For the past six months, rescue work has meant only one thing to New Yorkers. But on Friday night, it took on a new definition when the city’s ardent supporters of Save Venice filed into the Metropolitan Club for a Byzantine-themed ball to help keep that sinking city afloat. A recently transplanted Nadja Swarovski flew in from London just for the party — and wasn’t sure how much she wanted to fly back.

“I love London. Sort of,” she said with a wince. “But it’s just not the same.”

Save Venice’s costume competition is always ferocious, but the profusion of dime-store pashas in the house left Dayssi Kanavos unconvinced.

“The trick is to find the people who didn’t become Byzantine emporors at a costume shop,” she said. But for those who did it themselves, the theme proved elusive.

“I thought Byzantine was about 500 A.D.,” said Alexandra Lind as she surveyed the room. “I guess it’s really open to interpretation.”

Emma Askari floated by in an incredible Grecian dress that belonged to her mother, Helen Schifter wore vintage Scaasi, Laura Guardia and Ovidio Diaz commissioned their spot-on Byzantine frocks from a Panamanian designer, and Blair and Fazle Hussain wore the gilded clothes they’d purchased in Turkey and Pakistan before their wedding.

To those partygoers not busy prancing, the party offered other diversions — like the Swarovski crystal fight (a modern New York parlor game if ever there was one) that Adelina Wong started with the table next to hers. Soon enough, everyone was hurling handfuls of thfe tiny faux rubies that floated in Antony Todd’s aqueous centerpieces.

“It just goes to show how grown-up we really are,” Wong laughed.

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