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Central Park celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, as members of the women’s committee of the Central Park Conservancy are proud to point out. But dressed in their pastel best and wildest headgear on Wednesday, with some opting for proper white gloves, it looked like the ladies were celebrating circa 1960. They gathered for a lunch in the park, sponsored by Hermès, and turned the Conservatory Garden into a surreal sea of hats, the more outrageous, the better.

Although, picking one of the garden’s flowers to wear in your hair might have proved a little too outrageous.

This story first appeared in the May 12, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Don’t do it,” warned Sally Albermarle, whose head sprouted two silk flowers. “You’ll probably be arrested!”

Among the crowd, which raised $3 million at the event, were Coco Kopelman in a chic straw cloche, Blaine Trump under a swarm of butterflies, Serena Boardman, Eliza Bolen, Fernanda and Eugenie Niven.

Arie Kopelman and Mayor Bloomberg were among the few X-Ys on hand.

“By executive order, I’m going to ban all the men next year,” said Bloomberg.

“This is market research for me,” said Kopelman. “The others are here to ogle.”

That night, the fashion crowd was dazzled by pro surfer Holly Beck, who hung loose in SoHo’s Chanel boutique during a launch party for the house’s new J12 sport watch. Beck surfs in California, but she wouldn’t say where.

People are very protective of their surfing spots,” she explained. “It’s adds an air of mystery to the sport.”

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