The Calm before the Storm

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 28 - 2011
Derek Blasberg, Loren Ridinger, JR Ridinger, Lauren Santo Domingo, & Andres Santo Domingo

Derek Blasberg, Loren Ridinger, JR Ridinger, Lauren Santo Domingo, & Andres Santo Domingo

 By:  Mary Jo Almeida Shore

With Art Basel looming in the no-so-distant horizon, we are especially thankful this Thanksgiving for a couple of days of rest before the hectic week ahead.  Last week provided for much excitement and varied forms of entertainment and celebrity sightings a-go-go, although, many a socialite, when asked about their plans during the week, simply replied, “I’m resting up for Basel.”   

The Ridingers Host a Very Classy Affair

Last Wednesday, fashion writer, editor and New York Times bestseller, Derek Blasberg celebrated his book launch, VERY CLASSY: Even More Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady with an affair to match the book’s title, at the stunning estate of JR and Loren Ridinger, aptly named, Casa de Suenos.  The trés chic soiree at the Ridingers’ “Dream House” was co-hosted by “extremely modern ladies,” Inés Rivero, Loren Ridinger, Vivian Duenas and Lauren Santo Domingo in conjunction with Moda Operandi, ( the first online luxury fashion retailer to provide access to complete collections from the world’s top designers immediately following their runway shows.  

The handsome and gregarious author chatted and joked with guests and wrote personal dedications on the cover page of his latest work to some of his favorites.  Mine reads, “Dearest Mary Jo, stay Classy, like your husband, (it was our 15 year wedding anniversary that night- which may explain the shout-out) Go Miami Socialholic! Love, Derek.”   Now you see why we love him…

A follow-up to the 2010 New York Times bestseller, CLASSY; VERY CLASSY offers more of Blasberg’s signature wit and timeless advice on how to be an extremely modern young lady. VERY CLASSY promises to become the premier, tailor-made, style and etiquette guide to address the challenges facing today’s young women (and men). 

A-list guests including:  Greg Lotus, Adriana Castro, Suzy Buckley, Candela Ferro, Jilian Sanz, Sarah Mirmelli, Katya Segovia, Ginger Harris, Maria Andy Tettamanti, Lauren Gnazzo, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, Andres Santo Domingo, Crispy Alexander, Kelly Gold, Michelle and Tommy Pooch, Iran Issa-Khan, Barbara Becker, Amaris Jones, John Joseph Lin, and Susanne Birbragher, to name a few, toasted with free-flowing Dom Pérignon and enjoyed gourmet bites while flipping through the pages of Blasberg’s latest captivating tome. 



Anthony_K_Shriver,_Bruce_Weber_and_Jason_Binn_of_Niche_Media._Photo_by_JOhnArroyoBest Buddies’ Best Party

One of the most successful galas to date, the 15th Annual Best Buddies Miami Gala: Italia broke records this year, by raising $1.5 million in total donations – a record amount for the event – for Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The fabulous party took place at the Fontainebleau on Friday night, celebrating Best Buddies’ expansion into Italy with a festive Italian-themed evening featuring a fabulous cocktail hour, interactive photo booth, performers in circus cages, gourmet dinner, unique live and silent auctions, and a live concert by musical guests LMFAO, in advance of their fantastic performance during the American Music Awards just two days later. 

Chaired by Brett Ratner and co-chaired by Steve Birkhold, Larry Boland, Richard Booth, Romero Britto, Marko Dimitrijević, Johan de Nysschen, Jeanie Hernandez, May Liang & Jim Lintott, Alina & Anthony K. Shriver, and Don Soffer, the Gala brought out a Who’s Who of notable guests from around the globe, such as: Bruce Weber, Vivica A. Fox, Evander Holyfield, Louis Aguirre, Barbara Becker, Miami Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell, Jason Binn, Juan Bollini, Ron Book, Suzy Buckley, Nan Bush, Miss USA Alyssa M. Campanella, Sara & Ugo Colombo, Miss Teen USA Danielle Doty, Dottie & Bill Fauerbach, Melissa & Marc Ganzi, Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora, Sarah Harrelson, Miami Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Iran Issa-Khan, Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin, Jeff Soffer, Anja Kaehny, Penney & Gerry Klingman, Philip Levine, Carl Lewis, Cristina & George Lindemann, Michael Patrick, Lisa & Donald Pliner, Sam Robin, Marlyne Sexton, Lydia & Rudy Touzet, Susie  & Walid Wahab and Bernie Yuman to name a few.

Highlights of the evening included a moving speech by Buddy Ambassador Charles Calhoun, and a fashion show by the Italian brand 100% Capri of Bal Harbour and jewelry by Piaget, which were modeled by Best Buddies participants.

The Gala culminated with the Best Buddies Bash, chaired by Eunice Shriver and a group of philanthropic high school students, which featured a concert by party rockers LMFAO to which more than 750 Miami-Dade and Broward students were welcomed. The high-energy pop group performed several hits, including “Party Rock Anthem,” “I’m in Miami” and “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”  During their set LMFAO invited several Best Buddies participants up on stage and later posed for pictures with them.   “The Gala was not only a huge homerun for Best Buddies,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, “but also a testament to the incredible generosity of the Miami community!”

photo credit; John Arroyo/

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