Friday night in East Hampton, Ulla Johnson and Bergdorf Goodman gathered a group for a sunset dinner. The Brooklyn-based designer, beloved for her modern boho dresses, cohosted the fete with the 5th Avenue retailer as a way to toast their fruitful partnership (head to the flagship’s 5th floor, and you’ll find that Ulla Johnson takes up a significant amount of real estate.) The location for the dinner? East Hampton’s LongHouse Reserve, a 16-acre stretch of land that unfurls with a zen harmony between the natural and fine arts; sculpture gardens feature works by Ai Weiwei and Daniel Arsham, and immaculate gardens range from corners inspired by the tranquillity of Japanese gardens to patches of towering redwoods.
It was the perfect setting for an Ulla Johnson dinner; the mastermind of the reserve, after all, was the late Jack Lenor Larsen, the internationally-acclaimed textile designer and handicrafts collector whose work is an inspiration to many, Johnson included.
“I was in heaven touring the house,” Johnson told her dinner guests, which included the likes of Cynthia Erivo, Naomi Watts, Coco Baudelle, Sophia Roe, Kate Young, Jessica Joffe, and Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo and Yumi Shin. Prior to a cocktail hour set at Longhouse’s DeKooning lawn—punctuated by a Willem de Kooning sculpture—Johnson had been on a coveted tour of Larsen’s home. Not open to the public, the home is filled with Larsen’s textile arts—items of his own design but also pieces collected from his world travels. “Jack was a huge creator and a collector of female fiber arts…It’s very meaningful for me to have this dinner here,” Johnson continued.
Johnson, dressed in a muted golden metallic dress in a crushed duchess satin of her own design, toasted her guests with a glass of Perrier-Jouët, who had provided wine pairings for each of the 4-courses. Most everyone was wearing something from the new collection—an elegant assortment of black and white multi-tiered printed skirts and draped crepe de chine gowns. Towards the end of the night, guests could also festoon their looks with an additional Ulla Johnson element. At the backs of everyone’s chairs were over-sized, handwoven straw hat party favors. They certainly added to the ambiance of the tablescape and decor, which was envisioned by Bronson van Wyck, but when guests found out they weren’t just there for ornamental purposes, they began to top the heads of those in attendance.
After several courses—a standout being a poached bass filet decorated artfully with zucchini slices—the dinner was nearing midnight and most said their farewells. A select few, however, were able to extend the Ulla Johnson x Bergdorf Goodman festivities for one more day. This group would enjoy more art at a private tour of the Parrish Art Museum, facials by Naturopathica, and a tequila tasting from Casa Azul. It was just a few of the things the Ulla Johnson woman loves most.