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The Frick Collection kicked off the spring social season Thursday night with its annual Young Fellows Ball, sponsored by Monique Lhuillier. This year’s theme was “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” and many a young New York girl obliged, pulling out all manner of glittery tulle ballgowns and decorative masks for the occasion.

“I’m surprised no one’s wearing a white wig or holding a sheet,” said Ivanka Trump, whose jewelry line was one of the evening’s sponsors. (There were no bed linens, but at least one lady worked the room with a foot-high white hair confection, and one man even arrived wearing a corset.)

“In these times, it’s nice for everyone to have an escape,” offered Lhuillier, who was catching a flight to Dubai the next morning.

This story first appeared in the March 2, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

But with the surplus of huge white dresses, many seemed to be using the affair as some sort of matrimonial dry run.

“I feel like these women thought it was their wedding day,” observed one guest as a particularly frothy cream confection strolled by.

Sure enough, what once was a must-attend event hosted by Park Avenue’s poshest princesses is now chaired by a much more junior set, including Byrdie Bell and Lydia Fenet, who strolled around the museum’s fountain, while other guests relinquished their drinks to take in the art. “There’s a painting here called ‘The Lake,’ ” said Lake Bell, pointing out a Corot. “I’m trying to get my date to buy it for me.”

Those Cinderellas who lasted past midnight swapped their gowns for more comfortable minis and headed to the St. Regis Hotel for a La Perla-hosted after party fueled by Champagne and mini-burgers. Make that a lot of Champagne, or at least enough to motivate partygoers to commandeer the piano for an impromptu show-tune sing-along accompanied by dancing the Charleston.

Meanwhile, former Frick benefactor chairwoman Marina Rust spent the evening below 14th Street, at a cocktail party in the Meatpacking District.

There, Tory Burch hosted a get-together at her store for “Delicious Flavors,” a new cookbook by Palm Beach social Victoria Armory. Upper East Side types like Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Jamee Gregory came to snag a copy of the tome, which features Spanish-inspired dishes like tomato and plum gazpacho and salsa Espanola.

The party’s timing couldn’t have been better for Burch, who admitted, “I’m not a big cook, but I hope to be a bigger one.”

The same could not be said of the fete’s surprise guest — the grande dame of recipes herself, Martha Stewart, who made a drive-by appearance before Burch even arrived. “She took a copy of my book and my phone number,” said an elated Armory of the domestic diva. “So we will see what happens.”

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