Derby season has always been a time steeped in tradition: from mint juleps and preppy fascinators to trophies and Churchill Downs. But even the most staid attendees at the races would find plenty to love in the modern Kentucky Derby party milliner Satya Twena threw at her New York City showroom last week. On a Monday afternoon, with just a few faint whispers of spring in the air, Twena—a fashion insider with a penchant for headwear of all kinds—called together a star-studded group of friends for a fête.
From the moment the industrial building's elevator doors opened, the sweet smells of magnolia, jasmine, and white grapefruit welcomed guests. The southern staples lined tables with a stunning mix of purple and black flowers and flickering candlelight. In keeping with the Derby theme, bartender Issac Flores of Dick & Jane’s bar in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, created a honey-infused update on a classic mint julep, appropriately called the “Brooklyn Stoop Sipper” (recipe below). To add to the magical setting, Satya's favorite bakery, Mah-Ze-Dahr, supplied the desserts: choux filled with decadent vanilla cream. What better way to toast the sport of kings?
No party of Twena's has really started until the guests have their hats. With playful odes to the decadence that defines horse racing at its highest levels, guests designed rolled-brim toppers wrapped in colorful ribbon, flowers, and vintage fabric. Properly attired and with culinary delights all around, guests celebrated the coming of spring amid music, laughter and fun.