“Poetic Astronomy” was the theme French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels assigned last night’s Tribeca Ball, the New York Academy of Art’s annual, star-studded fundraiser. As such, the suggested dress code was “celestial chic,” and attendees relished the chance to play up the theme. Entering the fete, held at the school’s historic 111 Franklin Street building, celebrities, paparazzi, and fashion and art world fixtures like Donna Karan, KAWS, Julianne Moore, Will Cotton, Van Cleef & Arpels president Alain Bernard, and more mingled with stilt walkers who, in ethereal, constellation-inspired costumes, looked like masquerading harlequins of the cosmos.
“Are you going to ask who I’m wearing?” asked benefit chair Naomi Watts. “Because I’ve forgotten,” she laughed. Several people seemed eager to fish for the forgotten label, but one trusty publicist was on point and relayed that it was Attico. Given the theme, the conversation turned to Watts’ star sign, which she did remember. “I’m into astrology until I’m not, you know? I’m a Libra, so I’m balanced, and unbalance bothers me. I also look at things from every angle,” she said, her eyes widening. “It’s exhausting.” Chair of the board, Eileen Guggenheim, couldn’t recall who she was wearing either. “It’s nobody big,” she said. “You can look.” The pastel green, sequin-covered evening dress was by Pascal Millet. “Oh, that sounds French,” she said. “I’m an Aries,” she continued. “We’re creative and courageous—an art school’s a great place for that, right?”