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There were gondoliers galore, harlequins bounding about and women dressed in corsets so tight they could barely speak. "I can breathe, but I can't really move," whispered Lisa Airan, dressed in a traditional Venetian gown originally created for Sophia Loren.
The tiny-waisted socialite wasn't the only partygoer to forsake comfort for costume. "Robert [Duffy] told me I should just spray-paint myself gold and go naked," said Jacobs, whose constraining pigeon getup was in honor of all the birds in Piazza San Marco. "But I won't host a party unless I'm the most uncomfortable person in the room."
The designer had Duffy to thank for the evening's lavish theme. "I had to think of one in 30 seconds or less," Duffy explained. "I said to Marc, 'How about Venice Carnival?' He said no, and I said, ‘Shut up.'"
Good for Duffy, because in the end, all Jacobs' staff and friends, including Lapo Elkann, Allison Sarofim and Lars Nilsson, embraced the night with gusto. As confetti and feathers rained down from the domed ceiling of New York's Gotham Hall, a group of courtesans and their masked suitors began a studied waltz, which many in the crowd joined in on, albeit stumbling on their two left feet.
Other guests simply admired each other's inspired creations. One skyscraping couple came as French poodles, while a clever foursome barreled in dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (each one is named after a famous Italian painter, after all). But it was the curvy, topless girls and muscular G-stringed boys gyrating on the podiums whom everyone really ogled. "I can't stop looking at their asses," Rachel Roy laughed.
Meanwhile, at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Vogue and the Diamond Trading Co. hosted a birthday party for Milla Jovovich in the space destined to be the hotel's new restaurant, Park Chinois. Jovovich was a gracious guest of honor, greeting friends such as Harvey Weinstein, Georgina Chapman, Margherita Missoni and a slew of male and female models. But she revealed she didn't have much practice.