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Manhattan may seem like a barren ghost town in late July as most natives have fled for greener pastures, but the fashion troops turned out in admirable numbers Wednesday evening when Charlotte Moss hosted cocktails in anticipation of the upcoming Couture Council of the Museum of FIT Award in September.

Forgoing a tour of Moss’ impeccable townhouse, guests like Arnold Scaasi, Mary McFadden, Cece Cord, and luncheon chairs Tiffany Dubin and Lisa Perry gathered in the garden, sipping Champagne while a roaring fire set the scene despite 80 plus temps.

The Couture Council Award was innaugurated last year with recipient Ralph Rucci. This year’s honor will go to Alber Elbaz of Lanvin.

“We wanted someone who would be part of fashion history and of course history will tell, but he just keeps going up,” explained Museum of FIT director Valerie Steele of the committee’s choice. “He says that he’s a member of the women’s world and women love him for that.”

Designer Zac Posen was still feeling the effects of a rather strenuous day working on his upcoming spring collection.

“I had a very esoteric moment today with color and pattern and volume,” enthused Posen who has met Elbaz at various museum events. “He’s very chill,” offered the designer.

Equally relaxed was the evening’s hostess, though she had every reason to be on edge: fresh off a buying trip from Europe, Moss was not in vacation mode.

“I’m on deadline for a book for Assouline,” said Moss, who is an honorary chair for the luncheon this year. “But I wanted to have a cocktail in my garden so I mght as well have it with a hundred people.”

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