Saturday evening I attended my very first gala. Valentino sponsors a gala for the Perez Art Museum Miami called Art of the Party and was kind enough to invite my mom and I to join them at their table. I had some drama overcoming my personal issues coming to terms with wearing a gown but after all the crying and freakouts I felt like a princess for the evening. My Valentino gown consisted of a black slip with a chantilly lace cape overlay and it was truly stunning. It also hid my arms which have always been the bane of my existence, no matter what size I am. Everyone from Valentino looked magnificent in their gowns and the setting was ethereal and magical, complete with pink lit palm trees and a bay view. There was a delightful breeze from the water and the mood was relaxed and fun. I got into the spirit and took about a zillion photos which I never do because to this day I have no clue how to pose without looking totally awkward and uncomfortable and constipated.
The night began with cocktails and we were introduced to Anthony, our personal butler for the evening. My mom is used to doing everything for herself in addition to taking care of everyone else, but she adjusted quite quickly to having her own butler and happily declared, “I’m like a real housewife!”. She and Anthony became fast friends and confidantes and he dutifully brought her drinks and teas and an assortment of plastic heel covers. Looking around, I don’t think anyone else had their own personal butlers, not even the million dollar donors or Marc Anthony, who was in attendance. But Anthony insisted on staying with us and I joked that he and my mom were like the new Harold and Maude (even though I am much too young to know that reference).
Dinner was served after a brief presentation and short video about honorees and philanthropists Dorothy and Aaron Podhurst. They first met in college and have been together for 60 years and he still completely worships her, which I understand because she looks incredible for her age!
I never like the food at these things because I am extremely picky and have a severe shellfish allergy, but I wasn’t worried because I had a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods waiting for me at home. But the VP of Valentino Retail got word that one of their guests couldn’t eat the food and he came over to check on me and make sure I found something, which was incredibly kind and sweet. But let’s be honest, I’ve never starved… I can always eat dessert! He used to work for Lanvin and we had a really interesting discussion about the company and whether they can find their identity after the exit of Alber Elbaz. We also talked about Baltimore because he used to live in Bolton Hill in a beautiful brownstone. He said he only paid about $380 a month but his friends were robbed at gunpoint in his backyard after a dinner party and that honestly just about sums up Baltimore City.
After dinner, with Anthony in tow, we made our way to the Remix After Party and met up with the rest of the Valentino team and I had major gown envy because not only did all the girls look beautiful, they looked comfortable and wore their gowns with such ease, while I had already tripped half a dozen times. The music started with remixed songs from the 60s and 70s but as soon as it transitioned to current songs I don’t know, the evening was winding down for me. I was exhausted and my rotisserie chicken awaited me (although I ended up binging on chips and nutella, instead). We managed to exit around midnight, just before the rain started. Anthony and my mom said their tearful and heartfelt goodbyes, and we were off. I am so grateful to everyone at Valentino for including us at their gala. I’ve retired my gown but I’m looking forward to dressing in Valentino later this week for their Spring/Summer presentation at the Four Seasons in Surfside.