The Event: Dining by Design Gala dinner in support of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS)
In the House: Decorators, designers, publicists, DIFFA reps, shelter magazine editors, design-world bloggers, socialites, celebrity industry folk such as Jonathan Adler.
The Dress Code: Effortless cocktail-party chic: predominantly dark frocks with very few sequins.
The Menu: A strong rotation of light nibbles (marinated shrimp, tiny bites of brie adorned with rosemary and apple), an avocado summer salad, roast stuffed baby chicken. Rumor had it that the pouring of delicious La Crema wines was kept to a minimum because Ralph Lauren, who presented an honor, didn't want everyone schickered before his speech.
Spotted: House Beautiful editor in chief Newell Turner proudly displaying on his iPhone the magazine's poll to find the next great paint color; Elle Decor editor in chief Michael Boodro yukking it up with interior designer Brad Ford; Ralph Lauren looking sharp in a double-breasted pinstripe suit; Cottages & Gardens publisher Marianne Howatson beaming about the recent New York Cottages & Gardens launch; The Chew's Carla Hall (formerly of Top Chef) cutting a rug on the dancefloor post-dinner; Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman idly toying with her cellphone by the entrance.
The Music: Gaga, Rihanna, any and all dance-happy remixes.
The Gift Bag Contents: The April issue of Architectural Digest (one of the media sponsors), some marketing pamphlets, and a set of Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams. Sadly, exactly zero bottles of La Crema.
The Scoop: Last night, the design glitterati descended upon Pier 94 on Manhattan's West Side for the annual Dining by Design gala dinner in support of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). Brands ranging from Marimekko to the Tilton Fenwick duo to Jonathan Adler (who debuted a new fabrics collection for Kravet) decorated a seemingly endless array of tables, which guests proceeded to dine at as the night unfolded. The event coincided with the tail end of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show; editor in chief Margaret Russell gave a speech, as did Ralph Lauren, who honored his executive vice president and chief retail creative officer Alfredo Paredes for his contributions to DIFFA.
Curbed attended as a guest of the New York Design Center, which tapped a handful of design firms from its Access to Design program to mastermind two place settings each for their dinner guests of choice. The result? A "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" table styled by former shelter editor and decorator/Curbed contributor Alexa Stevenson to achieve a "glamorous haunted mansion" feel—all the dinner guests, including Alexander McQueen, Emilio Pucci, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Cleopatra, and Elvis, are no longer alive. As for the actual guets, they included NYDC CEO and president Jim Druckman, Elle Decor editor in chief Michael Boodro, Traditional Home publisher Beth Brenner, and more. Click through the gallery above to glimpse the place settings crafted by Drew McGukin, Laura Bohn, Robert Passal, Thomas Burak, the girls of id 810 Design Group, West Chin, Coffinier Ku Design, Kati Curtis, and Vanessa Deleon, all incorporating furnishings and decor from the NYDC.