With the chances for rain on the day of Piqué Nique Sur la Baie hovering somewhere around 80 percent, Phil Mancini and the crew at Michael’s – together with event organizers – redesigned the event only 48 hours before the first guest arrived.
True, it had never rained on Piqué Nique in its history, but planners (wisely, as it turned out) were taking no chances. Thus instead of Champagne on the lawn behind the Charles Ringling mansion, guests were brought in through the covered porte-cochere, through the mansion and directly into a massive tent sent up on the bayfront. Inter-connected smaller tents – one for the models and one for the caterer – insured that everyone stayed dry throughout the afternoon. And yes, it did rain on Piqué Nique, though not until later in the day.
The weather did not dampen the spirits of the guests, which included co-chairs Marjorie Floyd and Chip Gaylor, Debbie Dannheisser, Gloria Good, Pat Johnson Wendy Feinstein, Jessica Ortiz, Jen Rust, Jackie Rogers, Dana Westmark, Ruth Harshman, Charles Williams, Terry McKee, Sarah Pappas, Jacqueline Morton, Isabel Norton, Alexandra Jupin, Audrey Coleman, Margie Lee, Pamela Hughes, Jennifer Rominiecki, Pamela Joerger, Donal O’Shea, Roxie Jerde and Barbara Zdravecky, among many others.
Once guests were seated, at tables beautifully decorated with centerpieces of white roses cascading out of bright pink hat boxes, guests were welcomed by the co-chairs. “Whoever says that rain dampens a party obviously didn’t know you guys,” said Marjorie Floyd.
Stephen Miles, provost of New College, spoke about some of the many accomplishments of New College – Florida’s honors college – and the importance of “the spiritual center of the college,” the Jane Bancroft Cook Library.
Following a delicious lunch of Vol au Vent Fruiti de Mare and Lavender Ice Cream with warm Brandied Cherries, and a live auction, Brenda and Geoffrey Michel, owners of The Met Fashion House, Day Spa and Salon, presented a high-energy fashion show, featuring the latest styles from designers including Haute Hippie, Milly, RED Valentino, Diane Von Furstenberg, Armani Collezioni, Robert Graham, Just Cavalli, hats by Christine A. Moore and more.
“Every time you do an event like this, you have to accelerate your presentation because the expectations get higher and higher,” said Geoffrey Michel.