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Last week, the social set darted around town wondering how they’d ever do it with the traffic a transit strike would bring. On Monday, 60 toddlers and their doting parents walked the runway at a benefit luncheon for the Mount Sinai Ob/Gyn Department at the Waldorf Astoria, strutting to the bath-time favorite “Splish Splash.” But the song didn’t have the same meaning for the rest of the lunch crowd, including Karen LeFrak, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, as it did for co-chair Aerin Lauder.

“My two-year-old threw up all over me this morning,” she said, hiding her hair under a Cossack cap.

This story first appeared in the December 16, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A few days later, Lauder was back to her glowing self, as she joined Eleanor Lembo and Karolina Kurkova at a holiday party at Ralph Lauren’s flagship to benefit the School of American Ballet. Alumni Jamie Wolf and Carrie Lee Riggins, members of New York City Ballet, toasted their alma mater.

“No talking in class for an hour-and-a-half is hard when you’re eight,” said Riggins.

Thursday afternoon boasted chic luncheons on both coasts. In New York, Carolina Herrera, Nathalie Kaplan and Simon Teakle of Christie’s invited the gang to lunch to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Everyone knows how important the foundation is to Evelyn Lauder, but her civic duty — a jury call — kept her away. The rest of the ladies slipped on baubles from the upcoming Important Jewels sale.

“Try them on,” said Kaplan. “But don’t take them home.”

Herrera feigned disappointment. “I thought they were party favors,” she said.

Teakle said he’d send her the bill.

In Los Angeles, it was lunch al fresco on the terrace of the Giorgio Armani showroom, where hosts Debi Mazar, Rachel Griffiths, Sorvino and producer Jennifer Klein helped launch the new cosmetics line. That night, Armani Casa threw a kickoff party in New York for DIFFA’s Dining by Design event. It was sculptor Hope Atherton’s first stop before hitting three more parties. “Tonight, we’re making the rounds,” she said.

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