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Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

East Hampton’s The Retreat works on prevention from the ground up. By Jenna Lebovits, The Purist In the ’80s on the East End, talk of domestic violence was hush-hush. Pastors, therapists and school employees offered quiet, underground support. Resources in the region were scarce, yet vital, for abuse survivors, so a grassroots movement began: In […]

Students Shine a Light on Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Michelle Trauring on Feb 21, 2024 | SEE THE FULL ARTICLE SPREAD HERE. A hot topic of conversation among Salome Galindo and her girlfriends at East Hampton High School is, perhaps unsurprisingly, love found and lost, and the relationships they immerse themselves in. She can say, with certainty — through what she’s learned as […]

Art+Activism: Empowering Student Voices During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

The Retreat and The Watermill Center present a unique opportunity for high school students interested in positively impacting their community. Art+Activism: Social Justice Makers will be held at The Watermill Center on Tuesdays in February from 5:30 to 7 PM.

Students participating in Art+Activism: Social Justice Makers will draw inspiration from the work of Artists-in-Residence at the Watermill Center who have utilized art to express their voices and work together to harness the power of art as a means for social change. The series will culminate in a final project showcasing work created by the students at The Watermill Center, with the goal of bringing attention to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February.

“We’re excited for students to embark on this transformative journey as they delve into the powerful combination of art and activism,” said Courtney Hyland, Associate Director of Education. “The Retreat works to empower young people of all ages, including through our Teen Leadership Council, and we’re always looking for new ways to engage our youth leaders in community initiatives. This program does just that, while aligning with our mission to promote respect and prevent abuse.”

From Ava Locks, Education and Public Programs Manager at The Watermill Center, “Our Art + Activism program introduces teens to Artists who are driving social change through their creative practice. We are thrilled to expand our enduring partnership with The Retreat and to support the vital work of their Teen Leadership Council. I hope these workshops will ignite their sense of agency as community advocates and creative thinkers.”

The Retreat and The Watermill Center have been collaborating for over 10 years.

“The Watermill Center has generously invited Retreat clients and staff to use its space and programs to create and inspire. Our shelter families have participated in fun and educational experiences, and they have found healing through these programs,” said Loretta K. Davis, Executive Director of The Retreat. “The students in our Teen Leadership Council have also benefited from advocacy and art projects there.”

Students who actively participate in Art + Activism will be granted community service hours.

“This is a unique opportunity for teens to use their voices in empowering and artistic ways. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or someone eager to learn about social activism, Art+Activism is designed for you,” said Hyland.

Registration is here:

Adopt A Family This Holiday Season Through The Retreat

by JAMES LANE POST The Retreat’s Adopt-a-Family program is open and ready for donations for the 2023 holiday season. This community program collects holiday gifts and gift cards for families in need. This year, it will run through December 15. The Retreat established Adopt-a-Family nearly 20 years ago when its employees in advocacy recognized a need […]

The Retreat Hosts Career Styling Workshop For Survivors Of Abuse

by JAMES LANE POST The Retreat recently offered a career-styling workshop for its clients, survivors of abuse, at The Retreat Boutique thrift store in the Bridgehampton Commons. This inaugural workshop was the brainchild of Lauren Fedorko, who runs Take Charge, a financial education and career empowerment program for Retreat clients, and Laurie Sykes, a volunteer […]

The Met Donates Bespoke Mannequins To the Retreat

The Retreat Boutique thrift store By Michelle Trauring on Oct 18, 2023 At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Schläppi mannequin has anchored Costume Institute exhibitions for over 50 years, thanks to her timelessness and flexibility. Those attributes ring true at her newest home, too, almost 100 miles east. Over the summer, The Met donated 10 mannequins — custom-made […]

A Met Show in Retreat Boutique Windows

By Judy D’Mello
August 17, 2023

Karl Lagerfeld, the prolific fashion designer of Balmain, Chanel, Fendi, and his own line, who died in 2019, once famously said that fashion didn’t belong in museums because no one wanted to “look at a bunch of old dresses.”

And yet, earlier this year, his own work was the subject of a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” ran from May to July and featured about 200 dazzling creations from the designer’s legacy.

Now, a piece of that show lives on at the Retreat Boutique in Bridgehampton: Ten bespoke mannequins used in the Met’s retrospective were donated to the charity thrift store, helping to make its vast collection of “preloved” items — many with couture labels — look more enticing than ever.

For the Retreat, East Hampton’s domestic violence nonprofit, the boutique’s revenue from sales of its “bunch of old dresses” goes toward providing free services, advocacy, and shelter for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. How the clothes are displayed, in the windows and within the store, is therefore an important part of the equation, and that task falls to Ani Antreasyan, an East Hampton resident who volunteers at the boutique as a window dresser and display stylist. She is also the reason the Lagerfeld mannequins are now gracing the windows of the boutique.

“I worked at the Met for 12 years starting in 1986,” she said during a recent phone call. “And for a while I was the assistant to the head designer of the museum, helping put on the exhibits. The Costume Institute always had exhibitions coming and going, so I worked with them often.”

Ms. Antreasyan, who is now an artist and real estate broker, said she jumped at the opportunity to go the Lagerfeld show in the spring, calling it “one of the best displayed and installed shows I’ve ever seen at the Met.”

Back in Bridgehampton, while attending to the boutique’s window display, she grew increasingly frustrated wrestling with the antiquated mannequins, probably 20 or 30 years old, that were missing limbs, difficult to dress and undress, and constantly toppling over. “They gave me a really hard time,” she said, and wistfully thought back to the statuesque display models she had seen at the museum. It sparked an idea.

“I still have a lot of friends at the Met so I contacted someone and asked her what their plans were for the mannequins post-show. She said they had no plans for them!”

The Met agreed to donate 10 mannequins that were custom-made in Italy for the Lagerfeld show. These female body forms with fully articulated limbs feature heads inspired by the lines of a German Art Deco porcelain sculptor whose work Mr. Lagerfeld collected. Their hands, meanwhile, showcase elongated fingers for a more expressive gesture.

“I was so overwhelmed seeing these mannequins in the Retreat Boutique that I had goosebumps,” said Ms. Antreasyan, after unpacking the boxes that were delivered on August 1. “I saw them in all their glory at the Met and having access to such beautiful products makes me feel so grateful and happy.”

The Lagerfeld mannequins and Ms. Antreasyan’s artistry are on display at the Retreat Boutique in the Bridgehampton Commons. Admission is free, though leaving without dropping a few dollars might be tough.

“The View” Treats Moms at The Stephanie House

Gretta Monahan, lifestyle expert from “The View,” and producer Robin Hommel organized a day of pampering for the women at The Stephanie House shelter over Mother’s Day weekend. Monahan and the tv crew headed east for the day to treat the women and raise awareness about domestic violence. The segment aired on June 16th. Hair and makeup stylists from the show provided the women with makeovers. And with their pick of beautiful new clothes, bags and shoes, our residents were able to start rebuilding their wardrobes. After the head-to-toe styling, the women were treated to a specially-prepared meal at the shelter, courtesy of celebrity chef Katie Lee. We are immensely grateful to Gretta, Robin and “View” co-host Joy Behar for providing these women with a well-deserved day of pampering and for making them feel so special!

Sportime Couple Honored at Retreat Gala

Printed in East Hampton Star June 8, 2023 The number-one spot on the 2022 Forbes annual top charities list went to Feeding America, a Chicago-based network that supplies more than 200 regional and local food banks in the United States.Ten other food-related charities appeared on the list, reflecting the pandemic’s impact on food insecurity in […]

A Hidden Epidemic

We should all be outraged about intimate partner abuse, which is violence against women 90% of the time. It’s often an invisible and tolerated behavior that has to stop.

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