Authentic, Simple & Refined: A Night With David Monn
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
When the planner of perhaps the world’s most elegant parties throws a party himself, what can a guest expect?
At David Monn’s home in Bridgehampton on Friday, about 200 guests, including Martha Stewart, Jock Soto, Kathy Hilton, Catherine Marron, Linda Janklow, Bob Colacello, Brooke Neidich, Fern Mallis, and Patrick McMullan, started the party on a candlelit pathway running next to a moon- (and artificially-) lit duck pond, with its own strange and natural quacking symphony.
Somewhere along the way, a white-clad waiter would offer a margarita, which was most likely put down in order to hit the raw bar.
Then it was only a matter of deciding which perch was right to take in a black and white paradise with a pool at its center and a pagoda at the back, framing a dance floor.
Dinner was a buffet of Shun Lee favorites — with the staff of the Manhattan restaurant transported to the party to prepare the food in front of guests’ eyes.
The band was so good the dance floor remained full for about two hours straight.
It was a magical night, beautiful and whimsical, or, to use Mr. Monn’s own key words, it was authentic, simple, and refined: from the American section of the buffet, offering fried macaroni and cheese, to the projection screen on the house showing the opening ceremonies of the Olympics; from the fireworks display over the pond to the cupcakes for dessert, a low-key nod to the fact that it Mr. Monn’s birthday.
Mr. Monn conjures up this kind of magic night after glamorous night at events all over the world, but most dear to us are his events in New York. His events celebrate, tell a story, transform, and surprise.
At this event, Mr. Monn had plenty to celebrate: Since he started designing events four years ago, he has spun his event planning skills into a boutique lifestyle empire, with television appearances, a Web log, products for sale, and a gigantic warehouse to store his raw materials. So grand is his world that his staff had no problem throwing together a video in his honor with a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”-like narration touting his “quest for beauty.”
The video could have come off as too much, too sappy, but for Mr. Monn, it hit a perfect pitch, since all those gathered know of his devotion to the quest for beauty — and are grateful they get to experience it.