Amidst a bleak news cycle and a freezing cold weather forecast, there was much to be thankful for and to celebrate on Thursday evening. Some 250 well-heeled guests turned up in style at The Plaza for toast to The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner in honor of floral designer Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope (take deux!). Here’s your peek inside what the glamorous evening entailed!
The evening was to highlight The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope, which opens tomorrow, February 26, in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and runs through May 1, 2022. It’s a revisit and a reinvention all at once, as Leatham had originally designed the 2020 Orchid Show, and as he said himself during his speech, “we all know what happened next…..”
The evening began with cocktails and the sale of exceptional and rare orchids, as well as a tour of the spectacular tablescapes which had been imagined and conceptualized by leading designers around the country. Guests had the opportunity to meet with the creatives and learn more about the process behind the works of living art—one of which even included a working water fountain!
Following a multi-course dinner, guests took to the dance floor to music by Leigh Lezark of The Misshapes. Proceeds from the evening will go to supporting the Botanical Garden’s premier programs in horticulture, botanical research, and children’s education. On a poignant note, Leatham also expressed how special it was to spotlight and recognize the talent of the floral designers in attendance, who had lost many months of work and income as a result of the pandemic.
The Orchid Dinner’s Gala Chairs were Maureen K. Chilton, Whitney and Jonathan Clay, Jeff Leatham, Cecile Lochard, Jennifer Napier Nolen and Malcolm Nolen, Martha Stewart, Tina and Steven R. Swartz, and Julia and Edward Weld, and the stunning evening was made possible with the support of Guerlain and Hearst. Among the notable attendees were Wes Gordon, Paul Arnhold, Gillian Hearst, Fernando Garcia, Laura Kim, Pom Klementieff, James Cusati Moyer, Grace Fuller Marroquin, Jerome Lamaar, Katini Yamaoka, Broadway’s Adam Perry, and many others.
[The designers and companies who donated their services to create the evening’s stunning tablescapes included Bowman Dahl Floral & Event Design, Javier Burkle of Burkle Creative, Calvert Crary, executive director of FlowerSchool New York, Cornucopia, Marc Elliot/swoop with Malgorzata Lukaszewicz, Keiko Ellis, creative director of Cloud Catering & Events, fleursBELLA, Grace Fuller Marroquin of Grace Fuller Design, Michael Gonzalez of Verde Flowers with art by Bronx-based muralist Andre Trenier, John L Goodman of JL Goodman LLC , Jeff Leatham Design, Julie Kantrowitz of JK Interior Living, Jérôme LaMaar, Manscapers: Mel Brasier, James DeSantis, Garrett Magee, The Mini Rose Co. with contributions by Hilverda De Boer, Abra Dried Floral, and Party Rental LTD, MUSE x boo•kay ny, Margaret Naeve, Hilary Pereira with JSA Studio NYC, Petal Design Studio, LaParis Phillips, owner & creative director of Brooklyn Blooms INC., Jeffrey Quaritius of Jeffrey Quaritius Studio, Rudy Saunders of Dorothy Draper & Company, and Joy Williams, creative director and principal designer of Joyful Designs® Studio.]