“I get the bends if I go below 57th Street,” joked Muffie Potter Aston.
The end-of-the-year party schedule is always so jam-packed that, half the time, people can’t recall the cause for celebration. At the Chloé-sponsored Guggenheim Young Collectors Council Artist’s Ball honoring Ryan McGinley, few of the boldfaced names who attended had even heard of the young photographer. “Who is he?” remarked Erin Fetherston, when asked if she liked his work. Ditto for Emily Mortimer, who said, “My knowledge of art is like my knowledge of books—it stops around 1960.” While some of the guests fought over drinks at the bar (the bubbly ran out by 11), Natalia Vodianova, Blake Lively and Jacquetta Wheeler listened to crooners Blonde Redhead. Things were calmer at the scaled-down Neue Galerie benefit the night before. “We wanted people to come by for a glass of wine and see the collection, like we used to do it years ago,” explained cochair Aerin Lauder. Lauren duPont, Amanda Brooks, Michael Kors, Fabiola Beracasa and Jane Lauder showed up at the Gucci-sponsored affair, where they eyed the Klimts and mingled on the mirrored dance floor. No one seemed to miss the meal served in years past. “This is New York,” reasoned Kors. “I’ll have a club sandwich later.” It was a busy week for the designer, who one night earlier swung open the doors of his new SoHo outpost. Marjorie Gubelmann, Gigi Mortimer and Renée Rockefeller dutifully made the trek downtown, though some admitted they rarely head so far south. “I get the bends if I go below 57th Street,” joked Muffie Potter Aston. Later, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields and Jane Krakowski, among others, dined on steak frites at Raoul’s. The man of the hour was beaming. “This is like Swifty’s for downtown,” Kors enthused.