What: 1869 Society Fall Fete: “A Nautical Affair”
Where: Corcoran Gallery of Art
When: October 25, 8 to midnight.
Ticket price: $100 regular admission; $150 VIP; $200 “captain” pass.
Who: The latest collection of young, bright, beautiful things Washington has to offer, dressed in—for the most part—beautiful gowns and suits. “Who ever said DC is Hollywood for ugly people never attended this party,” we heard a photographer exclaim. In keeping with the night’s nautical theme—a nod to artist John Singer Sargent’s current exhibit at the museum—plenty of guests donned sailor and captain hats. We also saw some designer boat shoes and plenty of navy blue on dresses, accessories, and ties.
Organized by the museum’s 1869 Society—which targets young professionals between ages 25 and 42—the Corcoran’s Fall Fete drew hundreds of Washington’s next wave of politicos, power players, socialites, and wannabes. We also occasionally spotted the older guest trying to, um, get down with the kids.
Food and drink: Bar and buffet stations with hors d’oeuvres were available on both sides of the museum’s main hall, which was decorated with accent lamps splashing colorful lights up and down its columns. We sampled some tasty shrimp cakes, Old Bay waffle popcorn, crab-and-artichoke dip, and some sea-salt sweet-potato fries, but our favorite treat of the night had to be the miniature cupcakes brought out for dessert—of which we probably had three.
Velvet-roped VIP sections were located both downstairs and up. Those with access to the most exclusive area, aptly dubbed the Captain’s Lounge, enjoyed the perks of a private bar especially stocked with Champagne. Exclusivity, however, did not translate into expedited service, as lines at this bar were just as long and slow as, if not more than, the lines downstairs.
Scene: The boisterous crowd gathered mostly in the museum’s main hall, where DJ Neekola kept things lively and entertaining with an awesome selection of radio hits. We spotted plenty of happy feet as early as 9, but a dance party did not begin in earnest until almost 10:30. Guests too shy (or not quite drunk enough) to dance browsed the more than 80 paintings and drawings that compose the “Sargent and the Sea” exhibit, which remained open for viewing throughout the night.
Boldface names: 1 out of 5
Swankiness: 3 out of 5
Food and drink: 2 out of 5
Overall exclusivity: 2 out of 5
Total score: 8 out of 20