Thursday, November 19, 2015

New York Evening Hours with Lieba Nesis

The French Heritage Society Gala

Lucia Hwong Gordon, Nicole DiCocco, Donna Soloway, Valerie Lettan,
Joy Marks and Penny Grant
(All photos Lieba Nesis)

The French Heritage Society's Annual New York Gala Dinner and Dance was held on November 18th at the Pierre Hotel. The French Heritage Society provides grants to restore French architectural gems in both France and the United States and teaches students about these historical monuments through its education programs and internships.

Pablo Cisilino, Silvina Leone, and Alan Salz

The cocktail hour began at 7:00 pm with throngs of guests making there way to the second floor of the Pierre. I went to the Verizon cocktail party by mistake and was wondering why everyone was so plainly dressed. Upon realizing my mistake, I headed to the right place and was consequently ensconced by a bevy of fashionable "Frenchionistas" who were dressed in gowns, heavy jewels and lavish hairstyles. If Louis the 14th was around he would have approved of the attire.

Jean Shafiroff and Barbara Winston

There were many guests I did not recognize but it seemed like the wealthy French contingent in the United States was well represented. Some of those who I am familiar with are Jean Shafiroff who looked lovely in a light green Herrera paired with a Parisian flag, and Barbara Winston in an elegant Ungaro green wraparound gown with jewels that would make her father-in-law, Harry Winston, blush.

Edgar Batista and Margo Langenberg in J. Mendel

This year's event honored Juan Pablo Molyneux, the internationally acclaimed interior designer, whose works include the Pavilion of Treaties for the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg and the Cercle de l'Union Interalliee, in Paris. The other honoree, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, President of Taittinger, the oldest champagne house in France, was also honored for his lifelong commitment to French history. This evening was especially poignant due to the recent terrorist attacks and the dinner began with the singing of the French National Anthem. The honorees also mentioned the importance of the enduring alliance between France and the United States.

The evening concluded with a lengthy live auction, which included a weekend in the French Riviera, that drew higher bids than usual due to the recent atrocities in Paris. After a delicious creme brulee was served, guests danced to the tunes of "Bob Hardwick Sound" with passion and fervor. The terrorists had not dampened the spirits of the crowd and they never will.




- Lieba Nesis

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