Nothing captures the eclectic elegance of New York City in January like the The Winter Antiques Show, a fixture firmly imprinted on the city’s wintry designscape.    The exterior of the Park Avenue Armory may be icicled and sprinkled with snow, but that won’t stop devotees from descending in droves. For once inside, they eagerly are treated to assemblage of the most important pieces in the world,  as well as access to the knowledgeable tastemakers that seek and collect them.

Architect Gil Schafer, one of the 2018 honorees and Design Co-Chair  observed, 

“I love the Winter Antiques Show because it’s where you always see the best of the best. And because I have a love of Americana, this show in particular is outstanding for seeing what’s out there. The other thing I love about this show is that it’s a great chance to learn from dealers. In this day of shopping for antiques on-line–where you don’t get much one-on-one contact with dealers‎–shows like this give you the rare chance to see an extraordinary group of dealers and hear directly from them about what makes a particular piece special. Don’t miss it!”

Once a bastion of Americana and Old World European antiques, WAT now boasts a complement of mid century treasures as well as contemporary design and photography.     

Lucinda Ballard agrees,  “The Winter Antiques Show has stayed relevant even as the business has changed enormously. We have expanded our datelines and subscribe to eclecticism. Our exhibitors are the best of the best; a wonderful, eclectic, interesting group.”

The Show began in the 1950’s  as fundraising event for East Side House Settlement a philanthropic tradition which continues today.    It quickly grew to be one of the most leading art, antiques and design fairs in the country. A committee of experts from Europe and the United States vet the pieces for authenticity, age and condition so buyers can purchase with confidence.  

Since 1995 Arie Kopelman was at the helm of this great institution.   This year he is stepping down and feted as Chairman Emeritus at the Opening Night Preview Party.    With his fantastic eye for design and impeccable taste, he is credited with bringing the show into the present  high level of credibility and relevance. And he won’t be going far from it, “I care deeply about the show and about the charity that it supports. I’m available as a friend and advisor. And frankly, the show has a pretty great foundation on a number of levels. It can go from strength to strength as a result of how we have planned its future.”

The baton is passed onto  Lucinda Ballard and Michael Quinn, who will bring about some exciting changes ahead, “The changes we are making will be more visible in 2019, which happens to be our 65th anniversary. I can’t say much more because the changes are all in progress.”

The Kick Off party was held in December at Macklowe Gallery, 

known for the finest museum-quality Twentieth Century Decorative Arts.   

Opening Night and Young Collector’s Night are two events worth dressing up a bit.   I shopped to find two frocks with enough festivity for les deux soirées. Honorary Chair of the Young Collectors Night, Zac Posen designed the chiffony creation, reminding me of a fabulous “Mad Men” party frock.   Brocade fabric is another throwback to the 50’s and a winter favorite of mine. The chic bell shaped sleeves creates an updated look, and with the ladylike silhouette, I hemmed it in photoshop to show a little more leg. If you have stunning gems and jewelry, this would be the time to open the vault, otherwise Oscar de la Renta designs the best statement jewelry.   Party shoes and a small clutch complete these luxurious looks.   

 dresses: Zac Zac Posen Mesh A-Line  $890  / Theia Bell Sleeve Jacquard  $695
accessories:  Oscar De La Renta Maribou Feather Earrings  $450  / Oscar De La Renta Tropical PAlm Clip-On Earrings  $240  / Alice+Olivia Darla Leather Clutch $425  / Jimmy Choo Cloud Metallic Clutch
shoes:  Jimmy Choo Lang Strappy Crystal & Suede  $838  / Schutz Allina Leather Stiletto  $190

Sam Dangremond, Stephanie Clark, Wendy Goodman, Courtney Booth Christensen, Nate Berkus

Alex Read , Mary Nelson, Sam Wharton

Merrill Brady, Tracy Dana, Carter Bassett

I agree with Karen that these events call for a bit dressier look. And the cold weather in January lends itself to sumptuous velvets and rich fabrics. I went to and to find my picks. An off the shoulder piece is always flattering and lightens this navy velvet Self-Portrait frock. I am partial to halter tops because they also spotlight a woman’s shoulders and are very feminine. And I love a winter white, the white and black lace one here has coverage but is sexy with its short length highlighting your legs. But a high heel is a must. Accessories are always important and adding bling to your look brings it all together. These pieces will carry you through the aisles of the show in style.

 dresses:Self-Portrait Off-The-Shoulder Velvet Midi  $545  / Alexis Sheena High-Neck Fit-And-Flare Lace  $583  /  Rebecca Taylor Sleeveless Halter A-Line Velvet Printed Midi  $595
accessories:  Erickson Beamon Dark Shadows  $278  / Erickson Beamon China Club Gunmetal  $605  /  Judith Leiber Couture Gold Prism Glossy Clutch  $895  / Rocio Candy Clutch  $545
shoes: Gianvito Rossi Plexi Portofino   $845  /  Alexander Wang Evie Ankle Wrap  $550

In addition to the glamourous evenings  of the Opening Night and the Young Collectors Night, there are so many other ways to take advantage of the offerings of this 10 day extravaganza of design and style.     We usually go to the opening and return once or twice for lectures or to have lunch and stroll with friends.  The Design Tours and Lunch and an opportunity to see the show through an experts eye. The lectures are as varied as the objects d’art on display. 

East Side House believes that education is the key that enables all people to create economic and civic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their community.   All ticket sales benefit East Side House. To order your tickets, visit or call (718) 292-7392.

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