The Belle of the Ball

A New York lunch celebrated actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw and director Amma Asante.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

What: A lunch hosted by Mark Lyall Grant, British Ambassador to the United Nations; W Magazine’s Stefano Tonchi; Amanda Foreman; Tamron Hall; Faye Wattleton, and Alek Wek in honor of the film “Belle” and its director Amma Asante and female lead Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Where: On the top floor of the New York culinary bastion La Grenouille, whose old school French charm and diminutive size lent to many an intimate conversation between guests like Martha Stewart, Phylicia Rashad, Star Jones, Tamara Mellon and Olivier Theyskens.

When: Wednesday, April 2nd

Who: Foreman, a British historian, provided introductory background to the movie, which is based on the life tale of Dido Belle, the daughter of black slave and a wealthy British naval captain, who was raised by her uncle as a member of the 18th century British upper crust against the backdrop of the nation’s legal struggles to eradicate slavery (Belle played a pivotal role). “Women did have agency… and Belle typifies that, she had emotional agency,” remarked Foreman, who then oversaw a q&a between Asante and Mbatha-Raw.

Why: “I hope it’s not an arrogant belief and it’s a sensible belief that if a story moves me, it will move my audience,” said Asante.

Photos: The Belle of the Ball

Amma Asante, Stefano Tonchi, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Photo by

Tamron Hall. Photo by

Yaya DaCosta. Photo by

Olivier Theyskens and Yigal Azrouel. Photo by

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Martha Stewart. Photo by

Star Jones and Amma Asante. Photo by

Tamara Mellon. Photo by