Bringing top talent together, The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club and Hearst Design Group have teamed up to kick off a lecture series running from May 21st to June 5th 2012. The Best Of, hosted by Sotheby’s at 1334 York Avenue, will be a nice way to learn from established design voices of today. Happening at the same time as the Kips Bay Showhouse across town, in it's 40th year, the events are sure to bring an erudite experience to your design submersion. Subjects range from interiors to jewelry, and designers Miles Redd and Bunny Williams, gardening and lifestyle guru P. Allen Smith, Winterthur Museum’s Tom Savage, Hutton Wilkinson, Verdura CEO Ward Landrigan will speak on subjects they know so well. Dara Caponigro, Veranda's Editor-in-Chief will engage in a tete a tete with the iconic Iris Apfel too. You won't want to miss the energetic Iris, whose fully-realized inimitable style at 90 is reaching the masses with everything that symbolizes her iconic look-- from round eyeglasses for Eyebobs to signature red lipsticks with MAC and clothing and jewelry for HSN. If you want to learn wine, a tasting event with Eli Rodriquez on May 31 will give you a foundation to make educated decisions when faced with the daunting task of reading too-long wine lists.
Tickets at $75 ticket per lecture may appear steep, but they include an on-site lunch or cocktail reception, depending on time of day they occur, and the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of America, an amazing organization to help New York City youth through innovative after school programs. If a few of the talks appeal you can purchase a package of three for $150.
Here is the line up of fascinating movers and shakers:
Monday, May 21st at 11 a.m.—Hutton Wilkinson presents “Tony Duquette, More is More”: At eighteen, Hutton Wilkinson began an apprenticeship under the great American design icon, Tony Duquette, and continued to work and collaborate on a myriad of projects with him over the next twenty-five years. In 1994, Wilkinson and Duquette officially became business partners and a few years later, launched a collection of one-of-a-kind, fine jewelry for Bergdorf Goodman, adored by the public, fashion press and used by Tom Ford, Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, and more. Since the passing of Mr. Duquette in 1999, Wilkinson as owner, creative director and president of Tony Duquette Inc. has continued to design and market his unique fine jewelry pieces as well as a collection of home furnishings, textiles, custom lighting products and hand made carpets and tapestries for other brands as well as tabletop accessories and interior decorations as “Tony Duquette” and Tony Duquette Inc. Hutton’s book “Tony Duquette” which he co-authored with Wendy Goodman, chronicles the great designer’s life and oeuvre (Abrams, 2007); “More Is More, Tony Duquette” (Abrams, 2009) is the companion volume. During the lecture, Wilkinson will bring the audience through this visual tale of Tony Duquette’s personal design philosophy and the artistic credo that inspired him to create his fanciful artwork, sculptures, jewelry, gardens and interiors.
Tuesday, May 22nd at 11 a.m.—Bunny Williams presents “Making the Home Come to Life”: Bunny Williams is a designer with a modern vision, a sense of history and the confidence to take the unexpected path. Both a trailblazer and a tastemaker, Williams’ style is classic but never predictable. Currently, Bunny Williams has a thriving design practice, Bunny Williams Inc. formed in 1988, and a widely acclaimed home furnishings collection, BeeLine Home, launched in 2008. With her husband, antiques dealer John Rosselli, Williams owns Treillage Ltd., two unique decorative home and garden shops in New York. She is the author of On Garden Style, Affair with a House, Bunny Williams’ Point of View and currently in her fourth book, “Scrapbook for Living” published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in November 2010, Williams’ offers inspiring tips for organizing and personalizing a home. “No matter how beautiful a home, be it large or small, the real magic happens when the door opens and one is welcomed into a home with soft lighting, delicious scents, offerings of drinks and food, sitting groups arranged for easy conversation. With planning and organization this becomes effortless.”
Wednesday, May 30th at 11 a.m.—P. Allen Smith presents “Natural Elegance at Moss Mountain Farm”: The award-winning designer, gardening and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith will share how his life and travels inspire his work. He is the host of two public television programs, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens and is the author of the best-selling Garden Home series of books published by Clarkson Potter/Random House, including Bringing the Garden Indoors: Container, Crafts and Bouquets for Every Room and the recently published cookbook, P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.
Wednesday, May 30th at 6 p.m.—Iris Apfel and Dara Caponigro present “A Conversation About Style and Design": VERANDA Editor-in-Chief Dara Caponigro will ask Iris Apfel about her lasting impact on style in the worlds of interior design and fashion, from her founding of iconic fabric house Old World Weavers to her status as one of today's most recognizable fashion icons.
Thursday, May 31st at 11 a.m.—Ward Landrigan presents “Verdura and Women of Style”: Celebrated jewelry expert, historian and Verdura Chairman, CEO and Co-Owner Ward Landrigan will focus on the life and career of 20th century jeweler Duke Fulco di Verdura and the style and glamour of the iconic women who made his jewelry famous. The archive of almost ten thousand designs Fulco left behind tells the intriguing story of these legendary style-makers...a story of love, humor, and style. Mr. Landrigan’s own interest in jewelry began in high school when he interned for a local jeweler and continued with his studies at the Courtauld Institute of Fine Arts in London and the Gemological Institute of America. He started his career at Sotheby’s auction house where, by age 24, was head of the jewelry department. Landrigan first heard Verdura’s name when he did an appraisal for Lily Pons in Texas in 1965 and was immediately drawn to the innate style and artistry of a particular piece: a shooting star set with pavé diamonds. When Mr. Landrigan left Sotheby’s in 1973 to form his own estate jewelry business, he bought and sold pieces from many of the world’s great jewelry designers. Nevertheless, Verdura remained his favorite.
Thursday, May 31st at 6 p.m.—Wine Tasting with Eli Rodriguez: Space is limited! Eli is originally from Long Island and became interested in wine while studying at Cornell University. He learned the wine business, first at Best Cellars, then as a sommelier at Restaurant Daniel, working for one of the greatest chefs and most professional restaurateurs, Daniel Boulud, before joining Sotheby’s as an auction specialist in 2006. He was appointed as the Manager of Retail Sales when Sotheby’s launched their new, full service, retail wine business, Sotheby’s Wine, in September 2010.
Friday, June 1st at 11 a.m.—Miles Redd presents “Fashion and Inspiration in Interior Design”: The internationally acclaimed interior design sensation, known for his quirky brand of cozy glamour will speak to his unique aesthetic vision characterized by a mélange of high and low, invigorated with whimsical splashes of color and modern gestures. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Richard Avedon fashion photographs to Rene Gruau illustrations, Redd has crafted interiors for a wide array of venues. His trademark approach to design has brought to life rooms infused with boldness, fantasy, and sophistication. Miles Redd embarked on his interior design career after graduating from NYU, honing his skills with luminary antiques dealer John Rosselli and decorator Bunny Williams. In 1998 he opened his own design firm in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood.
Tuesday, June 5th at 11 a.m.—Tom Savage presents "Addicted to Old Houses: Iconic Rooms and Influential Interiors": Winterthur’s director of museum affairs will lead a lively tour of historic interiors at home and abroad that have influenced and shaped his career. The Winterthur Museum is the former Delaware home of Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969), the avid antiques collector and horticulturist. Today, Savage oversees the collections, exhibitions, public programs and marketing and communications departments. From November 1998 until August 2005, he served as Senior Vice President and Director of Sotheby’s Institute of Art for North and South America where he directed The Sotheby’s American Arts Course, an intensive nine-month professional training program in American fine and decorative arts of the seventeenth century to the present. He was also responsible for public programming, lecture series and travel programs for Sotheby’s.