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What’s black and white and red all over? The Valentino-sponsored Winter Ball for the Museum of the City of New York, of course. In keeping with the evening’s theme, Nina Griscom, Jennifer Creel, Jill Roosevelt, Anne Grauso and Muffie Potter Aston all showed up in shades of crimson to mingle among the tuxedos while Sally Albemarle put red on red by attaching a pendant she said reminded her of Target’s insignia to her Valentino gown. In lieu of going all the way, Tara Rockefeller carried a red shawl to offset her print Carolina Herrera dress and Tory Burch tied a red ribbon around her wrist.

Walking into the museum, Zani Gugelmann noticed that she had on an accessory that wasn’t red at all, which she promptly removed: her watch. “A lady’s not supposed to wear a watch to a black-tie affair,” Gugelmann explained, smiling. “She’s not supposed to be paying attention to the time.”

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Marisa Noel Brown concurred. “You learn that from your mother. That’s Day One.”

Two days later, Valentino threw yet another party, this time a lunch at Daniel for the couture collection with Jeanne Rohatyn, Rena Sindi and Serena Boardman. As talk moved to the Oscars and which stars might choose Valentino, it inevitably led to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” And the momentum, at least for Blaine Trump, Burch and Creel, was building. “We’ve just got to see it,” said Trump.

A few days after the Academy Awards, Brown, Heather Crosby Mnuchin and Debra Peltz hosted a dinner and fashion show at the Dolce & Gabbana boutique that lured Alex Kramer, Jackie Astier, Shoshanna Gruss and Amanda Brooks. Though she was invited to the Vanity Fair Oscar party, Sindi, clad in a candy-colored Dolce gown she’d bought earlier in the day, opted out. “I’d be so D-list there,” Sindi said. “I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond.” (Helen Schifter, in one of the first samples off Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. rack, said this was the first time in five years she and husband Tim stayed East.)

As for the fashion part of the evening, Stefano Galli, Dolce’s worldwide fashion consultant, provided a running commentary as the models walked by, musing that “summer can be so very hot.” Thank goodness then, the clothes were “super-light” and “sheer but not too sheer.” Regardless, the ladies were more interested in an older male model with silver hair who worked his manly magic on the catwalk. “Show us some more boys!” one of them shouted.

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