On the final Saturday night of Spoleto, a parade of vanilla, ivory, and cream glided through the iron gates of 8 Vanderhorst Street, a once dilapidated residence recently transformed into several luxurious apartments, for Spoleto SCENE’s highly anticipated annual White Party. Partygoers floated ghost-like and glistening with perspiration between the property’s many levels, balconies, and open bars, pausing to devour scrumptious one-biters from Caviar & Bananas before joining in the search for the home’s rumored wine cellar.
“We knew this would be a great place for a party, especially the white party,” said SCENE committee member Elizabeth Gumb. “We wanted to use it last year but it wasn’t ready. This year, the timing was perfect. They literally finished it yesterday!” The night marked the culmination of a labor of love for Gumb’s husband Jack, a real estate developer involved in the project. “We started this project four years ago. It was basically a fraternity house,” he explained. “We knew it was a great property and wanted to save it, and we had an investor who was interested in making it special.”
Out in the home’s brick-wall-enclosed backyard garden, the refreshing breeze brought together a fashionable crowd, including Cavortress designer Julie Wheat and Hampden Clothing owner Stacy Smallwood. On a large circular cushion, 360 degrees of female guests assembled to sit and rest their strappy-sandal-clad feet. Nearby, two ladies wafted air on themselves with vintage Charles Wadsworth fans (from last year’s festival) and were overheard discussing the possibility of a swimming pool at the party. “I don’t even care that I’m wearing all white. I would be in that cool water in a heartbeat.”
Just inside, an upstairs pocket of the party played with the touch-screen room controls, which illuminated track lighting (similar to that which adorns the ceiling of a limousine) along the ceiling’s classic crown molding. DJ Sonar (a.k.a. Jason Disbrow) shared that the swanky bachelor-ready lights can be adjusted to strobe mode for particularly rowdy gatherings.
Late in the night, when asked about the elusive wine cellar, an exhausted but high spirited Scott Sowell, the festival’s Special Events Manager, would only confirm its existence with a coy point in its direction, wary of the consequence of a party-wide sub-terrain migration.