Roberto Cavalli and his international coterie of sirens know how to work a photo op, but even the unrestrained designer seemed surprised at the spectacle being so richly documented at the door of his dinner party Wednesday night in New York: Ivana Trump, dressed in a Cavalli jungle print and one long feather earring, petting a giant albino python.
“I hate those motherf—ers!” Trump screamed at first sight of the snake. Moments later, she was blowing it gentle kisses, woman and beast posing for the camera like newlyweds. That was only the beginning of Cavalli’s wild night — orchestrated by Rena Sindi — that only got wilder when Mariane Pompidou walked in with her Great Dane, Achille, adorned in a white wig and African tribal paints.
“Is this New York?” Cavalli asked the model Esther Canadas. “They paint their dogs here?”
Most of the feral crowd paid homage in Cavalli’s printed dresses. But there were exceptions: Emma Askari tied a stuffed Curious George doll to her skirt, Alexandra Lind bought some leopard chiffon, sewed it up in a flash and called it her “one-night stand,” and Celerie Kemble, who’d intended to go as a bird of paradise, decided she looked more like an Amish chicken. Princess Olga of Greece went to Canal Street for her vines and butterflies (she happens to be an amateur lapidopterist).
“This isn’t really a DIY crowd,” said Olga, “except the men — men are always DIY.”
When Alicia Keys popped in during dinner, the designer raced over to meet his favorite new star. He didn’t sit down again. By midnight, Cavalli was standing on a chair, swaying with Sindi, Iman and a gaudy gaggle of Riviera fixtures. For Tiffany Dubin, it was all too divine for words.
“Is this not the chicest moment?” she asked. “I want to eat the tablecloths.”