2009 March 27

Natural Selection

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Jessica Alba in Narciso Rodriguez and a Roger Vivier bag and shoes Jessica Alba in Narciso Rodriguez and a Roger Vivier bag and shoes
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(NEW YORK) When rain-averse guests exited taxis and hired cars to enter last night's annual Museum Dance at the American Museum of Natural History, they were greeted by umbrella-toting valets who guided them safely and dryly into the museum. It requires effort to ignore the fact that times have changed, even when everyone (and everything) is decked out in its finest. For one night, anyway, the magic of an old-fashioned extravaganza, stuffed with socials and a token Jessica Alba, was all that mattered. The usual crew of chronic gala-goers banded together for an exceptional cause--namely, to raise money for one of the city's greatest treasures and its upcoming exhibition "Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future" with a beautiful dinner and frenzied dance party.

Several of the hosts (Fabiola Beracasa, Claire Bernard, Katie Lee Joel, Milla Jovovich, Tinsley Mortimer, and Arden Wohl) sported Stella McCartney, with Beracasa donning the most daring item from the Spring 2009 runway--flesh-toned sequined leggings. "These are my own suspenders," she said of the belt contraption created to hold them up. Elise Øverland shimmered in an elaborate cocktail dress made of beaded mesh. "I only started making it this afternoon," she confessed. Luckily, it was finished in time to head uptown with Victoria Bartlett, who dined with Gabi, Adi and Ange from threeASFOUR.

The champagne and wine flowed freely, and as the night wore on, frosty glances eventually gave way to lukewarm air-kissing, while the brave few who felt confident from recent juice fasts dared to weigh discover a flattering number applicable only on planet Saturn. A silent auction of products by Judith Ripka and Stella McCartney, among others, was well underway by the time guests teetered downstairs to the Cullman Hall of the Universe for a cupcake-fueled dance party deejayed by Harley Viera-Newton. Christian Leone, fresh with afterglow from Gilt Groupe's Valentino premiere and a recent trip to Florida, boogied alongside David BlaineMilla Jovovich and Graziano di Boni. "Is it just me," said Lydia Fenet, "Or is the Dow headed back up?"

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