The Wall Street Journal
NY Heard & Scene
By Marshall Heyman
When news broke of the death of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta on Monday evening, it brought the occasionally raucous Angel Ball down to earth.
“He was the epitome of class and taste,” said the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, huddled with his wife, Dee, and the longtime fashion editor Hal Rubenstein. “He was a true world-class gentleman.”
“There are no words,” said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who has worked at Vogue and as the fashion director of Lincoln Center.
At the Angel Ball, an annual fundraiser thrown by Denise Rich to raise money for a cancer research foundation created in honor of her late daughter, Gabrielle, the de la Renta news spread over Twitter, email and old-fashioned table-hopping during a performance by Nile Rodgers, one of the evening’s honorees. (He sang “Le Freak” and “Everybody Dance.”) Ms. Rich’s friend, Star Jones, took to the podium to ask for a moment of silence for Mr. de la Renta, who had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006. The evening’s medical-research goal now seemed particularly poignant, she said.