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Neither snow nor slush could prevent almost every New York society fixture worth her Louboutins from making her way to the Museum of the City of New York on Monday night for its annual winter ball. Nina Griscom, Muffie Potter Aston, Jamee Gregory, Marina Rust, Lauren duPont, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Tinsley Mortimer, Shoshanna Gruss, Jacquetta Wheeler, Jennifer Creel and Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer were among those who turned up in their winter finery for cocktails and dinner in the museum’s expansive rooms. “Everyone made such a huge effort and put on their snow boots,” said museum co-chair Eliza Bolen.

Indeed, partygoers sported everything from puffy coats and Mukluks to sumptuous furs and stilettos — often over gowns by Oscar de la Renta, the evening’s sponsor. “Oscar’s dresses are perfect when you’re pregnant,” said the seven-months-along Samantha Boardman, noting the Empire cut of her floral taffeta gown. Renée Rockefeller, in a ruffled black confection, lamented her sparse fashion week attendance. “I ended up only going to one show — Oscar’s,” admitted the mother of four. “It’s so fun though; it’s like the Super Bowl for women.”

In Heather Mnuchin‘s case, though, it was her glittering baubles that stole the show. “It’s great when you have a husband who loves jewelry and a best friend who makes it,” laughed Mnuchin, of her Christina Addison gems as she showed off glamorously mismatched multicolored sapphire earrings.

If New Yorkers were excited about going glam, British political types reveled in dressing down — to a certain extent. England’s Conservative Party, usually a rather uptight crowd, tossed out the black ties, loosened the tuxedo shirts and turned up the funky house music for the Tories’ annual winter ball last week in London.

The party’s new leader, David Cameron, is billing himself as a man of the people, which is why the event was held at the former fish market Old Billingsgate, the dress code wasn’t black tie and the DJ played something other than Seventies cover tunes. Guests included Bryan Ferry, Tamara Mellon, Annabel Goldsmith, Zac and Sheherezade Goldsmith, Ben and Kate Goldsmith, Charlotte Wheeler, Tom Aikens, William Cash, Rocco and Alaia Forte, Olympia and Fiona Scarry, Amber Nuttall and Lisa and Ron Dennis.

This story first appeared in the February 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This is such an exciting time for us,” gushed Orlando Fraser of the new Tory leader. “We finally feel like we can make changes in Britain.”

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