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Flurries, knee-high snowbanks and car service delays are obstruction enough to keep most partygoers at home. But not when Aerin Lauder, Jane Lauder and Lillian von Stauffenberg send the invitations. Everyone from Tory Burch to Sloan Lindemann to Jennifer Creel to Alexandra von Furstenberg made their way to the Neue Galerie, where Ronald Lauder’s collection of Austrian and German art is shown, for a party that couldn’t be missed.

“I took off my shoes and tiptoed barefoot through the snow to get here,” Samantha Gregory told her friend Jane Lauder. “I must really love you.” Of course, from the museum’s windows the sparkling snow-covered trees across the street in Central Park made the perfect backdrop.

This story first appeared in the December 9, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

But just as making it to the party was well worth it, so was waiting for a custom-made Tuleh dress. Designers Bryan Bradley and Amanda Brooks worked overtime to finish five fantastic gowns, making Tuleh the evening’s official unofficial sponsor. Von Stauffenberg’s, in black lace, was delivered to Aerin Lauder’s apartment between courses during dinner, while Brooks all but missed dinner waiting for her own dress to be finished.

She didn’t miss a minute on the dance floor. As the waltz-playing violinists headed home, everyone else cut loose. “This is exactly the kind of party they would have had in Vienna in the 1920s,” Ronald Lauder said.

“Oscar and Annette de la Renta had a party here where people danced,” his daughter Aerin agreed, “but it wasn’t like this.”

The only wallflowers: Mothers-to-be Lauren duPont, Alex Kramer and Karen Groos.

The night before, at the ACRIA party held in Donald Baechler’s Chelsea studio, mother- and bride-to-be Gabby Karan was the topic of discussion. Her mother, Donna, is frantically dressing Gabby’s entire wedding party in white for a ceremony in Parrot Cay. She rushed Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, whose daughter Patricia was married last month, to ask for advice.

“All I hear from Gabby is Carolina this Carolina that,” Karan said. “I told her why don’t you get Carolina to make your dress then?”

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