Bettina's Take: Dia Fall Night 2012

Photo: Getty Images

Kate and Andy Spade (left); Trish Goff, designer Gilles Mendel and Kylie Case (right).

Dia Art Foundation held its fall gala this week in its soaring, new space in Chelsea, luckily still raw as it had suffered major flooding during hurricane Sandy. The organizers had contemplated canceling the evening, but they bravely decided to go ahead with it. Good move: it was a major success.

"Tonight means a lot because the entire art community had a very difficult time these last two weeks. To see everybody here, supporting Dia, the art community, and the artists—it's fantastic," said Dia chairman Nathalie de Gunzburg, looking stupendous in Lanvin.

Partners & Spade did the decor, pure with lots of votive candles, very much in the spirit of Dia. "We love the work and the art," said Kate Spade in a Michael Kors top and Prada capris. "This is always a fun party."

The crowd was a great mix of the art world, philanthropy, celebrity and fashion, including George Condo, Julian Schanbel, Paula Cooper, Gavin Brown, Thaddaeus Ropc, Gilles Mendel, Michael Stipe, Nicole Miller, Stefano Tonchi, and Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez.

The speeches given by de Gunzburg and Dia director Philippe Vergne were lovely and mercifully short. A performance by Tony Conrad, Jutta Koether and friends, and a DJ set by Matthew Higgs followed. Guests listened, or lingered and chatted next door, enjoying the relaxed and warm vibe.

Jewelry designer Aurelie Bidermann summed it up perfectly. "Dia is purely about the artists," she said. "That's why I love it."