2012 February 3

Ohne at The Waverly Inn

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Flora Gill, John Demsey, Alexa Adams Flora Gill, John Demsey, Alexa Adams
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(NEW YORK) What better way for Ohne Titel's Flora Gill and Alexa Adams to celebrate a fifth anniversary than a candlelit dinner in The Waverly Inn's enchanting back garden? Estee Lauder president John Demsey and MAC's makeup mavens certainly thought so, as did the klatch of powerful women whom the Ohne Titel girls wanted to thank. FIT's Valerie Steele, Julie Gilhart, Cecilia Dean, Michelle Harper, Kim Hastreiter, and Annelise Peterson got cozy schmoozing over Champagne pre-dinner, while Lynn Yaeger and Patti Wilson wisely staked out a nook by the fireplace to catch up. 

Turns out, Yaeger hits up The Waverly, a local haunt of in her 'hood, on a fairly frequent basis (but not quite on the level of a Waverly regular, she clarified.) The impetus for Yaeger's attendence? "Just support the girls." Well, the lure of a tasty meal, too. "Plus, it's near my house and I was hungry!" Yaeger 'fessed. However, there's a major makeup artist, with some digs not far from the resto, who apparently detests the Waverly. But the Daily isn't going to divulge...

Meanwhile, Mary Alice Stephenson (almost) set the room ablaze upon entering, in the case of a slightly singed noir fur while the stylist posed for a shot with Dempsey. "Don't worry, Alina [Cho] and I put the fire out! Now the party has officially begun!" Stephenson jokingly announced to the amused and slightly concerned crowd. On the topic of the eve's young designers, Stephenson didn't need much prompting to wax poetic. "They have integrity, they make modern and aggressive clothes, and they make the most phenomenal knits," Stephenson explained. "They do girly in this offbeat, twisted way—I don't want to dress like a man, so it's perfect!"

But Stephenson's flammable pelt situation had nothing on Anne Slowey's scene stealing entre, thanks to adorable tot Afton Florabelle Lawson Fairey in tow. The tow-headed bundle of smiles and snuggles fiddled with every device in sight, whether of the Apple or profesh, PMc photog variety.  "Oh my God, it drives me crazy. Her obsession with the iPhone and the iPad is out of control. It starts when she wakes up; she sees the Pierre Hardy handbag and goes straight for the phone," said Slowey. Like clockwork, Afton swiped your Daily's iPhone mid-interview for a quick lick or two. Adorable! 

"I was supposed to give a lecture at Yale, but I turned that down in order to go to this dinner," shared Steele. "This is one of those brands that looks great on the runway; then, when you actually go and touch the clothes, you think they're really great." Also great: the Waverly's tuna tartare, one of three apps on offer (crab cakes avec fennel or a beet and goat cheese salad, anyone?), followed by equally classic mains, like braised beef with truffled turnips or salmon atop ratatouille. Bonus points for a salted caramel pot de creme rounding out the meal as a dessert option. Gotta love a savory-sweet confection, non

"This is the easiest dinner we've ever thrown in too many years to admit I've been working here," Demsey said during his toast. "One email blast, and we were oversold!" Dempsey exclaimed. Ohne Titel's Alexa Adams took the floor next for a succinct thank you or two. "It may be our fifth anniversary, but it only feels like it's been a year," said Adams. In addition to the fascinating mix of power femmes in attendance, Adam's design partner, Flora Gill, counts a recent encounter with the grande dame of accessories, including owl-shaped specs as inspirational fodder. "I got to sit near Iris Apfel at a party that Kim [Hasteiter] threw, and that's a person I never thought I'd be able to meet!"

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