Thursday evening the young set—with a sprinkling of more mature types for good measure—got a taste of Eden when the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted its annual Apollo Circle Benefit, sponsored for the fourth year in a row by Carolina Herrera, and this year entitled "Return to Paradise." For a select few, the night started early with a pre-party at the Georgian Suites hosted by Patricia Lansing, where Amanda Hearst, Veronica Swanson Beard, Allison Aston and Elisa Sednaoui (making a brief appearance before a Lanvin dinner) sipped Champagne and nibbled on mini grilled cheese and pigs 'n' a blanket before heading to the Temple of Dendur for the main event.
Tricked out like an Arabian nights fantasy, the space boasted stone urns filled with rose petals, bird cages decorated with peacock feathers and large sofas-cum-beds, canopied with reams of Herrera fabrics and covered in pillows.
For most of the girls, Lansing's evening might be their best description of heaven.
"I'm like Cinderella," said the NoLIta native of her brief visit uptown. "I go downtown after this and the dress comes off at midnight—except I get to keep the dress, perks!"
Too bad mom didn't get to see her in it. With seeming limitless energy, Carolina Herrera arrived from an earlier engagement, with husband Reinaldo, after Lansing and many others had already left. And despite the scene's heady air, Herrera is still holding out for her own version of party's theme.
"I don't know [what paradise is]," said the designer. "I haven't been in paradise yet."