Any sign of a plaid shortage on the streets of Manhattan last Friday can be attributed to the Tartan Ball, which got 500 young New Yorkers into their finest Highlands fettle for an evening at the Frick. Lauren duPont was the mastermind behind this year’s theme — and she had a perfectly good reason for selecting the Scots.
“Last year was Edwardian, and we had so many calls from confused people about what that actually meant,” she explained. “This just seemed so easy. I mean, even the ceiling in here’s Tartan,” she said, gesturing to the atrium’s checkered glass roof.
“And at the time, Madonna’s wedding had yet to happen, so it seemed novel,” added Marina Rust, who cochaired the event along with duPont, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer and Viscount David Linley. “I didn’t have a family tartan,” Rust laughed. “So I’m wearing Burberry.”
With a few exceptions — like the bustled strapless dress that Christina Scornavacca had made from some old curtains — Burberry was the obvious choice.
“At about 6 p.m., I pulled this off my Burberry coat,” said Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, who accented her black dress with a furry plaid stole. Kim Vernon donned her favorite Burberry item, her bikini top.
“This is the only plaid I have in my closet,” she swore.
But it was Vanessa von Bismarck who turned the most heads — dressed as a punk Scotsman alongside her cousin, Claudia von Bismarck. The reason for Bismarck’s fluorescent orange wig was a simple one.
“I like to loosen everyone up,” she said.

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