Thorne Perkin, a managing director at boutique advisory firm Papamarkou Wellner Asset Management Inc., reflected last night on whether he’d get any work done at the Frick’s Belle Epoque Ball.
“There’s always a little bit of business with pleasure,” Perkin said.
His wife, Tatiana, proved the point: The marketer for Milly wore Milly.
In between talk of weddings, babies and catching a midnight screening of “Hunger Games,” guests mentioned job leads, career changes, gas prices.
Charlotte-Anne Swerling, a principal at the London-based private equity firm Balderton Capital UK LLP, fielded an ethics-related investment question.
“That was probably the only real conversation I’ll have all night,” she said.
As the croque-monsieurs with cherry compote circulated, the 600 guests gave in to the pleasures of coke and steel industrialist Henry Clay Frick’s Fifth Avenue mansion.
In the East Gallery, the Renoirs called. In the Music Room, it was the loud dance tunes. And in the Garden Court, the palm trees and fountain lulled. The event for the museum’s Young Fellows raised $240,000 for education programs and the Frick Art Reference Library.
Michele Norsa, chief executive of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA, spent Tuesday night at Julian Schnabel’s home in the West Village, whose name, Palazzo Chupi, conveys its Old World charm.
“I like the library and the bathroom,” Norsa said.
And how about the crowd, there to celebrate Signorina, Ferragamo’s new scent for young women?
“When I’m traveling, I meet mostly with bankers and investors,” replied the Florence-based executive. “Tonight I ate with a polo player from Argentina and an actor from Spain. It’s important for the brand to do things like this. It’s something we didn’t do in the past.”
Waiters served strawberry Bellinis to actress Kate Mara and photographer Rachel Chandler Guinness, who said she has been wearing her grandmother’s size 11 Ferragamo shoes for years.
When Coco Sumner, a daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, took the stage with her band, I Blame Coco, model Bianca Balti was standing next to a giant Signorina bottle featuring Ferragamo’s signature neatly folded ribbon.
“I used to spray here and here,” Balti said, pointing to her wrists and neck.
Now the “face” of the perfume featured in a global ad campaign knows better. “I just learned,” she said. “You spray in front of you and walk through it.”
The scent reminds Balti of getting out of the bath. “It feels clean,” she said.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)