 7 PM
The Free Way at Solé East. 90 Second House Road, Montauk
August 31, 9 PM*
The Manchurian Candidate at Silas Marder Gallery.120 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton
*starts at darkfall
Dispatch: Dina Lohan on Lindsay's August Arrival; Bridgehampton Polo VIPs; and More from Last Weekend's Parties
July 24, 2012
Veronica Webb and Chis Del Gatto at Bridgehampton Polo opening day
With ten plus East End fêtes on any given summer Saturday, getting to every last one takes experience and luck. You can miss the wave, and all the fun socials, or hit it and get a moment with all of your favorite people.
On Friday, I caught up with Hamptons cover couple Veronica Webb and Chris Del Gatto, who owns CIRCA, the behemoth jewelry company, at The Hamptons Players Club. She said that she and Chris had hit bad traffic on their way out East. “We caught up on all our reading,” she said. Apparently, they weren’t actually driving. And Frank Cilione, a co-owner of the polo-themed restaurant and biergarten, mentioned that the Village of East Hampton claimed that having a DJ at the venue constituted live music. But as of Friday, Hamptons Players hadn’t ceased or desisted.
Ferrari presented the opening day of Bridgehampton Polo on Saturday afternoon in a luxe white VIP tent with delish chai popsicles. The rich Italian hunks that parked a fleet of vintage Ferraris near the tent came from Central Casting. I noticed one bright red low-to-the-ground model from ’74. Michael Michele looked sexy in a macramé dress by Catherine Malandrino.
“I only got here about an hour ago,” said Dina Lohan, Lindsay’s mom, over in the main tent. “Ali and Dakota are surfing in Montauk. And Michael is in Montauk. Lindsay is shooting The Canyons,” she added. "She'll be here in August, and we’ll all be together.”
Dina’s brother, Paul Anthony, and his pretty wife invited me to join them and Jill Zarin later at Andrra. Dispatches also spotted Kelly Killoren Bensimon and LuAnn de Lesseps at the main tent.
Traditional Home then hosted elegant cocktails at their Hampton Designer Showhouse on Flying Point Road. Libby Langdon did the 1,200-square-foot basement space. “When I got here, it was a completely unfinished basement,” she said. Her fab upholstered furniture, on view, is available at English Country Antiques in Bridgehampton.
Jean Shafiroff at the Unconditional Love Gala
Dispatches next raced over to Captain’s Neck Lane for the third annual Unconditional Love Gala, which benefited the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation and took place at chair Sandra McConnell’s idyllic waterfront spread. (McConnell’s late husband was an heir to the Avon fortune.) Ellen and Chuck Scarborough, the NBC 4 News anchor, were honored. And co-host Jean Shafiroff had clearly done a good amount of legwork getting auction items. The immaculate gray-shingled house is kept like a set on a Hollywood back lot. The waterfront lawn goes on and on, edged by picturesque reeds and grasses.
Meanwhile, ACRIA threw their fun annual Cocktails at Sunset at Ross Bleckner’s acreage in Sagaponack, which was formerly owned by Truman Capote. Bleckner showed me where the workmen had cleared a field and found Capote’s old booze bottles. Also spotted: Bruce Weber, Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Bob Colacello.
Stewart Shining, Peggy Siegal, and Ross Bleckner at ACRIA Cocktails at Sunset
Social Life magazine cover boy Kevin Jonas was a no-show at VH1 Save the Music and Rand Luxury’s fête, St. Barth in the Hamptons, at the enormous East Hampton Studio, owned by Michael Wudyka.
The venue had been transformed into a giant party/bazaar with a live band. I ran into Tamra Barney from The Real Housewives of Orange County. She had on a tight, sparkly banana-yellow dress and had her buff squeeze, Eddie Judge, on her arm. “You know what I love?” she told Dispatches. “I have my whole family here, and we have this gorgeous house. And everybody’s so friendly.”
My last stop of the night was LongHouse Reserve’s Summer Benefit in a lighted field on the grounds. I arrived just after everyone had finished their first course, but my friend Matko Tomicic, LongHouse’s director, had kept a place for me at table one. I was fed and wined and even got the yummy dessert tasting. Happy 85th birthday to LongHouse founder Jack Lenor Larsen, who wore a chic bright yellow jacket.
Other sightings: J.Lo at Blue & Cream, and possibly at Catherine Malandrino; Joy Behar at Almond restaurant; Candice Bergen, as well as Alec Baldwin and new bride Hilaria Thomas, at Nick and Toni’s; Cheech Marin breakfasting at 75 Main; and Lucas Jagger, Mick’s son, at Andrra on Saturday.