Kentucky Derby Party at Smack Mellon
To celebrate the Kentucky Derby, I headed to DUMBO, Brooklyn where the folks at Smack Mellon were having their annual Derby Party & Art Auction Benefit. A great organization that provides studio & exhibition space to emerging artists, Smack Mellon really knows how to throw a bash. This annual event attracts an smartly dressed artsy crowd as well as some members of the horsey set not able to trek to the “Bluegrass State” for the race. Guests included Lynn & Kate Hancock, two sisters who are Derby Royalty from a family dynasty responsible for many an equine champion. Asked about the crowd compared to those they usually see at Churchill Downs, the two sisters applauded the derby hats as being very authentic. Their friend Nancy Amling added that she was thankful not to see anyone wearing the Princess Beatrice “toilet seat” hat made infamous at the recent Royal nuptials. Art Royalty was also on hand with Claude Picasso (son of Pablo & Françoise) sipping a mint julep and intently checking out the art works that were available for bidding. Guests watched on projected screens as the race started. Before you could sneeze from all the horse hair, Animal Kingdom won and a crowd rallied round Greg Starner, the sole betting winner in attendance. The other winner of the evening was Kiki Kyriakopoulos who was awarded “best hat” by fashion designer and guest judge Virginia Doll. The benefit ticket to the party included an original work of art for every guest, so in the end everyone was a winner.