“The garden looks spectacular. You could just fall right into a pond. Someone actually did before — almost. He fell over the fence,” said Jean Shafiroff. She was taking in the scene at the New York Botanical Garden, which threw its annual Winter Wonderland Ball in collaboration with Etro and Saks Fifth Avenue on Friday night.
The Holiday Train Show was on display throughout the gardens, but Shafiroff had brought her own train — custom-made for her by her friend, designer Victor de Souza.
“We have a fashion romance — the way that Audrey Hepburn and [Hubert de] Givenchy had in the past, very similar to that,” de Souza said of Shafiroff. He matched his custom floral suit — worn with a dramatic, high-collar button-down and Balenciaga clutch — to her dress — a silver and lilac-hued princess gown with mirror detailing on the bodice and gloves. They coordinated so well in such matrimonial fashion, someone asked if they were getting married that night.
“I’ve DJ’d for the Botanical Garden many times and I’ve attended the past few years. This year, they finally asked me to be more involved, so really happy to be involved,” said May Kwok, wearing a colorful Etro design. “I normally tend to stay away from color, but I think Etro does it really well, so why not?” The ball marked her final holiday party before escaping for a three-week surfing trip in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
For Ariana Rockefeller, the evening held special familial significance; the heiress accessorized her white Roland Mouret gown with two pieces of jewelry from her grandmother’s collection.
“It’s in [my grandmother’s] honor and also in my grandfather’s, celebrating the auction that’s coming up in May 2018,” she said of the bracelet and brooch she was wearing. “Brought a little family [the jewelry], a little modern [her gown].” Jewelry, furniture and art will be on sale at the Christie’s auction.
The Winter Wonderland Ball was Nina Agdal’s first. “I gotta say, I’m so impressed with the whole setting,” she said, as desserts were being passed around the Etro table. “Everything is so festive.”
Like Kwok and Rockefeller, Agdal will soon escape the New York cold — and surprise bout of snowfall — for warmer environs. “I am gonna be going to Turks and Caicos, which is my first time there,” she shared. “So I’m gonna be celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve on the beach.”