It seems that I find myself gravitating to Palm Beach as much as possible in season! This week I invited two friends to join me for a Girls’ Day Out in Palm Beach. We began with a visit to the Flagler Museum. Henry Flagler built the 75-room, 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion, Whitehall, as a wedding present for his wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. The couple used the home as a winter retreat from 1902 until Flagler’s death in 1913, establishing the Palm Beach season for the wealthy of the Gilded Age. My friends and I treated ourselves to Afternoon Tea in their Café des Beaux Arts overlooking the magnificent yachts and skyline view of Downtown West Palm Beach. The fare was delicious and the view spectacular!
From there we went on the 2pm docent tour, which was a treat in itself. I loved The Music Room. Music was a popular form of entertainment in the early twentieth century and Flagler employed a resident organist each season to play the 1,249-pipe J.H. & C.S. Odell Co. organ installed in the west wall.
I was also intrigued by what our docent called Mrs. Flagler’s “chat room,” seemingly the prelude to the online Chat Rooms we know today. The Drawing Room, as it was officially named, was used as a gathering place for music and conversation by Mary Lily and her guests.
And, they are currently hosting “Walk This Way, Historic Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection” on view through May 10th and organized by the New York Historical Society. What could be better?!
Of course no visit would be complete without a trip to the Gift Shop. There I discovered these wonderful beaded evening bags. It tickled my fancy and reminded me of the iconic evening bags of you-know-who. I especially liked the bird motif. It brought to mind the book Birds of a Feather Shop Together: Aesop’s Fables for the Fashionable Set by Sandra Bark.
Then, on to the main event of our day at The Society of the Four Arts. Style icons Amy Fine Collins and Reinaldo Herrera discussed the legacy of their friend, Eleanor Lambert, a fashion and publicity genius who made New York the world capital of fashion. Collins is a Special Correspondent to Vanity Fair and author of The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story. Herrera worked for over 30 years at Vanity Fair as Special Projects Editor and Contributing Editor.
Their conversation was spirited and lively and their slide show provided us with a sneak peek of Amy’s book. Of course I had to purchase the book and have her personalize it for me following the event in the Library across the street. Amy and I were quickly able to share some fond fashion memories and even talk about Vero Beach as she signed my book. Thank you to Amy for her insightful presentation and warm conversation. Carolina Herrara was in the audience as well. She wrote the Foreward to Amy’s book. It was such a pleasure to meet her in person as we entered the Library together!
I look forward to attending more events at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Maybe you would like to join me in the future. Please keep in touch!