At Lincoln Center on Monday Keira Knightley was decked out in a one-shoulder Valentino dress with pleating down the body. Liv Tyler’s black dress with green floral prints went all the way to the floor.
Was it hers? “After tonight it is,” she said with a smile.
In 2013, Hearst began sponsoring an annual event at Alice Tully Hall, with the money going to the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, which supports resident arts groups on the organization’s Upper West Side campus.
The honor given out is called the Women’s Leadership Award, although so far, it has only gone to dress designers (Karl Lagerfeld in year one, Stella McCartney in year two), a possible indication that the main objective is to bring a whole lot of glittery people under one roof.
Anyway, Ms. Collins looked terrific.“It’s from my favorite department store,” she said of her dress, which came from Selfridges and shined brighter than an oil tycoon’s Cadillac, befitting her image as the queen of “Dynasty.” “I’m not the right shape for a borrowed dress.”
Shortly after 7 p.m., guests moved into the theater, where Ms. Bailey and Ms. Knightley spoke in superlatives about the Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who took over the label in 2008, shortly after the retirement of the company’s founder, Valentino Garavani, and have since become darlings of the fashion world.
Then came a short film about the designers, showing shots of majestic Rome, along with Ms. Chiuri and Mr. Piccioli working with their seamstresses, using lots of red and black fabrics, which were cut into fancy Pre-Raphaelite inspired, floor-sweeping gowns.
After a short speech from the designers, saying how honored they were to be recognized at a cultural institution as storied as Lincoln Center, Bruce Willis took the stage to introduce a woman worthy of her own superlatives: Debbie Harry, style icon, sex symbol, cult star, pioneer.
Over the next 20 minutes, she serenaded the crowd with Blondie hits like “The Tide Is High” and “Heart of Glass,” which she performed with a troupe of Juilliard students on cellos and violins as her musicians.
Mr. Piccioli was among the first in the crowd to stand up and start dancing in the aisle. “We grew up with Deborah Harry,” he said afterward, as guests moved out front for a late supper. “It’s so punk rock to have her here in couture.”
He had even made sure to get a selfie with her.
“Of course I did,” he said, whipping out his phone to show it off to a guest. “She’s so cool.”