It’s a Thursday night and I am leaving work early. It does not happen often, but this boy has plans! It is only the most fabulous event of the year, and all the young and beautiful faces of Sarasota are congregating for an amazing cause: the Designing Daughters Gala, to take place at the Sarasota Yacht Club—this year with a nautical theme.
I make plans with shoe maven Tatyana Sharoubim to meet at her place and jet off to the event. I step into her gnome house at Burns Court and I am encountered by her two pooches who are wild to see “Uncle Eduardo” (I’ve got lots of nieces and nephews). As kisses and hugs are exchanged, Tatyana is running around in a gorgeous leather and silk dress getting ready for the party. She looks me straight in the eye and asks, “Is it too much?” I am all for the sexy outfit, but my girl is not content with her choice! So back to the closet it is for this homo-sensual. Luckily, this time I have enough room to hang out in there, since Tatyana’s closet takes her whole guest bedroom. No joke, her second room is her closet! After a quick scan we find the perfect cocktail dress: an emerald green, pleated silk, above-the-knee number by Parker. As Taty changes I spot a gorgeous pair of heels with Swarovski crystal peacocks. They are just what we need to make the outfit perfection. A little blush, some mascara, her electric blue Casa del Rio pouchette, and we are out the door!
When we arrive at the Yacht Club, the scenery is fun and vivacious.Everyone is in COLOR! No black and white here. The pool setting overlooking the bay is an amazing sight and the pretty people are just beginning to arrive. The tables are decked with pink branches and flowered heels provided by Victoria Blooms … HEAVEN! Walking around saying hello to familiar faces, I find one that is not so familiar … and she has cupcakes in hand, so I walk over and introduce myself.
A pleasant “Hello, my name is” and I snatch one of the delicate confections. It’s love at first bite. I can’t stop eating the cupcakes all night. Thing is, I am not a sweets person—unless we are talking cocktails. Not one, two or three, but I probably eat a whole batch! Quickly I get all the girls tasting and raving as we stuff our bellies full of the yummy treats. At some point designer Diana Kelly and I battle to name the best-tasting treat! She loves the shortbread cookies, while I’m all for the raspberry cupcakes. After a group of attendees get a taste of both, my palate wins! Best of all, these morsels are not pricey. Leigh Growney, owner of The Short Giraffe Mini Confections and Catering, tells me that a batch of twelve mini-cupcakes is only $15.
In the middle of grabbing my tenth treat, I spot a group of young girls coming up the stairs toward the pool. Something out-of-the-norm at this kind of event is about to happen. The flower bed that has been floating on the pool all night suddenly is lit. The music starts as one by one the little girls jump in the water to give us a synchronized swimming spectacle. Everyone in attendance applauds in awe.
I myself don’t leave the event empty handed. The Three Kitcheneers were in attendance giving awards for the night. As I reach over to find my scarf, I am named “Best Dressed Male!” My blue colored get-up wins me a prize from T. Georgianos Shoe Salon. Happily I snag my prize and come back to my friends who, after a few more minutes, decide it’s time to move the party downtown. Our destination: Jolly’s, the lounge at Cafe Epicure. I get to ride in style. After all, it is only decent to leave the event in a Bentley convertible if you are named “Best Dressed.” I must say, there is something about riding over the John Ringling Bridge in a convertible luxury car … it always gives the best blowout!
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