The ultimate Halloween revival has already happened. On Friday night, Bette Midler hosted her 21st annual Hulaween bash in New York, and suffice it to say, the gathering set the bar well in advance of the official holiday proceedings. The legendary EGOT-winning actress arrived to the (supposedly haunted) Waldorf Astoria wearing the most bewitching of party garb in an ode to her character, Winifred Sanderson, from 1993’s Hocus Pocus. “Don’t tell her it’s my idea, but we need Hocus Pocus 2,” joked Kathy Griffin. The Mistress of Ceremonies was dressed in a decidedly couture take on the Snapchat deer filter costume. “What’s funny is, I’m in Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, a Dolce & Gabbana tux, and a cardboard cutout of a Snapchat filter,” Griffin said. “But for Bette, it’s a small price to pay.”
The evening, which benefitted the New York Restoration Project, raised significantly more funds during the live auction that was held in the lead-up to the main event: a costume contest judged by Marc Jacobs. His judge status disqualified the designer from being considered for a trophy, but Midler was quick to point out that Jacobs would have otherwise won the title for his female bodybuilder suit (replete with turquoise string bikini and a sterling-silver belly ring) paired with Christian Louboutin peep-toe stilettos. Jacobs was accompanied by Char Defrancesco, who served as the male counterpoint to the fitness scenario, and walked the red carpet with a green juice in hand as a prop. Guests however, were treated to a decidedly more indulgent three-course meal. The decadent Halloween-themed spread included vile-varmint pumpkins (miso greens sprinkled with roasted pumpkin seeds and candied pecans in a sherry vinaigrette sauce), graveyard meatloaf (ground meat drizzled in a blood-orange glaze with whipped purple potatoes and acorn squash on the side), and double trouble cauldron bubble (salted caramel and dark chocolate mousse fudge brownie bites with kiwi gelee). The menu proved a perfect precursor to the dancing that followed, as Darlene Love got the crowd grooving to throwback tunes including “The Boy I Love” and “He’s a Rebel.”
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