There were place cards at a dinner celebrating socialite designer Minnie Mortimer‘s latest preppy, casual collection at the Surf Lodge on Saturday, July 11—but the party was so packed, some guests had to stand.
“We invited so many people and they just said they all could come!” said Ms. Mortimer, the Gisele Bundchen–resembling sister-in-law of better-known, blond Tinsley. “I didn’t think so many people would say yes because Montauk is so far away, but they all are coming this way!”
The hostess herself stood for most of the party, kneeling down to mingle with her friends and family. She was raving about her new love for surfing, in which she is being tutored by her husband, director Stephen Gaghan. “He’s a great teacher!” Ms. Mortimer said proudly.
Mr. Gaghan, a calm, serious man, looked very happy to be there. “If you told me I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t believe you,” he said. “I definitely didn’t win the Most Likely to Succeed award in high school. I grew up in Kentucky, and I had to get out. People from home will ask me why there is such bad language and gore in movies, and I ask them the last movie they saw. They can’t even remember! I’m not going to talk about movies with people who don’t see movies.” Still, Mr. Gaghan said he generally eschews the glitzier side of moviemaking. “When I was younger, I would come out here Monday through Friday and then I would go back to the city on the weekends. It was great. Just earlier today I was sitting by the pool, with one of my kids on my lap, while the beach balls swirled around with the wind, and I was so happy to be there in that moment.”
The most eccentric guest was Minnie’s cousin Alexander Mortimer, there sitting on a tree trunk with a pack of Marlboro Reds as the Felice Brothers played. “You gotta do what you gotta do, man,” Mr. Mortimer said. Wearing a yellow summer dress and black heels, Amanda Hearst stood with a glass of Champagne, laughing at how the last time she was in Montauk was at her stepfather Jay McInerney’s book party. “Wasn’t that fun?” Ms. Hearst said. She has been in California and London the last few weeks and had spent most of the day poolside. “I love it out here, but it really is far!”
Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo strolled in just in time for the first course, also smoking a cigarette, wearing an orange dress. “Am I late?” she asked. “Oh, thank God! I honestly thoguht it would take 20 minutes to get here!”
From Southampton? Come on, Lauren!
Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon‘s jacket covered most of her outfit. “Everyone is like, ‘What are you wearing?’ and I’m like, ‘Patagonia and Prada!’” she said. “Tonight is a special night for me because my kids are out of town, so I’m actually going out a few parties. I have to be honest, the first time I met Minnie, I was like, ‘She is so cute, fun and spirited.’ And you know when Michael Jackson said ‘PYT’? Like that’s what girls want to be. Pretty young things. And I love that about Minnie. She’s a great girl, a great mom, and also has amazing style.”
After salads, scallops, skirt steak, bass and the restaurant’s signature dish of crab meat with cranberries and popcorn (burp!), the rain started again, making the crowded bar inside basically impossible to walk through.
“It’s like boarding school, or camp,” said Peter Davis, Ms. Mortimer’s half-brother, of the bad weather. “Just deal.”
But some guests repaired to the infamous Memory Motel, a grungy, loud and cheap bar near the water.
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