HIGH BALL: It was all about big furs and big money on Thursday at the St. Regis Resort, Aspen, where approximately 600 of Aspen’s finest gathered après-ski for the fourth annual Dennis Basso Freestyle fashion show and auction, a benefit for the Aspen Art Museum that this year raised more than $500,000. While guests such as Serena Boardman, Jamie Tisch and Tanya Winfield sipped Champagne among friends, Domenico De Sole made the event a family affair, bringing along his wife, Eleanor, and their daughters, Laura and Rickie.

During the live auction, De Sole waved his paddle numerous times for a photo shoot with Patrick Demarchelier. But ever budget-minded, he held his ground at $48,000 and eventually lost out to the winning bid of $49,000. “I can get that for free from Demarchelier myself, so I thought I was generous enough with my bids,” laughed De Sole, who afterward headed off to a private dinner at a friend’s home with his wife.

His daughters, meanwhile, had more expensive things in mind. “Since we weren’t invited, we decided to take dad’s credit card and go out to Matsuhisa,” said his youngest daughter, Rickie, who recently landed her first job in fashion at Vanity Fair.

Of the auction’s nine items, the highest bid came from part-time Aspen resident Wendy Block, who dropped $110,000 on Dennis Basso‘s floor-length Russian sable and broadtail coat. “We made it just for this show,” said Basso, who, after the auction, sent out 47 looks from his winter collection.

So has the De Sole family made any Basso purchases of their own? “Not yet, but after tonight we will,” De Sole vowed. Basso’s response? “That’s all the confirmation I need.”

This story first appeared in the January 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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