2012 June 8

Cuckoo for Coco

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Jonathan Bearman, Erika Bearman, Andrew Fry, Heather Lindsey Jonathan Bearman, Erika Bearman, Andrew Fry, Heather Lindsey
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(NEW YORK) Even the most casual interiors watcher was a little bit starstruck on Thursday night, when the New York Botanical Garden celebrated its annual Conservatory Ball with a top du top dinner dance that would have won Coco's approval. Chanel, vous voyez, was the evening's sponsor, and visual magician Bronson van Wyck transformed one of New York's most opulent public gardens into a natural home for, say, Mademoiselle. (The fash-noscenti in the crowd were discussing its likeness to both the film Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky and Chanel's Spring 2011 runway show, the topiary-heavy set of which was inspired by Last Year at Marienbad.)

Peonies in all shades of pink were juxtaposed against black and white linens, dramatic ivy-covered chandeliers, and the aforementioned shrubbery that obscured the tent in all the right places.

After the crowd got appropriately besides themselves over the atmosphere, the socializing began. Erika Bearman wore a "very Oscar" gown, as did Alexandra Lebenthal, as a show of solidarity with Mr. De la Renta, while Carolina Herrera's gowns were also well-represented. In terms of catching-up, a sizable contingent of the crowd spent the last weekend at "Arie and Coco's son's" wedding, otherwise known as the Drew Barrymore/Will Kopelman affair that is splashed over every newsstand in the country, thanks to People. (Takeaway: the food was excellent and Jill Kargman had a great dress.)

Speaking of the young and hip, the Ball had a noticeably groovily vibe than in years past, thanks first to the big band churning out an interminable rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou," and later to the Chanel-hired DJ and his penchant for Rihanna remixes. The crowd was equally lively—Karla Martinez, Andrew Fry, Eric Javits, Tina Chai. But the die-hard Botanical supporters appeared to be the most enthused about the event's regeneration. "Bronson really outdid himself," said co-chair Gillian Miniter after a dinner of caviar-doused artichoke hearts and truffle-infused chicken (with fries!). Indeed.

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