Bettina's Take: New York City Ballet 2012 Fall Gala Celebrating Valentino


Photos: Patrick McMullan

Diane von Furstenberg & Valentino (left); Carolina Herrera and Valentino (right).

New York City Ballet held its fall gala last night, a dazzling evening honoring legendary designer Valentino Garavani. Luminaries from Hollywood, the fashion world, and international society came to celebrate Valentino and his collaboration with the ballet. The red carpet was packed with photographers snapping away at Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anjelica Huston, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, Daphne Guinness, and many more gorgeous creatures. It was wild.

"Carlos will want you to walk the red carpet," chided Annelise Peterson, looking superb, as I tiptoed away with my (glamorous) little group. Peterson was referring to Carlos Souza, Valentino's dynamic PR Director, who was orchestrating the evening to perfection.

Cocktails were packed with the likes of Lynn Wyatt, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Marcia and Richard Mishaan and Ashley McDermott. It was no easy task getting the crowd into the theater.

Valentino had designed costumes for three of the ballets. We were shown a short film, part tributes by fans such as Meryl Streep, Claire Danes and Hugh Jackman, part documentary, watching New York City Ballet Master Peter Martins, Valentino and the dancers work together.

At one point, Valentino passionately suggests having an extra ballerina in a red tutu participate in one of the pieces for a better visual effect. "Yes, but who will we get to do it?", asks Martins. "We will find someone," cajoles Valentino, eliciting peels of laughter from the audience.

The ballets were a visual feast, the chic elegance of Valentino's clothes dazzling his friends and fans alike.

After the performance, dinner was served on the mezzanine. Tables were covered with cloths in the form of multiple pink roses. Huge red roses intertwined with clear plastic ballerinas were used as centerpieces.

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Giancarlo Giammetti, Kathy Brown, Valentino, Peter Martins, Sarah Jessica Parker, Pamela Joyner, Maria Bartiromo

Vice Chairman Carol Mack wore a gorgeous, form-fitting navy dress. "Is that a Valentino?", I asked. "My underwear is Valentino," exclaimed Alex Hitz with great pride, before Mack had a chance to answer.

Dessert was served alongside a champagne toast and a fashion show. The sylph-like ballerinas, escorted by their male counterparts, were the epitome of feminine beauty and grace in Valentino's designs. The dancers remained on the dance floor after the show, and many guests joined in, for the thrill of dancing with some of the world's greatest, or just to let loose at the end of a glamorous, yet cozy evening. Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti had so many friends in attendance, it felt like a private party - the ultimate compliment for a benefit.