Save Venice took over The Pierre on Friday night for its annual Un Ballo in Maschera, transforming the hotel's grand ballroom into an enchanted garden. And thanks to sponsor Dolce & Gabbana, there was enough moda Italiano on display to make the evening feel authentically Italian. Guests ranged from stalwart philanthropists like Adelina Wong Ettelson and Gillian Miniter—one woman called this her "oh, fifth, sixth, or tenth Save Venice"—to newcomers such as Public School's Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, whose slim black suits were a cool counterpoint to some of the evening's more decadent costumes. "We don't really do much women's evening right now, but seeing all of this, who knows," said Osborne. "We're not quite there yet, but when we are, we'll do it our way."

Other designers shared their tips for gala season dressing. "Don't take your shoes off to dance, don't be that girl," Brian Atwood advised, right before one overzealous dancer dropped her champagne flute on the dance floor. Tabitha Simmons suggested to "be prepared like a Boy Scout, you never know where the evening will take you!" And this from Bibhu Mohapatra: "The secret is to not reveal the ultimate surprise. Make sure there is something for the person next to you to discover." DJ performances from Mia Moretti, Caitlin Moe, and May Kwok kept partygoers dancing until well after midnight. The evening raised $700,000 for Save Venice's mission of restoring art and architecture in the canal city.


In the supremely enchanting setting of the Hotel Bel-Air, friends and fans toasted Nicholas Kirkwood last night in his first stateside event since becoming part of the LVMH family. "I think here in L.A. there's a good reason to wear high heels because no one has to walk anywhere," the designer said, as the likes of Liz Goldwyn, Katherine Ross, and China Chow took in his new collection. "I think here it's sneakers or it's your going-out shoes. It's good for me because I like to design those going-out shoes," Kirkwood added.

Hosts Emma Roberts and Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears welcomed the Brit to town, alongside photographer and filmmaker Todd Cole, stylist B. Akerlund, and Rachel Zoe. It being L.A., talk inevitably turned to red-carpet dressing and the necessity of celebrity to designers today. "I think it's becoming more and more important for me," Kirkwood said of the evening part of his collection, which caters to this clientele. For the red carpet, heels must be lighter and simpler. "But there's no dumbing down the collection to do it," he said of the process. "That's a very interesting exercise to me." And Kirkwood remains committed to it: He hinted that a Los Angeles flagship (the designer already has stores in Las Vegas and New York) is in the cards.


With all eyes on the L.A. art scene, MOCA had its moment in the spotlight on Saturday night, celebrating its 35th anniversary. Sponsored by Louis Vuitton, the gala evening at the Geffen Contemporary debuted the new multimedia exhibit of the late Mike Kelley, and functioned as the official welcoming party for the museum's new director, Philippe Vergne. (Jeffrey Deitch left last year.)

"That's what I call the art world," Vergne said from the stage. "I wish Mike Kelley could see this room." Kelley was the subject of the very first exhibit at the museum three and a half decades ago. Since then, MOCA has become known as the artists' museum, and Catherine Opie, Ed Ruscha, Shepard Fairey, and Doug Aitken were among the artists who turned out to support an institution just back from the brink. (Last year, financial instabilities almost forced it to merge with another museum.) Pharrell Williams and Jane Fonda were tablemates, and Katy Perry was also in the crowd. Chloë Sevigny, Dianna Agron, and Haley Bennett all wore dresses from Nicolas Ghesquière's first collection for Louis Vuitton.

"Every other person here is an artist," China Chow enthused, seeing the city's resident talent in attendance. André Saraiva echoed the sentiment. "As an artist, a lot of my friends are moving here compared with New York," he said. "There is something that New York is missing lately for young artists." The night capped off with a surprise performance by Diana Ross, who rather fittingly sang "I'm Coming Out," bringing partygoers to their feet.