NEW YORK — What’s the best thing about turning 100? In Eleanor Lambert’s case, it could well have been the gifts.

Her Fifth Avenue apartment was quickly filled with boxes and bags on Monday night, mixing with the stifling humidity of summer that made it difficult to take two steps without landing on toes, as the decorator Mario Buatta discovered, sweating his way into the crowd to deliver a carefully wrapped package at Lambert’s side. He stopped to greet another veteran fashion publicist, Helen O’Hagan, and handed her the box to hold as he reached to dab his brow. Only O’Hagan didn’t realize this, and the box went crashing to the floor with a sound of broken glass.

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