Dispatches from the Americas Society spring gala, the inaugural gala for the Partnership for Public Service, plus a preview of the Washington Opera Ball.

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Patty Cisneros

Photo By WWD Staff

America the Beautiful * Who’s the Toniest? * Opera’s Pink Lady

In the vast soaring tent at Lincoln Center, the Americas Society — instituted to foster friendship and relations between North and South America (and including powerful dignitaries and prestigious diplomats from both continents) — gave its 23rd Annual Spring Party, inviting 600 guests. It honored Gustavo Cisneros, the billionaire Venezuelan industrialist, with its Gold Medal recognizing his great contribution to the social fabrics and economic welfare of the Americas. He has been a champion of democracy for many years and he heard honorary chairman David Rockefeller, former president Bill Clinton and the chairman of the society, William Rhodes, praise this dedication to democracy and a free press from the podium.

Some New Yorkers are used to galas, dazzle, glamour and gorgeous decors. They’ve been to ever so many “marvelous parties” and think they’ve seen it all. The Society’s spring party was all of that and more.

This fantastic decor was the work of Avi Adler, the party designer who’s responsible for some of the most beautiful decorations in New York.

For the cocktail hour, the tent was turned into a rich fantasy, a verdant oasis, a tropical jungle bathed in golden light that shone through the tent’s ceiling. Custom-made ottomans were upholstered in mossy green and the lush floral pieces were arrays of rare orchids, flowering bromeliads and weeping tropical leaves and foliage. Elegant bamboo trees 15 feet tall towered above, filtering the golden “sunlight” through leaves and stalks. A series of painted panels of greenery divided the cocktail “jungle” from the dining room, keeping it a surprise until dinnertime when those green panels magically slid aside, revealing a glowing room of hot pinks and radiant oranges. The dining table centerpieces were a fantasy garden of bright hot colors — half pink and half orange — enhanced with custom-made wooden square bases filled with hot pink or hot orange sand from which a riot of Gerber daisies rose.

The guests danced all night. Two dance floors floated within the sea of tables, one orange and the other hot pink. Huge scrims hung overhead creating a canopy above each dance floor. Sammy Goz, imported from Paris with his orchestra, played for the dancing. Hot, hot, hot! Also caliente, caliente, caliente!
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