The Carousel of Hope ball, dears, is one party where you don't want to be caught in a plain little cocktail dress and Grandma's graduated pearls.
To be sure, Barbara Davis, chairwoman of Friday night's fund-raiser for diabetes charities, and her daughters Nancy, Dana and Patty didn't disappoint. Their full-skirted "Age of Innocence" gowns (Nancy's with a bustle) were made to order by Vera Wang, better known as a bridal-gown designer. Barbara's satin frock with re-embroidered lace, crystal and silver beads was the latest in a string of pinks. "I've worn pink to every Carousel Ball and this is the 11th one," she said. "It's lucky pink."
Other big-skirt moments were provided by Lisa Hoffman in a black satin gown with a train, Lesley Ann Warren in a meringue of plaid by Vivienne Westwood and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson in puffy black taffeta by Rochas.
But, this being the workout capital, curves were also on display. Linda Bruckheimer showed hers in Richard Tyler's slim black velvet column, while Peggy Lipton and Goldie Hawn proved their muscle in clingy, floor-grazing slip styles.
Other highlights: The expectant Barbara Lazaroff ("You heard me--I'm having contractions") in a Zandra Rhodes creation, to which she had sewn tiny gold baby bottles and cherubs. Lili Fini Zanuck in white Armani full trousers, jacket and "I Dream of Jeannie" braid trailing down her back. Liza Minnelli, who reached deep into her closet for an old, bias-cut Halston gown. And in the most off-color statement of the evening: Juliette Lewis flaunting a head of purple hair.