Celebrities in high-end fashion mingle among Met's high-end art

The Baltimore Sun

Here are a few raveled threads plucked from that highly charged evening at the Metropolitan Museum, put on by Vogue's Anna Wintour last week. (And, incidentally, did you know that the editor's rather controversial Chanel dress, described as looking a bit like ram's horns, was called "Storm"?)

The big hit of the night, I'm told, was tennis ace Venus Williams in a bronze Carolina Herrera gown, wearing a Fred Leighton diadem upside down like a tennis band in her hair. She is being pronounced the best of the non-Hollywood A list.

On the afternoon of the great day, Venus took time out to practice at the net with her ever-loving Harold on the sidelines. He is her little Haverford gray dog that she carries about in her Prada handbag. That night, Venus clutched a Van Cleef vintage minaudiere.

Venus killed two birds by attending the gala. She also was in NYC to announce her new sports drink, Power Ade Zero, so named because it has zero calories!

Other girls who "ruled" included Kimora Lee Simmons, wearing a Kevan Hall gown inspired by African tribal art. (Hall is the L.A. designer who dressed Ruby Dee for the Oscars this year.)

And the men! Olivier Theyskens spent the evening talking to his own favorite editor, Vogue's Grace Coddington. He had insisted that the house of Nina Ricci spend hours and hours working on Bee Schaeffer's poison iris silk tulle dress, all 130 yards of it. This one is said to have put the famous gowns designed by Rose Bertin for Marie Antoinette to shame.

Karl Lagerfeld was in a silver paillette Chanel jacket that he had designed for himself. He was paid court to on a white banquette with Venus and Kimora by his side. At dinner, King Lagerfeld was seated next to Wendi Murdoch, who was in navy blue Christian Lacroix couture. Designer Marc Jacobs told pals he was wearing Superman underwear.

The tall, tan, terrific Andre Leon Talley donned a black shawl-collared dinner jacket by Armani. He enjoyed showing a few intimates that his entire name with an "accent" was embroidered inside the breast pocket. "If I ever take it off and it goes missing," says Andre, "it wouldn't be like the Lindsay Lohan fur coat debacle. Everyone would know who it belonged to."

A president's predecessor

People are talking about a president's great-granddaughter, and she is Margaret Hoover, now a Fox News contributor. She also recently guest-hosted The View, and Bill O'Reilly regularly introduces her as something of an oxymoron - "a Republican feminist!"

Margaret has worked at the White House and participated in two presidential campaigns. But she is determined to shatter the received wisdom that President Herbert Hoover caused the Great Depression. She says this is not so, and she is working to "clear" his name.

Good cause with a twist

Bette Midler is temporarily back in town hosting the New York Restoration Project's seventh annual Spring Picnic on May 19 at the Toyota Children's Learning Garden. The evening will hark back to the '60s, with DJ Tom Finn spinning those "Let's Twist Again" records. Katie Couric, Bradley Whitford, Tony Bennett, Candice Bergen, Kristin Chenoweth and James Snyder are just a few who will answer Bette's call.

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