Neither rain, nor sleet nor market crash deterred the social set this year.
Gucci threw two major benefits for UNICEF, with one raising $5.5 million thanks in part to co-host Madonna and guests Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Demi Moore and Jennifer Lopez. A few months later, some of those stars, plus dozens of other top names including Beyoncé Knowles and Victoria Beckham, donned their finest superhero-inspired regalia for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala, which was hosted by Giorgio Armani, Julia Roberts and George Clooney.
This story first appeared in the December 15, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Young Hollywood — Leighton Meester, Ginnifer Goodwin, Diane Kruger — came out for the spring opening of the Metropolitan Opera, while an even more junior set including Blake Lively and Emma Roberts hit the bonanza opening of Juicy Couture’s Fifth Avenue flagship.
Domenico Dolce celebrated his 50th birthday (with horse-drawn carriages, no less) and Calvin Klein toasted its 40th anniversary with an over-the-top bash at the Highline in a minimalist space specially designed by John Pawson. Halle Berry, Claire Danes, Kevin Bacon, Jared Leto and Cynthia Nixon were treated to a performance by Estelle, who crooned “New York, New York.”
Then, just days after the Dow fell and banks collapsed, socials arrived en masse to the New Yorkers for Children benefit. Some bopped around in their seats during Patti LaBelle’s performance, while most of the bankers bellied up to the bar. After all, the show must go on. Even if it just means getting creative, like party designer David Stark did when he sourced the elaborate light box centerpieces at the Whitney gala. He shopped at Staples.