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Across town, the American Ballet Theatre was hosting its fall gala, where Jamee Gregory and Anne Grauso took in a performance at City Center, followed by a dinner at the Pierre Hotel. Not surprisingly, the crisis on Wall Street — and its impact on the ballet — was on everyone’s minds at the Nina Ricci-sponsored affair. “People say the arts are a luxury,” said Muffie Potter Aston. “But, in fact, they are a necessity.”

Indeed, Olivier Theyskens —Anne Grauso’s date for the evening —agreed. The designer and longtime balletomane lamented the fact that he didn’t study ballet as a child. “I wanted to, but all of the students were girls,” Theyskens said by way of explanation.

This story first appeared in the October 23, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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