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Perhaps it was Thanksgiving-induced cabin fever, or the Bronx-based venue that made drive-bys particularly tough, but there wasn’t a commitment-phobe in sight at Friday night’s New York Botanical Garden Winter Wonderland Ball, sponsored by Chanel Fine Jewelry. Some guests arrived before the 7:30 start time and stayed well past dessert. Despite the lengthier travel time, it was hard to pull a Grinch act upon entering the Noel-decorated conservatory.

 “I feel like I’m at the Mirage,” joked Jill Kargman, who was attending the event for the first time.

This story first appeared in the December 9, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Fellow wonderland neophyte Margherita Missoni was so enthusiastic, she broke out her BlackBerry to snap pics of a toy house floating in one of the many mini ponds.

“I’m going home to Italy for Christmas,” she said of her holiday plans. “It’s the whole family: ex-husbands and new husbands.”

As the likes of Marjorie Gubelmann, Poppy Delevigne, Coralie Charriol Paul, Byrdie Bell and Zani Gugelmann sipped Champagne and admired the toy train display, model Coco Rocha admitted she didn’t have Yuletide spirits on the brain. “I don’t really celebrate Christmas,” said the model, whose date was stepsister Lynsey Morandin. “I’m going to Australia for two months where no one can find me. And I’m going to spend money on myself.”

A dinner of beef tournedos was served in a tented, winter white space, but guests were already dancing up a storm to a mix of Jackson Five, old-school Madonna and Rihanna before the appetizer salads were served. Many continued the dance-offs, fueled by organic vodka, at an after party hosted by Alex Kramer, Danny Baker and Christian Leone at new TriBeCa nocturnal spot Greenhouse.

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