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“He’s the only man who can do excess elegantly,” Muffie Potter Aston said Tuesday afternoon at the Hotel Plaza Athenee. The man at the center of such a statement? Dennis Basso, who outfitted models in his pre-fall and fall 2015 looks for an afternoon tea party-cum-trunk-show in advance of the New York Botanical Garden’s Conservatory Ball on June 4.

Potter Aston and her cohost Gillian Miniter thought their well-heeled friends would need a new outfit for the occasion. “We love Dennis, and we love his gowns. The glory of Dennis is that more is more, and he gets away with it,” Potter Aston continued to rave. “I met Dennis 30 years ago, when he had a showroom the size of this room,” Ivana Trump recalled of meeting her friend. “And I’ve bought two fur coats a year from him for the last 30 years.”

“Five women can wear the same dress, and as we all know, look entirely different and interpret it in a different way,” Basso said, as a string of models sashayed past him, snaking through the tea parlor. As the ladies took the last sips of their Bellinis, Basso summoned them to his Madison flagship five blocks up to do some pre-ball shopping: “The first three women there, get a free sable coat!”

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