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NEW YORK — Though it’s already the middle of April, the spring season didn’t really enter full swing until Monday night when almost every major social and fashion player in New York seemed to high-tail it to the opening of the Roger Vivier boutique on the third floor of Saks Fifth Avenue and to a dinner following at La Grenouille. With a guest list that included Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Creel, Gigi Mortimer, Amanda Cutter and Christopher Brooks, Jessica Seinfeld, Jane and Aerin Lauder, Marielle Safra, Karolina Kurkova, Victoria Traina, Yvonne Force, Serena Boardman, Samantha Boardman and Aby Rosen and Lauren and Richard duPont, it will be a tough act to follow for any host hoping to throw a major party in the coming months.
With the presence of Tod’s Group chairman Diego Della Valle, Vivier creative director Bruno Frisoni and Frisoni’s muse Ines de la Fressange, the attention was less on the guests and more so their shoes.
“I had to accessorize my accessory tonight,” said Sally Albemarle, who chose an Yves Saint Laurent polkadot poplin blouse and miniskirt as well as a few pieces of chinoiserie to go with her $7,900 thousand-feather Vivier pumps, aptly named “la poule qui voulait être un coq.”
Barbara Wilhelm didn’t want her outfit to take away from her black stilettos, so she went with a pair of Banana Republic cropped black pants. “Tonight’s about the shoes,” Wilhelm explained. “I’m letting them do the work.”
Force, on the other hand, refused to discard her luscious pink Tuleh fur. “Get your fuzzy out of my way,” joked Rosen, her dinner partner.
Each seat at La Grenouille was set with an origami-like place card in the shape of a Vivier shoe. “I wonder how many assistants had to put those things together,” chuckled Lauren duPont. Meanwhile Kurkova, dressed in a strapless Christopher Deane frock, swept into the restaurant and proclaimed to Allison Sarofim, “It’s so cute this place. I’ve never been here before. I only come uptown for my facials and my oxygen treatments.”
Kelly Klein, for her part, was just happy to be in town. “This is lovely. It’s the first night I’ve been out in New York in months,” sighed Klein, who is just back from Palm Beach where she’s a regular on the horse show circuit. After the crowd of 120 finally stopped chattering, they sat down to a veritable three-course feast of asparagus and morel mushrooms, lamb chops and a berry soup dessert — each dish accompanied by a different wine or champagne, which naturally kept guests firmly in their seats until midnight.