Now that winter appears to be behind us, the spring party circuit is ramping up into full force and, as we’ve said before, the secret to surviving a long calendar of events is to pick and choose the best ones. At first blush, the Frick Collection’s Young Fellows Ball would not appear to be the kind of party that would attract a particularly interesting or fashionable crowd. A museum for European art on East 70th Street and Fifth Avenue? That sounds like Gossip Girl territory.
But our first clue that this might not be your average uptown fundraiser was the dress code, “Last days of disco black tie,” and theme, “Palladium Nights.” Bronson Van Wyck filled the museum with disco balls and lurid neon lighting. Our next clue was the guest list: model Lily Aldrige, deejay Mia Moretti, men-about-town Kevin Barba and Zachary Weiss, and philanthropist Sarah Arison. Finally, Carolina Herrera signed on as the evening’s sponsor, and Mrs. Herrera doesn’t put her name on a collaboration unless it lives up to the exacting, elegant taste for which she is known.
Micaela Erlanger provided one particularly compelling example of springtime black tie dressing. “It’s all about the hint of leg, and the stripes,” said the stylist as she posed for a friend’s Instagram picture. Her Carolina Herrera dress was right on the money.
Mia Moretti, also dressed by Carolina Herrera, wore a dramatic crimson open-back silk gown that looked as at home strolling through the Frick’s collection as it did twirling on the dance floor. “You haven’t seen the art yet?” she gasped, leading me by the hand for a walk through the galleries. The Dutch master portraits were a favorite. “It’s really the best collection in town. I mean, look at this woman’s skin,” she said, gesturing towards a Rembrandt.
The fact of the matter is that there simply aren’t that many black tie art-focused fundraisers targeted towards New York’s young do-gooders. The Whitney Museum has it’s Art Party every fall (cocktail attire), and the Met has its Costume Institute Gala every May (black tie, but a markedly older crowd) and Apollo Circle fundraiser every fall (black tie, but not even filling the entire Temple of Dendur with all the young people in Manhattan could make that cavernous space feel intimate). But last week’s party at the Frick hit the mark for that perfect mix of uptown sensibility and youthful verve.
The Frick’s dance floor was packed until well after midnight, and guests lingered in the indoor courtyard for even longer. Last days of disco? We beg to differ—partying is alive and well in New York City.