"It's just the perfect place for a party," Aerin Lauder proclaimed, as she was trailed by her father, Ronald, the museum's founder, and her sister, Jane. "I love it here. It's so elegant and so visual, with all the art."
Elegant indeed, and everyone was dressed to the hilt. Amanda Brooks was as pretty as a peacock in a feathered creation she had snagged from her mother's closet, while Fabiola Beracasa donned a quarter-of-a-million dollars' worth of diamonds around her neck. "I took it on the subway with me to get home," said the jewelry maven. "I was so nervous."
The following evening, the blanket of snow on the ground fittingly transformed the New York Botanical Garden for its annual Winter Wonderland Ball. Inside, designer Bill Tansey swathed the tented dining room in a medley of silver hues — illuminated, spherical Japanese lanterns and crystal-encrusted centerpieces topped with a bouquet of enormous snowy, feather plumes. The evening's dress code called for winter whites, blues, metallics and kimonos. Actress Kerry Washington opted for black as she will don white soon enough for her upcoming wedding to longtime sweetheart David Moscow. "I'm wearing my mother's dress that my grandmother made," enthused Washington. Another nascent bride-to-be in the crowd was Lara Meiland, who got engaged to Claude Shaw the weekend before in Paris. "I've been drinking only champagne all week."