The NYBG 2022 Conservatory Ball: Food Glorious Food!

Atmosphere
Photo Courtesy BFA.com

On Thursday, June 2, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) held its annual black-tie Conservatory Ball in celebration of a one-of-a-kind exhibition, “Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love.” More than 300 hundred guests attended the ball, and over 1 million was raised for children’s education and international plant research at the NYBG. Bartlett Tree Experts, Hearst, and DeBeers served as sponsors.

The New York Botanical Garden’s latest multifaceted exhibition honors the diversity and beauty of plants grown for cuisine worldwide, and the central role food plays in many of life’s most important events. It runs from June 4 – September 11, 2022.

Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Expansive displays of living edible plants, art and science installations, weekend celebrations, and wellness and culinary-themed programming provide opportunities to discover the diversity and beauty of these plants.

Ivy Getty, Paul Arnhold, Chloe Rubenstein
Photo Courtesy BFA

The black-tie affair began with cocktails at 7:30 pm in the Perennial Garden before moving to a specially curated dinner and dancing in the Conservatory Tent with music by DJ Kiss.

Gala Chairs Lili Buffett and Georgina Bloomberg
Photo by Laurel Marcus

Chairing the event were Georgina Bloomberg, Kate Davis, Gillian Hearst, Holly Lowen, Ashley McDermott, Olivia Palermo, Johannes Huebl. Janet Montag, Deborah Royce, Lili Buffett, and Sharon Jacob.

Julie Lanning, Gala Chair Sharon Jacob, Alease Fisher
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Sharon, who arrived with her three daughters Cecilia, Georgia, Stella, and her husband Bill in tow, is always elegantly turned out. She wore Andrew Gn’s beautiful long yellow dress with full sleeves and embroidered high neckline for this occasion.

Ariana Rockefeller and Elsa Majimbo
Photo Courtesy BFA

Others in attendance were Sigourney Weaver, Vogue’s Lilah Ramzi, Fe and Alessandro Fendi, Paul Arnhold, Maureen Chilton, Feyha Drohan, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Jean Shafiroff, Di Mondo, Gillian Miniter, Polina Proshkina. Gillian Hearst, Ariana Rockefeller, Ivy Getty, Elsa Majimbo and Olivia Palermo were among the guests wearing diamonds by DeBeers, who set up an immersive installation featuring two floral archways accented with colorful butterflies.

Jessica Wang and Sai De Silva
Photo by Laurel Marcus

The majority of guests factored in the glorious setting, and the theme of the evening, with attire that mirrored the idyllic floral surroundings. There were plenty of wispy pastel frocks, a smattering of fanciful feathers, and flowers galore (worn by the guys and the gals). Well, naturally, the Conservancy Ball is THE ultimate garden party, after all.

Rebecca Vanyo
Photo by Laurel Marcus

One of the most beautiful dresses was the Marchesa pale pink one-shouldered floral decorated ombre chiffon number worn by Rebecca Vanyo. Unsurprisingly, pink, THE color of the season, was also THE color of the evening.

Jean Shafiroff wearing Victor dE Souza
Photo by Laurel Marcus

In the pink brigade were Ivy Getty, Rebecca Hessel, Sai De Silver, Jessica Wang, and Jean Shafiroff. Jean wore a fabulous silk taffeta moire fuchsia strapless dress and voluminous cape by Victor dE Souza couture. Jean arrived with Victor, wearing a fuchsia shorts suit of his own design.

Di Mondo and Polina Proshkina
Photo by Laurel Marcus

Di Mondo always demands to be noticed. He accessorized his custom floral printed cape that seemed to go on forever, with a humongous floral headpiece. By contrast, his date, the always chic and understated Polina Proshkina, provided the perfect sartorial counterbalance with her minimal black cut-out gown by Monot.

Marilyn Kirschner Laurel Marcus and Jean Shafiroff
Photo by Victor dE Souza

{Meanwhile, there were flash floods just hours before the gala, but fortunately, it stayed dry throughout the evening. However, on our car ride up from Manhattan, Laurel Marcus and I encountered rush hour traffic, traffic from the Yankees game, and traffic jams due to flooded streets. To make matters worse, we took a few wrong turns and didn’t arrive until the sun had set and guests moved from the gardens into the dinner tent. You know Murphy’s Law: “What can go wrong, will go wrong”! But it was all worth it in the end.}

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Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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