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“This is quite the fashion event. I wish everyone here were wearing green. Wouldn’t that be fun?” joked Gigi Grazer as she watched the hordes of bold-faced names pour into the Cunard Building Wednesday night to help honor Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter for his environmental work at the first major Natural Resources Defense Council benefit this city has seen.

“But could it be any colder? Are they trying to preserve us even more?” asked Grazer, shivering.

Indeed, the frigid temps inside the lobby of the historic downtown building had many running to the coat-check during dinner (including a chivalrous Liev Schreiber, who helped warm up expectant mum Naomi Watts).

“Graydon is helping the environment by choosing the only building that has had the heat off for 92 years,” joked Fran Lebowitz from the podium in front of a crowd including Queen Noor of Jordan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lenny Kravitz, Kevin Bacon, Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, Ron Perelman, Diane Sawyer, Kelly Lynch, Harvey Weinstein, Donna Karan, Bette Midler, George Lucas, Glenn Close, Les Moonves and Ron Howard.

She wasn’t the only one roasting Carter’s unlikely environmentalism: In a video tribute, Perelman, Diller, Larry David, Anderson Cooper and even Bono took potshots at the editor.

“Graydon drives a Prius; it’s just the size of a Suburban and the shape of a Suburban,” joked his friend Robert F. Kennedy Jr. during his speech, one of many during the lengthy evening of presentations.

But on the serious side, the lavish event raised $3.1 million for the organization. The California set, including Crystal Lourd, Jamie Tisch, Laurie David and Kelly Meyer, had jetted in for just 24 hours, but don’t worry about emissions: “We are definitely in the car pool,” quipped Gwen McCaw. They caught up with their New York counterparts, including Wendi Murdoch, Jessica Seinfeld, Renée Rockefeller, Tory Burch and Marjorie Raein.

This story first appeared in the March 12, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

After Carter accepted his award and showed off the prospective covers for the next “green” Vanity Fair — including Al Gore posing with a nude Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley, à la Tom Ford — the partyers made their way back into the night, headed for the fleet of idling black gas-guzzlers ready to whisk them home. Unfortunately, the hybrid town car isn’t available yet.

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