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The Frick Collection Hosts Annual Gala

Ethereal black tie was the theme of this year's event.

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Celestial Ball Frick EYE Elettra Wiedemann James Marshall Paule Ka
Celestial Ball Frick EYE Jane Aldridge Paule Ka

Jane Aldridge in Paule Ka.

Photo By Daniel D'Errico

“Ethereal black tie.”

That was the dress code dictated for the Celestial Ball, the name this year of The Frick Collection’s annual gala for its Young Fellows. On Thursday night, Astrid Hill Dattilo, Olivia Chantecaille, Clare McKeon, Lydia Fenet, Polina Proshkina and Sloan Overstrom each stepped out in their best interpretation of the otherworldly theme. There was the wood-nymph route — layers of tulle, feathers and dreamlike florals. Or, the slightly sexier starry-night look — moody, hue-dotted, with sequins and lace.

“I wish I had worn the headdress I was planning,” said Jane Aldridge, peering around the accessories-heavy room. The blogger was firmly in the fairy category, wearing a full-skirted short frock from the Paule Ka Black Carpet Collection; the brand sponsored the event. “I feel like Tinker Bell,” she said.

Nearby, Elettra Wiedemann, alongside husband James Marshall and designer Serge Cajfinger, took in the collection’s grand room, which was swathed in blue light for the occasion. On display was the new exhibit, “Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection.”

“I’m born and raised in New York and I’m humiliated to say that I’ve never been to the Frick,” Wiedemann said. “This is my first time. I love the arts as an adult, but as a kid, I was like, ‘Who cares?’”

In between sips of Champagne and snacking on passed hors d’oeuvres, guests took advantage of the “Night at the Museum” vibe and perused the various galleries while posing for the occasional Instagram selfie. The ultimate Kodak moment came in front of James McNeill Whistler’s “Harmony in Pink and Grey: Portrait of Lady Meux,” which features the 19th-century London socialite coquettishly peering over one shoulder. A new generation of party girls patiently queued for their chance to mimic their predecessor’s pose.

Hannah Bronfman, the DJ at this party last year, made a quick pit stop to pinch Wiedemann’s bum as a way of greeting before she beelined to a still-empty dance floor. Gazing up at the turntables, then blasting Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You,” Bronfman paused before giving the DJ the ultimate seal of approval: an enthusiastic, uninhibited shimmy.