The Gabby Guy visits a party so grand, it takes two columns to cover it, then hoists a few Muttinis for forgotten pets.
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SO GRAND, IT NEVER ENDS
This is our second after-party for The Grand Gala, so we know which Hotel du Pont entrance to use, which security guard to acknowledge, where to check our coat without a wait, and where to find lens man Ben Fournier, who recently shot a portrait of Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Ellen Kullman, the first woman CEO of DuPont. Ben captured them on the sweeping marble staircase leading to the glittery Gold Ballroom, which is where we chatted with architect Buck Simpers and wife, Mary. Did they enjoy the Brian Setzer Orchestra show earlier at The Grand Opera House? “So much, especially the three-piece rock portion,” said Mary. “It was so alive it was a shame to have to sit still. What if they had played here in the ballroom?” Mary wondered. Mr. Simpers passed the Buck.
The Brian Setzer Orchestra may not have played the hotel, but they did play in the hotel. With help from the Grand’s director of administration, Christine Molino, we spied several members of the big, big band mingling, tingling and jingling with other revelers. Near the bar, draped with gold damask, we twirled Twizzlers with photographer-graphic designer Sara Tweddle-Davenport while waiting for her own cool cat, musician and hubby, Kevin Davenport, to return from a run to the raw bar. We instantly inquired about her new super-short, banged bob. “It took two trips to Michael (Christopher),” Sara said. “I’ve been going to him since I was 13. He didn’t believe how severe I wanted to go.” We’re guessing Sara’s attending her first Grand Gala had something to do with the sassy-yet-sophisticated new coif. Kevin appeared to respond favorably, returning with a full plate of raw oysters and a sly grin.
Anybody got a Zig? Sorry, no. We don’t smoke. It interferes with gabbing with the smoking hot Zig Carota, one half of the Greenville Giving Group. Zig wore a long silk tunic by Carolyn Roehm in Kelly green over black pencil slacks, which bunched at the ankle straps of her black Manolo Blahnik patents. Ziggy wears clothes well, but she also wares them well. Greenville Giving Group raises money for several women’s non-profits, including the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, which, with GGG, will open a wardrobe resale shop at the DBCC center soon. We also met Zig gal pal and GGG half No. 2 Stacey Bacchieri, who followed two of the season’s top trends, wearing feathers and paillettes, both in black, to embellish a cashmere dress.
Back in the ballroom lobby, near the somewhat quieter though no less crowded sushi bar, we rolled with California style. Delebrity couple Marcy Mackey and Wilmington councildude Jeff Flynn knocked us up with two big Gabby gets: First, they are expecting and, second, they are engaged. Which came first? Jeff bought the 2-carat, D-grade, Princess-cut diamond at A.R. Morris before they received the other good news, “but not by much” Jeff said. The future Mrs. Flynn, a Pilates hottie with yo-gaga legs, looked beach ready, baby. The couple threw a private dinner party at Dan Butler’s Deep Blue restaurant to announce the news.
We also strolled with another hip young couple who were just a few months further down the matrimonial marble mile, the recently married Brian Wild and Gina Cipolloni-Wild of Arden. We had noticed that the Wilds where on the edge of their velvet seats during the concert, bopping without stopping and looking like they’d like to have torn up the aisle carpet. Having phulfilled their phandango phix thanks to Club Phred, we all opted for a breather downstairs in the hotel’s Grill room, where the music, lighting and vibe were more laid-back.
Literally. We reclined on padded massage tables while the masterful Sybarites face painters swirled their brushes over our cheeks and chins. Gina called it “an artistic spa treatment.” The only slightly jarring aspect of being painted by Sybarites and drinking too much bubbly is waking up, then staring at your varied visage in the bathroom mirror as memories of the evening pour from a magnum bottle: champagne, rockabilly and big band swing, seafood, sequins, friends, strangers, and a mini-dessert bar longer than the Setzer mega-set. It’s then that you catch yourself telling your reflection, “Boy, I had a grand time.”
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