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Media Coverage

A Black-Tie Event—With a Twist


The invitation for the Brooklyn Black Tie Ball, which takes place in and raises money for Brooklyn Bridge Park, requested a specific kind of attire.

Not that this should surprise you or anyone, but the dress code was “Brooklyn Black Tie.” The invitation went on to clarify exactly what that might be. Namely: “a creative twist on the traditional black tie affair.”

We saw a gentleman in a kilt, but for the most part male guests, including Matthew Rhys (of “The Americans”) and Marcus Wainwright (of the fashion company Rag & Bone) showed up to the event, at Pier 2 in the park, in everyday tuxedos wearing black ties.

The evening’s master of ceremonies, Wyatt Cenac, a comedian formerly of “The Daily Show,” followed instructions. He wore a gray suit with a black tie accessorized with a yellow knit beanie on his head. That seemed like a good approximation of Brooklyn Black Tie. Indeed, you know you’re at a Brooklyn party when your master of ceremonies is wearing a yellow knit beanie.

©Julienne Schaer

The party, which attracted around 800 guests and raised $1.1 million, honored Barry Sternlicht, the chairman and chief executive officer of Starwood Capital Group. Next year, Mr. Sternlicht is opening 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge at 60 Furman St., just around the corner from the party site. In honor of that opening, each table setting at the benefit featured a coupon for $50 to enjoy at the hotel’s 10th-floor bar, valid for use sometime between March 1 and Oct. 1, 2017.

Come next spring, you’ll have to be a pretty organized individual to remember a) that you have that coupon, and b) where you put that coupon, but we suppose it was a nice gesture.

Mr. Sternlicht was apparently unavail the evening of this party because he wasn’t in attendance. Instead, he sent a video of himself thanking everyone for the tribute, wearing a silvery blue shirt, which is perhaps his version of Brooklyn Black Tie.

“He brought a video so we’re going to bring a video to him,” said Mr. Cenac, who raised his iPhone to capture everyone in the crowd cheering for Mr. Sternlicht. “I’ll introduce you guys so he knows you’re here. Otherwise you could be cheering anywhere.”

Other attendees included Keri Russell, Mr. Rhys’ on-screen and off-screen co-star; Sylvana and Adam Durrett; Meredith Melling and Zach Iscol; Elettra Wiedemann and Caleb Lane; Sophie Lippincott and Andrew Ferrer; Lisa and Justin Pollock; Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development; Nancy Webster, the executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, and Regina Myer, the outgoing president of the organization.

©Julienne Schaer

Centerpieces were made of handcrafted, reclaimed wood from the park’s expansion containing flowers that could be taken home and planted by a lucky attendee from each table. Another guest could take home a circular paper disc lying in the centerpiece that read “Plant me to make beautiful things grow.”

Maybe when ours starts budding, it will be time to use that coupon at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

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