Last Thursday evening, I attended an event at Spiaggia hosted by designer Todd Oldham; Spiaggia’s James Beard-winning chef-partner, Tony Mantuano; and restaurateur Larry Levy. The trio had gathered, along with about 350 tastemakers, to toast – remotely – their new effort, the Fairfax Hotel on Miami’s South Beach, which will house the first expansion of Spiaggia in the restaurant’s 23-year history, Enoteca Spiaggia.
Oldham – who is designing the hotel and restaurant, slated to open in 2008 – is most recognized lately for hosting Top Design, Bravo’s interior-design reality show. Two Design contestantswere also in attendance, including 32-year-old winner Matt Lorenz, wholives in Chicago. Oldham (in photo with Mantuano, left, and Levy, center) spent the day, pre-party, transformingSpiaggia’s private dining room into a South Beach-style haven, withcustom wine bottle centerpieces and sleek white floral arrangements.
I asked Oldham whether his show will come back for another season."We should know soon," he told me. And since I just moved into my newplace in February, I couldn’t help picking Oldham’s brain about colorchoice. "With the way I dress, I’m surprisingly very conservative," hesaid. "But when it comes to interior design, I go all out. My favoritecolors change every day; right now I love beige and gray" – both of whichhappen to be part of the working palette for my condo, so I guess I’moff to a good start.
Speaking of color, after the Spiaggia event, I headed to Celebrity Prom at Le Passage(as if the two proms I attended in high school weren’t enough). Thebash was full of vibrant hues, from the scarlet spiked punch to the redvelvet couches. I even spotted a zebra-print dress, much like thesequined number I wore to my senior prom in 1992. But this time,instead of spending the night dodging my date, I chowed on fries andwatched the prom court circulate the room in an effort to drum upvotes; each attendee’s $30 donation would go to the to-be-announcedking and queen’s chosen charities.
"We wanted to think of a fun way to raise money," said Amanda Puck,of public relations firm XA, which put together the bash. "We thoughtof all our friends in Chicago and decided to relive prom, but make surewe all had a better time the second time around." The court consistedof Puck; Kelly Ryan O’Brien, the new director of marketing and PR forthe soon-to-launch Michigan Ave. magazine; NBC 5 reporter Natalie Martinez; Chicago Sport & Social Club president Jason Erkes; Jonny Imerman, of Imerman Angels; former Bachelorette Jen Schefft (who couldn’t make the event); Jamie Blythe, from a separate season of The Bachelorette; and CS magazine fashion assistant Graham Kostic.
"This was definitely my first time crowned! What a moment!" Puck,36, said upon her coronation. "I was such a geek in high school, so Inever had a chance back then." Kostic was crowned king, and the eventraised $2,500, split between Common Threads (Puck’s pick) and TheReilly C. Bush Memorial Foundation (courtesy of Kostic).
Photograph: David Ditzler Photography