Inside the New York Botanical Garden’s 18th Winter Wonderland Ball

by Sydney Sadick

On Friday night, a chic set of New Yorkers escaped Manhattan for one of the most glamorous and highly anticipated events of gala season: the New York Botanical Garden’s Annual Winter Wonderland Ball. This year’s ball chairmen included a young set of socials like Georgina Bloomberg, Angelo BianchiNatalie BloomingdaleGiovanna CampagnaAriana RockefellerTimo Weiland, Martin Dawson, Micaela Erlanger, Gaby Rosen, Gillian Hearst Simonds, and May Kowk; vice chairmen Andrew WarrenSarah Chilton, Natalie Jackson, Nicole Meyers, Alexandra Porter, Elizabeth Steel, and Zack Thain; and honorary chairmen Alina Cho, Cristina Cuomo, Whitney Fairchild, Emma J.P. Goergen, Alexandra Lebenthal, and Alexandra Lind Rose. Some of this year’s benefit committee members were Kipton Cronkite, Jeremy BatoffReya BenitezGillian Miniter, and Peter Brant Jr. The event, which was held in collaboration with Burberry and David Yurman, is in its 18th year, and as always, it didn’t disappoint. On the fashion front, guests paraded around in lavish and elegant gowns reminiscent of a Disney fairy tale, like socialite Jean Shafiroff, who wore a custom blue couture number by Victor de Souza that was very Cinderella-inspired.

The evening started out with a cocktail hour underneath the sparkling dome in the Palms of the World Gallery, where guests made their way through the Conservatory’s enchanting train show, which featured a charming range of model trains winding through miniature NYC landmarks. Cocktails were followed by a seated dinner in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, also known as the Garden’s Victorian-style crystal palace. The space was decked out in winter white—even trees were sprinkled with what looked like snow—and guests like Tinsley MortimerCarole RadziwillDennis BassoMichael LorberJennifer Creel, and Eric Goldie danced the night away, plus one very special attendee: Anne Hathaway, who was there with her former Vassar College classmate and publicist for the Botanical Garden, Justin Conner. The gala ended in a very New York way, with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” playing for one last dance before everyone either made their way back to Manhattan or headed on to the after-party at The Box.

Proceeds from the event support NYBG’s world-renowned Children’s Education programs, which aim to give underserved children in the Bronx a lifelong connection to nature through innovative workshops and hands-on activities.

photo credits: Pham, Schildhorn

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