The who’s who of the New York social scene arrived at the Pierre on Friday night for Save Venice’s much-anticipated annual Un Ballo in Maschera gala. While many were indeed recognizable behind bold masquerade masks, others provoked the literal question of who’s who? The theme was Dangerous Beauty, and getting into the spirit, guests took the black tie attire to heart, donning opulent gowns and ritzy tuxes.
Sponsored by Oscar de la Renta and Glenn Spiro, the evening started with a cocktail reception before dinner was served in the next room. Honorary chairs were Annette de la Renta and Beatrice de Santo Domingo, and the event chairs were Eliza and Alex Bolen, Charlotte and Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lauren and Andrés Santo Domingo.
Event design was by Bronson van Wyck who decked out the space with a 200’ custom, hand-painted Venice flag which covered the ceiling of the dining room, above tables dressed with jewel-toned fabrics, Dutch floral arrangements and clusters of blood oranges, lemons and tangerines. “Do you feel like you’re in Venice?” says a guest across the table. Seatmates nodded in agreement and clinked wine glasses for a toast to the evening.
As dishes of hazelnut biscotti crunch gelato was served for dessert, fashion journalist Hamish Bowles visited each table for a closer look at each guests’ masks before taking the stage to present prizes to the best ones. “Let’s begin with the Lady’s Award, and that goes to Alexandra Haime Salanic,” he said. Salanic’s mask was a mini bedazzled replica of the Venice cathedral church, St. Mark’s Basilica. Following, the Gentleman’s Award went to stylish social media star Di Mondo, who posted an Instagram snapshot of his chandelier-like mask which has garnered more than 7,850 likes in less than 24 hours. And lastly, the Couple’s Award was presented to Thomas Bell and Dr. Susan Krysiewicz, the faces behind decorative lion and lioness masks.
More than $1 million was raised at the event to support Save Venice’s mission to preserve the artistic treasures of Venice and help restore the monumental church of San Sebastiano.
Following, the crowd hit the dance floor and partied to the upbeat tunes of DJ May Kwok. In the mix were Indre Rockefeller, Poppy Delevingne Cook, Nell Diamond, Harry Brant, Peter Brant II, Jessica Hart and Nick Brown, Lindsay Ellington, and Tabitha Simmons.