It looked as though red was the new black in New York Tuesday night. Valentine-spirited merrymakers put on their crimson clothes and traipsed across the Plaza Hotel’s carpet (red, of course) for the third annual Red Ball.
The gala, a benefit for the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Institute at New York University and the Children’s Advocacy Center, usually honors three exemplary couples. This year, however, there was a slight modification. Honorees Veronique and Gregory Peck, and Joan Rivers and Orin Lehman, were joined by New York’s First Lady cum actress, Donna Giuliani — sans hubby.
It didn’t seem to slow her down; she was working the room like a candidate herself. But as soon as Milos Forman showed — he directed her as Ruth Carter Stapleton in “The People v. Larry Flynt” — she clung to him like a starlet.
Meanwhile, across the street at the Metropolitan Club, the Young Friends of Save Venice held their annual masked ball fund-raiser for the restoration of imperiled Venetian monuments and artworks.
Guests festooned themselves with feathers, jewels and fantastical masks in celebration of Carnevale di Venezia. Yvonne Rodgers wore a gown made by the Kirov Ballet costumers that she brought back from St. Petersburg.
Co-chairwoman Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos described her own long dress as “Lady Guinevere’s wedding gown.”
International chairwoman Astrid Kohl dressed as “Autumn” in an Issey Miyake ensemble. Although she convinced a pack of friends — including actress Dalia Di Lazzaro of Italy and aristocrat Carl Friedrich zu Lowenstein of Germany — to wing in from Europe for the event, she couldn’t persuade anyone to come as the other seasons.
How would she dress the three others? Dolce & Gabbana for “Summer,” she replied, a New York minimalist like Donna Karan for “Winter” and, for “Spring,” perhaps Lacroix couture.