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Tea Roses and Tealights: Inside the New York Botanical Garden Conservatory Ball

Tea Roses and Tealights: Inside the New York Botanical Garden Conservatory Ball

Tea Roses and Tealights: Inside the New York Botanical Garden Conservatory Ball

It wouldn’t be the NYBG Conservatory Ball if the predictions were clear. In recent memory, there has always been a rainstorm the night of the glitzy event, which takes place in a luxurious tent near the NYBG’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Fortunately, this year’s rain stopped just in time – the dress trains might have been a little damp, but at least the air was fog-free.

Hosted with support from DeBeers Jewellers, Hearst and Bartlett Tree Experts, the evening celebrated the garden’s spring exhibit, “Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love”. Spread across the expansive garden, the show, according to its press release, “explores the cultural, horticultural, environmental and historical significance of what we eat, examines the art and science of eating habits and food traditions – many of which date back thousands of years old – and celebrates plants as the foundation of all culinary customs. As a delightful homage to the display, the tables were dressed in baby trees – the branches slung with lanterns containing tealights – and dotted citrus fruits, grapes and other produce.The whole scene looked like it was straight out of a Tim Walker photograph.

After an hour of cocktails, where most of the guests sparkled in borrowed DeBeers diamonds, the guests took their places. Honorary chairs for the evening included Maureen K. and Richard L. Chilton Jr., Ball Chairs, Georgina Bloomberg, Lili Buffett, Rebecca Hessel Cohen, Ravenel Curry and Jane Moss, Gillian Hearst, Sharon Jacob, Holly Lowen, Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, Ariana Rockefeller and Deborah Goodrich Royce. And almost everyone wore dresses with as much romance as the decor.

Rockefeller wore a white Tudor-style dress embellished with 3D floral appliques and subtly puffed sleeves specially designed for the occasion by C Christy Rilling Atelier. Hessel Cohen LoveShackFancy-fied a lot of girls—Buffett wore a dreamy green and white dress. Nicky Hilton Rothschild, who was waiting, wore a cherished Markarian dress, and Palermo opted for Giambattista Valli. Also in attendance were Ivy Getty, Sigourney Weaver, Elsa Majimbo and Paul Arnhold.

Midway through dinner, J. Barclay Collins II, Chairman of the Board of the New York Botanical Garden, addressed the photogenic guests. “Tonight we are celebrating our exhibition, which is called ‘Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love’ and it is, in fact, a celebration, as you might expect, of food and of the essential role it plays in our lives,” he said. “We also celebrate the special thing, a magical thing that happens when we all gather around a table with friends, share food, share a conversation and share our ideas.”

It was the perfect note on which to slip into the gala dinner and then move onto the dance floor, where DJ Kiss got things going after midnight on a school night no less.

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