FGI Night of Stars Gala Consensus: Hamptons Is Fashionable Again

Mariska Hargitay at the FGI 38th Annual Night of Stars gala
Mariska Hargitay
Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The Hamptons was well represented among the fashionable folks at the Fashion Group International’s (FGI) Night of Stars at Casa Cipriani at Cipriani South Street in NYC on Thursday, October 13. The gala honored Elvis and Michael Kors, and featured Candace Bushnell, Mariska Hargitay and Andy Hilfiger, among others.

Consummate man about town Bill McCuddy was, of course, there to take it all in.

Bill McCuddy takes in the scene at the FGI 2022 Night of Stars gala
Bill McCuddy takes in the scene at the FGI Night of Stars galaBill McCuddy

Notes from the 2022 FGI Night of Stars Gala

Everyone was fashionably on time. Casa Cipriani rolled out a shade of red carpet that didn’t clash with Iman, Dionne Warwick or Deepak Chopra.

Inside models actually ate short ribs while exposing them.

Deepak Chopra speaks onstage at the FGI 38th Annual Night of Stars Gala
Deepak Chopra speaks onstage at the FGI 38th Annual Night of Stars GalaSean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

I was upstairs in a black Macy’s off-the-rack suit. If anyone noticed, they were polite enough not to say anything.

Iman wasn’t very chatty, but most just seemed happy to be out, dressed up and celebrating. No one wore a mask unless it was part of their designer duds. And everyone told me when they headed out east this summer, they noticed the Hamptons is back.

Iman at FGI Night of Stars gala 2022
ImanSean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Oh sure, we’re still in sweat pants at home, but at the King Kullen? Not so much.

“It depends where you go in the Hamptons,” designer Rebecca Moses offers. “If you go to the beach, you want to relax. But others entertain and they put on their best clothes,” she says, adding, “It’s very European.” Moses continues, “Just like Milano you dress one way, Portofino you dress another way. I think most women are really in the mood to get dressed again.”

Andy Hilfiger at FGI Night of Stars gala 2022
Andy HilfigerBill McCuddy

Tommy Hilfiger’s designer brother Andy Hilfiger remembers coming out here as a kid. Who was he wearing? Guess. No, I don’t mean ‘Guess,’ I mean, oh never mind.

“We would go to Sag Harbor because my father had a friend there,” he says. “We would drive from Elmira, New York all the way to Sag Harbor. I wore Tommy’s old clothes. Not the brand, his old clothes. Jeans and T-shirts.”

The Dragon Sisters at FGI Night of Stars gala 2022
The Dragon SistersBill McCuddy

And these days? I don’t ask who made his tux, but he does smile and say, “So now we are back and we are out finally.”

This sense of dressing up and coming into Manhattan for a night with swells seems to be contagious. Above the ballroom and the event, the private dining room is hopping.

FGI members who have places out here like Jean Shafiroff and Marcy Warren tell me they like the clubby feel and the fact that it’s packed. Like the old days.

I’m not sure if Miss America Emma Broyles has been to the Hamptons — she’s busy telling me how the pageant has also changed. They ditched bathing suits, stress talent and give away scholarships. She doesn’t think it’s going away.

Candace Bushnell and guest at FGI Night of Stars gala 2022
Candace Bushnell and guestSean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

But wait, there’s Candace Bushnell. I saw her a few days ago at the ARF Stroll to the Sea in East Hampton and she was dressed, well, let’s call it “comfortably.”

Tonight at the Night of Stars, she’s in a pink, floor-length ruffled gown.

“Didn’t people always wear yoga pants in the Hamptons?” she cracks. But then she’s getting with the program. “Yes, people are going out with a vengeance in the Hamptons and they are dressing up, let’s face it. There were lots of parties and galas in the Hamptons this summer.”

And then the “Aha” statement: “Hamptons casual is not really that casual.”

Mariska Hargitay speaks onstage at the Night of Stars
Mariska Hargitay speaks onstage at the Night of StarsSean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

I can almost hear Carrie Bradshaw typing that on her iMac screen. At the cocktail party before the big show, Mariska Hargitay tells me and Daily News columnist Richard Johnson, “I’m switching careers. I’m going to be a supermodel, you can print that.”

Okay, you got it. Then, a few days after the Night of Stars, when she’s being honored by the Hamptons Film Festival, the “SVU” tells me the truth: “When I’m home with my kids in the Hamptons, I dress in black tie, and when I’m just out, it’s jeans and a T-shirt.”

Michael Kors honored via video at the FGI 38th Annual Night of Stars Gala
Michael Kors honored via video at the FGI 38th Annual Night of Stars GalaSean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Another Hamptonite and Night of Stars honoree, Michael Kors, makes his appearance via video.

FGI Night of Stars ticket proceeds support the organization’s mission to connect, support, and empower their members across the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and retail sectors around the globe, through a range of educational and mentorship programs, signature events, networking opportunities, business resources, and philanthropic partnerships. Learn more at fgi.org.

Film critic and podcaster Bill McCuddy is a frequent Dans contributor who describes himself as “fashionably challenged” and often “dressed by the Southampton Hospital Thrift Shop.”

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