“Look who it is: it’s Edwina, the Edwina,” Isaac Mizrahi exclaimed to The Observer this past Saturday, as he approached Edwina von Gal, the designer who, Ross Bleckner told us, “did the landscaping at my house in Sagaponack.”
We were at Cindy Sherman’s new East Hampton home at a benefit for the Azuero Earth Project, the Panama-based ecological nonprofit of which Ms. von Gal is president. It was a cozy beginning-of-the-end to the Hamptons summer season. Guests sat on benches under a white tent to eat empanadas and watch performances by Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. Children climbed into pendulous bamboo cocoons, stuffed with pillows, that swayed from the trees.
“I live just up the road,” Ms. Vega, who had been asked at the last minute to replace Rubén Blades, told us. “I originally came as a guest of Laurie’s, and I thought I was going to see Rubén Blades!” Wearing a top hat—a “tip of the hat to Marlene Dietrich”—Ms. Vega performed “Marlene on the Wall” and “Gypsy,” written when she was a “folk-singing and disco-dancing counselor” at a summer camp in the Adirondacks. She had M.C. Bob Balaban serve as an impromptu music stand, holding a handwritten lyric sheet for a new Dylan-inspired number about the tarot’s Queen of Pentacles.
“I probably shouldn’t have kissed her,” Mr. Balaban confided to us afterward. “It’s rude to kiss somebody you’ve just met.” Mr. Balaban told us about his upcoming appearance as Lena Dunham’s psychiatrist on Girls, and recommended we visit Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner’s former home down the road. “It’s just a little hut,” he explained. “They didn’t have any money.” (We read that Ms. Sherman paid $4.65 million for her estate, though we weren’t invited inside.)
Gorgeous in two shades of blue mufti (a baby blue wrap over a navy dress), the chameleonic Ms. Sherman told us that though she had just moved in a month ago, “There’s just a few little things that need to be tweaked, but I’m pretty settled.” Was this party a little housewarming, then? “A big housewarming,” she corrected us. Ms. Sherman also talked about transplanting her career retrospective from New York’s Museum of Modern Art to San Francisco’s MOMA, where it’s currently on view. “The space is different; it was hard to edit out some of the work.”
We watched Gina Gershon and Martha Stewart, both in pre-Labor Day white, run around taking pictures, and stood by as Mr. Mizrahi introduced Mr. Bleckner to his husband, Arnold Germer.
“We’re married, you know,” said Mr. Mizrahi.
“I didn’t know!” Mr. Bleckner replied
“Now we’re moving in together,” Mr. Germer went on.
“That’s exactly what married people do!” Mr. Bleckner pointed out. “Usually it’s the step before, but I guess you’re playing it safe.”
Messrs. Germer and Mizrahi (whose bandana matched that of Bruce Weber, also in attendance) weren’t the only couple at the party to have taken advantage of New York’s new same-sex marriage laws. David Maupin and Stefano Tonchi brought their twin girls, Maura and Isabella.
We asked Mr. Tonchi about changes at The New York Times’s T Magazine, which he left two years ago to edit W, specifically about the recent departure of his successor, Sally Singer. “Oh, please. Old news,” Mr. Tonchi answered summarily.
Mr. Wainwright brought his husband, Jörn Weisbrodt, whom he had married the week prior. He opened his performance with what he called a “really Hamptons-y song about a bored housewife … which I have become. Love it!” Later, he sang about his own Hamptons domesticity in “Montauk”: “This next song is about my daughter, Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, and also my incredible new husband, Jörn Weis-” he caught himself and laughed. “Jörn Wainwright. Or Rufus Weisbrodt, however you do it. In fact, his name is Weisbrodt, which means ‘white bread’ in German, and what is it, there’s something about a honeymoon? In Dutch, a honeymoon is called a ‘white bread,’ white bread weeks. You can get fat, basically, now that you’re married.”
Lou Reed, married for four years but with his wife for a decade prior, came off a little less enchanted. “Are you done? Jesus. And we’re related,” Mr. Reed muttered jokingly, as Laurie Anderson plugged in her violin next to him, generating a loud electronic buzz.
“I would cut my legs and tits off/When I think of Boris Karloff,” Mr. Reed sang, in a song from last year’s much-maligned Metallica collaboration Lulu. He next performed a monologue in the voice of his mentor Andy Warhol: “Lou Reed got married and didn’t invite me … you know I hate Lou, I really do.”
Ms. Anderson performed a monologue of her own, about observing the Amish in Western Pennsylvania—“Gee, I wonder what it’s like to live that way,” she mused—which nearly cleared the tent, though her political criticism drew some laughs. “Ever since hearing Clint Eastwood talk about optimism the other night at the Republican Convention,” Ms. Anderson narrated, her voice electronically shifted several octaves down, accompanied by slow synth chords, “I actually became extremely pessimistic about the future. I mean, look at the odds for a second. You have more chance of getting hit and killed in a car crash than dying in a plane crash.” (Here, she lost us again.)
As the wind off of Accabanac Harbor picked up (“I’m getting the best hairdo of my life thanks to this body of water,” Mr. Wainwright joked), guests began to wrap their shoulders in complimentary green picnic blankets.
Patrizia Pinzon, visiting from Panama, bemoaned the absence of Mr. Blades, the one Panamanian who had been scheduled to perform. “Everybody’s here, but they don’t know what it’s about.”