Back Bay Chatelaine Anne Fitzpatrick Channels Her Inner Isabella Stewart Gardner
Dispatches from two highly splashy, back-to-back soirees. Plus, the ninth-annual Excessive Fashion show and Courageous Sailing's 35th anniversary.
Currently in first place for the “hostess with the mostest” category is Back Bay chatelaine Anne Fitzpatrick, who channeled her inner Isabella Stewart Gardner by hosting not one but two highly splashy, back-to-back December soirees—both of which would have made Gardner green with envy. The first was a cocktail party in Fitzpatrick’s brand-new aerie, dubbed “The Nest,” overlooking the Public Garden in the Four Seasons Place Residences. The intimate evening marked the last of 50 celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Save Venice, the international conservation organization that raises funds to preserve La Serenissima’s cultural patrimony (Fitzpatrick sits on its board). Not all of the conversation that evening was high-minded, though: One pair of guests lamented the fact that “Crypto’s in the crapper,” while a man excused himself early, saying, “I have the Somerset Club men’s party tomorrow,” to which a friend responded, “Enjoy the hangover.”
The following evening, Fitzpatrick—wearing a black strapless gown from Paris and a diamond rivière—hosted a black-tie blowout at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “Isabella’s Supper Club” evoked a rat-pack-era dinner dance, complete with cigarette girls and a jazz ensemble. On hand were such soigné socialites as MFA panjandrum Frederick Ilchman and his breathtaking wife, Cassandra; modern-day Gina Lollobrigida Lacy Garcia; and one woman without her husband because he had imbibed a bit too freely at the Somerset Club men’s party that afternoon.
Those who did make it lucked out when it came to the meal. When Gardner christened Fenway Court with a party on New Year’s Day 1903, she served refreshments that prompted novelist Edith Wharton to snort it was the sort of thing you’d eat in a French train station. Fitzpatrick’s guests, meanwhile, dined on Parisian gnocchi and duck á l’orange—a decided improvement over champagne and doughnuts.
Power couple Nick and Pam Lazares with Gardner overseer and patron of the arts Anne Fitzpatrick.
The courtyard made more beautiful by jewelry designer Maud Cabot, artist Tess Atkinson, lawyer Allison O’Neil, and art collector and horse breeder Beth Johnson.
Cocktails in the Cloisters.
Debonair pair Neal Balkowitsch (left) and Donald Nelson flanking mega-philanthropists Carol Deane (right) and Anne Fitzpatrick.
Supermodel Nikki Stalling with celebrity shoe designer Thom Solo.
Courageous Sailing 35th Anniversary
Held at South Boston’s Artists for Humanity EpiCenter in late November, Courageous35 celebrated 35 years of Courageous Sailing’s free programs for kids in need, which teach them not only to sail but also crucial life skills.
Broadcaster, writer, lecturer, and America’s Cup winner Gary Jobson telling salty tales.
Attorney Caroline Humphrey Clifford bids in the auction as (from left) her husband, Christian, brother-in-law Bryan Flynn, and DJ Ryan Brown look on.
Professional sailor Rich Wilson with board member and Courageous35 cochair Gregg Nourjian.
The super-stylish threesome of Abdinoor Mohamed, Komal Gandhi, and Doana Marcellus, who work together at Boston After School & Beyond.
On December 4, the ninth-annual Excessive Fashion show drew such stylish types as Goddess of Glitz Yolanda Cellucci and Celtics great Kendrick Perkins to the Westin Waltham Boston hotel to raise money for Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund. Designers showcased their latest work on the catwalk, with a presentation organized by the dapper Alfred Williams and Keyla Williams of indie retailer Bogosplit.
Event founder and fashion designer Joe Malaika closes the show, accompanied by cohost Keyla Williams.
Model Bridget Lutaaya dons a fur hat and printed jacket by Ukrainian couturier Olga Patalakh Liachev.
Model Findlee Abraham dazzles in a suit by Zambian designer Mainga Sanderson.
R&B star Rotmi serenades the audience with his single “In My Bed.”
Model Edie Maya wearing a scarlet suit by Joe Malaika.
First published in the print edition of the March 2023 issue, with the headline “Take That, Mrs. Jack!”