NEW YORK — “Where can you get a mask these days?” asked Heather Mnuchin with a laugh Tuesday night as she swanned into Christie’s Black and White Ball, a recreation of Truman Capote’s original fete 40 years ago. Judging by the feathered concoctions her fellow ball goers were sporting, it wasn’t so hard, thanks to the Web and a few friends.
The ball was a veritable Mardi Gras parade as guests including Marina Rust, Lauren duPont, Emilia Fanjul, Susan Fales-Hill and Celerie Kemble glided along a red carpet in a flurry of crystals, marabou and tulle. “I have boxes of masks at home,” declared Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, who had commissioned yet another decadent, silvery, bejeweled version specially for the evening. Others had to resort to searching Google for their dazzling props. “I got mine on the Internet,” revealed Marjorie Raein. “And the fan too; it’s actually from Spain.” Blair Husain and her sisters Sara and Sloan McClure took the dress code one step further, locating a makeup artist online who made a house call to apply sparkling face paint to the trio.
On display throughout Christie’s and in the grand ballroom were furnishings from the Plaza Hotel to be auctioned off the next day. “Someone should start a club called The Plaza,” smirked Rufus Albemarle.
As guests Charlestoned on the dance floor, waiters passed black-and-white dessert delicacies to tide everyone over until the promised midnight breakfast. Some party goers, particularly Judy Peabody and Kitty Carlisle Hart, who had attended the original soiree, weren’t sure they’d have the stamina to wait for the real food. But they did in the end.
A few days earlier, Chanel called ladies to The Carlyle Hotel for a luncheon to introduce the new Luxury by Chanel bag. It felt like Christmas redux as Ivanka Trump, Samantha and Serena Boardman, Amanda Brooks, Charlotte Ronson and Shoshanna Gruss sat down to pretty tables topped with peonies and big white boxes with their names on them. Everyone immediately began gleefully tearing at the wrapping paper, throwing tissue paper on the floor and, of course, comparing their spoils — bags in silver, gold, red, black and denim were among the offerings. Some traded, others teased. “Mine’s alligator,” Lisa Airan joked to her tablemates, trying and failing to incite envy.
This story first appeared in the March 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Across the pond, London’s Selfridges transformed itself into an Ultra Lounge with black walls covered in fluorescent graffiti and a bar serving potent vodka and Midori drinks to kick off its latest event, Future Punk. “Twenty years ago, they wouldn’t have let a punk through the
f—ing door here; security would have thrown them out,” mused Joe Corre, son of original punk Vivienne Westwood and the co-founder of Agent Provocateur. Corre joined fellow fashion types Luella Bartley, Giles Deacon, Katie Grand, David Sims, Jasmine Guinness, Stuart Vevers, Bella Freud and Selfridges’ creative director, Alannah Weston, who reasoned that she is finally old enough to hear the New York Dolls, whom she hired to play the event. “I’m too young to remember them the first time around, so I really want to see them now,” she said just before the band took the stage.