Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MY DINNER WITH EVELYN LAUDER

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Evelyn Lauder this week. Philanthropist, crusader for Breast Cancer awareness and innovative executive at Estee Lauder, Mrs. Lauder was a formidable figure on the New York social scene known for her warmth and spirit. I had the pleasure of experiencing her gracious style firsthand when my husband and I were invited to the Lauder's home to celebrate a mutual friend's engagement. She and her husband Leonard hosted an intimate dinner in their beautiful Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment. Prior to dinner, I called my friend and asked her if she knew Evelyn's favorite florist and sent her a small bouquet the day of the dinner with a note. When we arrived at their home, I was struck by the magnificent and aromatic floral arrangements in the grand foyer, yet Evelyn thanked me warmly for the flowers and ushered me into her bedroom where she had placed the special bouquet on her bedside table. Such class! The dining room was impeccably set for the Asian inspired dinner with waitstaff in white jackets at the ready, but what I most recall about the evening was how charming and warm the Lauder's were to their guests. The memorable evening ended with Mrs. Lauder suggesting I chose a scented candle and an Estee Lauder silver crocodile compact from their "private stock"-a large table in the foyer was filled with the wrapped gifts for each guest to take home. I will always remember my very special evening with the most gracious and generous Evelyn Lauder.




Among her many accomplishments, Mrs. Lauder was an avid photographer.  You can view more of her photos here.
photo of Mrs. Lauder by Douglas Friedman

13 comments:

The enchanted home said...

Barbara, what a beautiful tribute to such a special woman who has been so generous and philanthropic with her time and money particularly towards breat cancer.I have forever been in awe over that chinoiserie in her dining room ever since I laid eyes on it.....she was a picture of grace, elegance and class, and I am certain her legacy will live on through her daughters and others who shared her vision to carry on her great work. Beautiful post!

Ann said...

Her photos are stunning.

Such a wonderful post and its a firsthand encounter. She has always been a woman of grace and through your post I've learned of substance too. Thanks for sharing your story, and what an endearing tribute.

jsides said...

Such a great story and wonderful memory of a gracious lady. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Splendid Sass said...

Thank you for sharing, Barbara. Such a nice tribute to such a wonderful woman. Sad to hear the news.
Teresa
xoxo

Splendid Market said...

What a special memory. How thoughtful of her to be sure to acknowledge your bouquet. We have lost a great woman.

Vanessa@Luxuria said...

How lucky you were to experience this woman's warmth and grace first-hand. I was so shocked and sad to learn of her death. I had no idea she had been suffering ovarian cancer. So sad.

Noe @ ADELLA AVENUE said...

What a nice remembrance. Thanks for adding to her legacy with your thoughtful words and experience of time with her.

Ispirato Design said...

What a lovely memory and tribute. Thank you for sharing- I'm glad to hear hear about her passion and great works.

Town and Country Mom said...

What a lovely evening and a wonderful tribute to the graciousness of Evelyn Lauder. Thank you for sharing your story.

designchic said...

What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful lady, inside and out.

classic • casual • home said...

Such a lovely memorial for a great lady. You know how to tell a good story...felt like I was there for dinner, too.

pretty pink tulips said...

I am so happy you shared this sweet story. I, like many, was a great admirer of Evelyn Lauder for all of her many accomplishments. My heart goes out to her family and to the world....her presence is a loss for all.

xoxo Elizabeth

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story, Barbara. Am sure she will be remembered ~ a woman with so many accomplishments in a short life. Great to be reconnected with you through Facebook! maryann @ verbena cottage