Inside The New York Botanical Garden's Conservatory Ball Presented By Oscar de La Renta

by Geneva Hutcheson · June 6, 2016

If you stayed in on Thursday night to watch reruns of the bachelor in your ex-boyfriend's old boxers and cried into a glass of pinot, you seriously missed out. The NYBG Conservatory Ball featured a beautiful melding of gowns and botanics. Lucky for you, we never miss a good party, and are here to fill you in on what you missed: we chatted with Ariana Rockefeller, strolled through the Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas exhibit, and sipped champagne on the great lawn.

Ariana Rockefeller said of her fashion line, "The colors, and the silhouettes, of course, the everyday sense of style, classic and refined, were inspired by my grandparents, that era, but updated with modern silhouettes and styles. It's very much modern classic. I took what I was inspired by and brought it into this era with my own taste."

Ariana feels that her line was directly influenced by her equestrian roots: "The line contains pieces that I want to change into when I'm not in my riding clothes. It can easily go from horse shows to washing one of my horses, with a blazer and jeans and then a little tunic dress to throw on if I've been on the farm all day, and want to dress quickly but look put together. It's a very life-style brand."

Of her presence at the Conservatory Ball, Ariana remarked, "My family has had a wonderful history here, which I am so proud of. The rose garden was named for my grandmother, Peggy Rockefeller. Every year on my grandfather's birthday we have lunch in the rose garden. So, I have a long history and am so honored to be here tonight as a guest of the lovely, Town and Country, and I am so happy to be wearing Oscar [de la Renta]. So, it's a wonderful evening with past inspiration and tonight is so special. I am always a fan of the red dresses and Oscar is such an inspiration to me."

On the whole, the night's gowns were floral and gauzy. Women floated from garden bar to the white tents on the lawn like peonies in an early spring breeze. As night fell, the glass walls of the conservatory were turned to crimson by the falling sun.

The Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas exhibit itself was full of color and whimsy: flowers dripping off the arches over the walkway; blue petals rising up to meet the railings of the instillations deck, and pale pink blooms clumped together on their deep green bushes.

[Photos by Angela Pham, Kelly Taub/BFA]