Like many journalists, Katie Couric works best on deadline — and this week, her deadline was sartorial. The journalist, one of the honorees at this year’s American Ballet Theatre fall gala, found her voluminous Marchesa gown last-minute courtesy of friend Georgina Chapman.
“I called her on Saturday and said , ‘I have nothing to wear on Tuesday, can you help me?’” said Couric inside of the David H. Koch Theater. “They sent me some pictures, I went to their showroom yesterday, I picked this out, they fitted it, I got it at one-o-clock this afternoon — and voila. I’m a master procrastinator, clearly. Isn’t it pretty?”
Couric, who was being honored alongside the Shubert Foundation, worked her Marchesa gown to the max throughout the evening. “I have the Angelina Jolie leg, but I don’t really know how to do it,” Couric riffed as she showed off the gown’s thigh-high slit for photographers.
“I think life would be colorless without the arts,” added Couric of her ongoing support for the iconic dance company and other New York creative institutions. “Anytime I have a chance to embrace the arts, support it and uplift them and focus attention on them, it’s a thrill.”
Annette Bening attended with gala host Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin; the actress stars as swimmer Diana Nyad in the married director duo’s narrative feature debut “Nyad,” which debuts on Netflix Nov. 3. “I can’t,” Bening reluctantly told reporters angling for a comment. “You don’t want me kicked out of SAG, do you?”
Early in the evening, many of the company’s dancers took the opportunity to support the American Guild of Musical Artists, which has stood in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA, still on strike. ABT principal dancer James Whiteside, whose newest choreography premiered during the gala performance, donned a black suit jacket with “AGMA Dancers United” printed on the back.
Molly Ringwald walked the carpet with daughter Mathilda Ereni Gianopoulos, before linking back up with Zac Posen and Harrison Ball for an additional photo op on the grand staircase leading up to the theater’s promenade. Before the performance, guests including Bach Mai, Morena Baccarin and Candace Bushnell congregated at the “bubbly barre” outside on the terrace overlooking Lincoln Center Plaza. Later in the evening, Mick Jagger and his choreographer girlfriend Melanie Hamrick joined the crowd for a post-performance dinner.
Downstairs, the performance bell chimed, beckoning guests to take their seats inside the theater. Jordan Roth was en route with husband Richie Jackson. “I was thinking Cinderella’s step sister at the ballet ball,” said Roth of his voluminous Yves Klein Blue velvet Balenciaga ball gown.
“They say everything is beautiful at the ballet, it’s literally true. This is such a New York night,” Roth added. “Coming to Lincoln Center, dressed like this, with my husband, to experience ABT — it doesn’t get more New York fantasy than this, kids.”