Around 8 p.m. last night, Cipriani 42nd Street was flooded with a sea of ladies in red dresses who had turned out for El Museo del Barrio’s annual spring gala. “It’s a Latin event; everybody wears red,” explained one partygoer as he watched the likes of Carolina Herrera and Yaz Hernández parade through the entryway. Hernández was wearing a custom Carolina gown—in scarlet, naturally—and before dinner, Herrera presented her with the evening’s trustee leadership award. She wasn’t the only honoree at the fête; after Herrera, Julianna Margulies took the stage to introduce Narciso Rodriguez. “He is the only designer I have ever known who knows how to cut for a woman’s body,” she told the crowd. “He really loves women.”
Over on the west side, the look was L.E.D., not red, at the Museum of Arts and Design’s annual gala. Each year, the museum selects a material as its theme, both for the dress code and to guide the contributions that artists make to its fundraising silent auctions. This year’s L.E.D. Ball brought incandescent items from Surface to Air, Jen Kao, and industrial design studios like Rich Brilliant Willing. Light-up fashion was less in evidence on guests like Nate Berkus, Sean Avery, Shenae Grimes, and Patricia Field. No matter. Those who wanted brightening up could step into the on-site “carma wash,” courtesy of performance art collective FCKNLZ, offering “aura scrubs” as DJ Chelsea Leyland‘s tunes blasted in the background.