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2010 April 9

Fool's Gold

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Alina Cho in Bulgari jewels, Lydia Fenet, Allison Aston,  Amy McFarland, Melissa Beste, Emilie Rubinfeld, Susan Magazine, Shirin von Wulffen, Clare McKeon, Rory Hermelee, all in Akris Alina Cho in Bulgari jewels, Lydia Fenet, Allison Aston, Amy McFarland, Melissa Beste, Emilie Rubinfeld, Susan Magazine, Shirin von Wulffen, Clare McKeon, Rory Hermelee, all in Akris
JOE SCHILDHORN/PatrickMcMullan.com
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(NEW YORK) Is the annual New Yorkers for Children Gala a means to an end, or an end in and of itself? Last night's New Year's in April: A Fool's Fête spectacle at the Mandarin Oriental was a little bit of both. Thanks to dinner tickets, corporate sponsorships and silent auction proceeds, it raised $450,000 to help youth in foster care in New York City. But it also gave hundreds of fashion and social-obsessed jeune femmes reason to hit SoulCycle, Exhale, Bergdorf Goodman, Frédéric Fekkai, and Rescue Beauty Lounge. So for a few brief hours anyway, it's a raison d'être. No wonder it never disappoints.

Akris was the fashion sponsor this year, and its affable designer Albert Kriemler wasn't there—but he really should have been. Maybe the world at large noticed what fashion editors have been buzzing about more with every season. You know, the Akris-as-not-only-riche-looking-and-sexy-but-also-a-brand-that-actually-sells-the-clothes-at-full-price-even! phenomenon. Elegant and lean gowns on event chairs Rory Hermelee, Lydia Fenet, Alina Cho, Susan ShinMarisa (Noel) Brown, and Shirin von Wulffen were classic Kreimler sleeper hits. So will we see more floor-grazers at the Palais du Chaillot in October?

OK, OK, the party. It was a good night to wear short, because between the frenzied silent auction activity and the even more frazzled meet-and-greets ("Let's get dinner next week!"), the Mandarin's ballroom was steamy even before the first course was served. There were Calvin Klein Collection-ed actresses to ogle—Mamie Gummer, Malin Ackermann, and Melissa George—and just as many models, namely Tiiu Kuik in a compulsively watchable Zac Posen and Karolina Kurkova, just being "KK." The Daily's divine nutrition columnist Lonneke Engel scored a prime seat at the Elle table (which was interestingly enough not host to Olivia Palermo) next to Joe Zee and across from an ebuillent Carol Smith, wearing Akris, of course. Speaking of Bon Ap and those television projects...Carol, we found her first!

Speaking of placement, another head-scratcher: The celebrity dressers were better dressed than most celebrities on any given red carpet. Burberry's Nora Flaherty in a body-con, strong-shouldered draped Bailey number, par exemple, and Nacole Snoep in another Costa, and Annelise Peterson in a scuba-y Jean Paul Gaultier (with an intriguingly massive Ivanka Trump emerald-cut ring—was that the Hope diamond or just quartz?).

On a designer front, there was Posen, Waris AhluwaliaBrian Reyes, Douglas Hannant, and Ralph Rucci—well, in spirit. The Voguet extraordinaire swooped upon the dinner clad in a drapeau-sized custom Chado guests deigned to delve into the first course. (Heirloom tomatoes in April? Paging Barbara Kingsolver!) And then came the filet, which was served with chickpeas and plenty of vin rouge. Ultimately, the silent auction closed, the dance floor opened, and the Fool-ish revelling began in earnest. But weanwhile, Nicholas Scoppetta rallied the troops and reminded le tout Mandarin that there was still much work to be done. Until next year!
ASHLEY BAKER




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