“I feel a bit like a tempest tonight,” Caryn Zucker purred on Wednesday night shortly upon entering the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. She stroked the azure chiffon and tulle cascading down her Badgley Mischka gown puddling at her feet. The designers had custom designed the dress for Zucker for the occasion: the American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala and the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Tempest.” “They designed the dress based on the ‘Tempest’ theme. I feel like I’m floating in the sea in this,” she smiled before shuffling along.
Guests — either in billowing, floor-grazing ensembles (cochairs Julia Koch, Sutton Stracke, Jessica Stam, Zani Gugelmann, Nicky Hilton, Sigourney Weaver, Anh Duong, Crystal Renn, Nathalie Kaplan, Fe Fendi, Gillian Miniter, Genevieve Jones) or tuxedos (Alan Cumming, Brian Atwood and, of course, James Mischka and Mark Badgley, whose label sponsored the affair) — filed into the theater.
“Isn’t it funny?” Michelle Ochs said, thumbing her silver Pamela Love spiky earrings. Her date for the evening, soloist Isabella Boylston, was wearing the same pair. “We didn’t even plan that.” Cushnie et Ochs dressed the dancer for the evening, and Ochs went on to discuss her Halloween plans. “Carly [Cushnie] and myself are going with a bunch of our friends as the entire cast of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I’m the White Queen, Carly is going as Alice. I think this is my last year with Halloween, though; this is like the pinnacle of it.”
Badgley and Mischka were already over the holiday. “We’re very bah-humbug when it comes to Halloween,” Mischka chuckled. “We close the gate, lock the door, turn the lights off and pretend no one is home.”