Glamorous Mermaids at Save Venice Gala

Few galas are as over-the-top because the Save Venice ball, which came about final Friday at Cipriani South Avenue on the southern tip of Manhattan.

By 8 p.m., the cocktail space was a sea of mermaid ball robes and penguin tuxedos, becoming for a masquerade ball that raises funds for the waterlogged metropolis. Some 500 well-groomed company — together with Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark, and Sienna Miller — mingled over bellinis and posed for pictures inside a large, Botticelli-style clamshell.

Some took this yr’s theme, “Enchantment by the Sea,” to coronary heart. “That is our favourite gala as a result of we get to be one of the best model of ourselves,” stated Alexandra Salanic, a graphic designer who wore an oyster-inspired costume of her personal design. (Her husband, David, wore a hat topped with an oyster platter.) “Different galas are extra buttoned up.”

Not all people went for the undersea theme. “I haven’t been invited to an enormous occasion in years, I nearly forgot find out how to dress,” stated Jenna Lyons, the style designer and TV persona who sported an all-white Thome Browne ensemble courtesy of the designer, and got here as a visitor of Amy Griffin, an investor.

This yr marks the fiftieth anniversary of Save Venice, which raises cash to revive the town’s “inventive heritage,” and the ninth time that the ball was hosted by Lauren Santo Domingo, the previous Vogue editor and co-founder of the style luxurious retailer Moda Operandi. In 2013, Ms. Santo Domingo took over internet hosting duties from her mother-in-law, Beatrice Santo Domingo, and turned the ball into what some have referred to as “a warm-up” to the Met Gala due to the high-fashion crowd and the excessive price of entry.

It could not have the star wattage of Anna Wintour’s “First Monday In Might” (the most important title at Save Venice was arguably Alex Rodriguez). However the occasion did handle to boost a file $2.1 million, partially by getting trend manufacturers that work with Moda Operandi to purchase tables (some for as excessive as $100,000).

“Individuals have been sending me footage for weeks of what they’re going to put on,” stated Ms. Santo Domingo, who wore a black strapless robe by Oscar de la Renta, not coincidentally one of many evening’s sponsors. She didn’t know off-hand whether or not gross sales at Moda have gone up for the reason that metropolis’s galas have returned, however added, “We promote night attire, night robes and ‘event put on,’ as it’s formally termed — it’s our most essential class.”

Alexandra O’Neill, the founding father of Makarian, an event put on label based mostly in New York, stated it was the primary time she was invited. “We now have a really beautiful partnership with Moda Operandi,” stated Ms. O’Neill, who ended up dressing greater than a dozen company together with the longtime Hillary Clinton staffer Huma Abedin.

After cocktails, the gala moved into the primary corridor, which was festooned with striped Venetian poles and billowing flags. Between the burrata appetizer and rib-eye steak, extra company snapped pictures inside the enormous clam.

“I can’t say ‘no’ to a trigger that helps artwork,” stated Sarah Hoover, an artwork supplier, who wore a customized Makarian costume. “I can’t think about a extra worthy trigger than to do all the pieces we are able to to protect the unique mermaid metropolis.”

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