Thursday, November 01, 2018

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

The Black and Orange Ball - French Heritage Society's Annual NY Gala Dinner Dance

The venue
All photos Marilyn Kirschner - click images for full-size views

The French Heritage Society held its annual New York Gala Dinner Dance at the Plaza hotel last evening. The honoree of the evening was French luxury lifestyle brand LALIQUE and its founder René Lalique which is celebrating their 130th anniversary this year. LALIQUE is internationally recognized as the ultimate symbol of French luxury.

Executive Director of the French Heritage Society Jennifer Herlein

The French Heritage Society is an organization dedicated to preserving the rich French architectural and cultural heritage, transmitting and safeguarding skills, knowledge, and love of heritage through transatlantic educational programs, and fostering Franco-American friendship through cultural exchanges.

Anastasia Adruzova & Darya Badikova

The proceeds of their annual fundraising galas provide support for French Heritage Society’s three parallel missions: preserving the French architectural legacy in France and the United States, cultivating the next generation of preservationists through our Student Exchange Program, and promoting Franco-American friendship.


Organizers of last night’s event were His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, and Mrs. Sophie L’Hélias-Delattre, Ms. Anne-Claire Legendre, Consul General of France in New York, and Mrs. Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States.

Right CeCe Black

Among the spirited guests enjoying cocktails, an elegant dinner, music and dancing with Alex Donner and his orchestra, were Elizabeth F. Stribling, Chairman of the Board of the French Heritage Society, Jennifer Herlein, the organization’s Executive Director, Gala Chairmen CeCe Black,  Silvina Leone, Liz McDermott, Jay R. Paul, Jean Shafiroff, Ann Van Ness, publicist R. Couri Hay, Sharon Bush, Geoffrey Bradfield, and Mark Gilbertson.

Marilyn Kirschner

It is the first time in the history of the 36-year-old organization that it took place on Halloween, and in that spirit, the dress code was orange and black and guests were encouraged to accessorize with masks or disguises. Looking around, it was obvious that most attendees were apparently all too eager to comply, especially when it came to elaborate masks.  Even the guys got into the act. I myself never need much of a push to go with a theme. My vintage 80’s orange pouf skirt quite frankly, has Halloween written all over it lol!

Jean Shafiroff & Victor dE Souza

One real standout was Jean Shafiroff in a dramatic orange cape back gown with gold embroidery and an elaborate floral strewn mask designed by Victor dE Souza.

Guest in Victor dE Souza skeleton bodysuit with friend

There was another guest dressed in dE Souza, but she could not have looked more different in her unapologetically dressed down but highly apropos black bodysuit with skeleton embroidery.

Bettina Bennett

But hands down the most creative guest was Bettina Bennett who channeled a fairy godmother in her pale tulle creation complete with wings that glowed in the dark.



- Marilyn Kirschner

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