Cinco de Mayo festivities may not begin until Thursday, but one particular south of the border spirit was quite literally on the tip of everyone’s tongue Sunday night inside the lavish Upper East Side Manhattan home of philanthropist Jamie Tisch. For shoe designer Brian Atwood, who arrived for the Naomi Campbell- and Demi Moore-hosted affair in celebration of beloved florist Eric Buterbaugh’s floral fragrance launch in New York, the key to getting a party going is a cocktail. “You always need a little tequila!” he told InStyle. Man-of-the-hour Buterbaugh (below, left) agreed with Atwood, added, “Tequila is never a bad idea.”
Drinks aside, it was Buterbaugh, and not a cocktail (though there were plenty, along with light bites like mini croque madames, seared tuna, and fried chicken with watermelon) that helped pack fashion favorites like Donna Karan, Kate Hudson (below, center), and Roberto Cavalli Creative Director Peter Dundas into one room. “It’s always fun to watch your friends that you’ve known forever just do what they love and succeed at it,” Hudson, dressed in a purple Cavalli getup with light wash flared jeans, told us. “How long have we known each other? Forever,” she said while turning to Buterbaugh, who revealed they go as far back as about 20 years.
The night called for the emergence of friendships old and new, with Atwood sharing his adoration not just for Buterbaugh, but for Hudson, too. “Kate is a girl’s girl. She’s down to earth, and she is funny, someone who you’d fall in love with, exactly the person that she portrays and, you know, Eric loves her,” he told us. “I’ve loved her for as long as I’ve known her, so she’s a good girl.”
For Karan (below, left), who has known the florist for “many, many years” and greeted nearly every single guest while mingling inside Tisch’s four large flower-filled open living spaces, one person was the most fabulous of the night. “Eric!” she told us. “And Demi. My other best friend. I met them together,” adding, “Demi for me is like the woman of the year, of every year.”
Moore fit that description well in a sleeveless white lace dress with floral detailing about the collar. She, too, worked the room with ease and spent much of the night chatting up Tisch. “If you had a friend that could do flowers like this, wouldn’t you have a zillion people? I mean, he could have invited like a thousand people if they would have fit just having flowers like this in my house,” Tisch, rocking a green Proenza Schouler dress, said of the reason why celebrating Buterbaugh in her home was a no-brainer.
As guests continued to pack into the fourth-floor home, not a single one could help but gush over their love for Buterbaugh. “I think the crowd speaks for Eric,” Jessica Seinfeld (above) quipped. “It’s such an eclectic group of people here from all walks of life, all very smart, artistic, interesting people who have rallied around this man who is so brilliant with color and scent and also just living a life in Technicolor. I gravitate towards people like Eric.”
And people like Eric gravitate towards creative talents like Peter Dundas (above, left, with Tisch). “Peter Dundas, the fashion designer, is coming!” Buterbaugh told us earlier in the night when he expressed who he was eager to catch up with. Dundas, meanwhile, showed the same excitement. “I’m so happy for him, so of course I want to be here to celebrate him tonight,” he told us, before sharing his love for Buterbaugh’s work. “My favorite flower? Poppies.”
“It’s very exciting to be here and have all my girlfriends hosting. It’s a really fun night and a little overwhelming,” Buterbaugh told us, hoping for “a mix of fun people” and nothing “too serious and not too fancy.” Mission accomplished.