Photo by Erin Baiano

The very classy Jean Shafiroff never disappoints as she is our best dressed of the evening wearing an Oscar de la Renta Gown with white satin long evening gloves.

Max R. Shulman with Chelsea Clinton during the cocktails.

A Fashion Perspective from our very own Fashion and Lifestyle Correspondent Byron C. James Rodrigues and Editor-in-Chief Yerelyn Cortez Hidalgo:

The well heeled ladies and gentlemen of New York City's high society gathered Monday evening to celebrate the best in American Ballet at the The School of American Ballet Winter Ball, held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. While black ruled the red carpet as usual. A few ladies stepped up their game and let Mother Nature know that spring is just a few days away. The ladies wore Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Kaufman Franco, Dennis Basso, Milly gowns among other stunning gowns.

MOD…..Most Outstanding Dress:

There were two ladies who caught our eyes and killed the red carpet and evening with stunning gowns. The top contender Jean Shafiroff who is an American philanthropist and socialite in New York City. She was wearing a Black & White Oscar De La Renta Gown with white gloves. Jean is a regular attendee of a diverse of glamorous red carpet events in New York City. One can definitely count on her wearing an exquisite gown or cocktail dress for any occasion.  ​It certainly was a surprise Jean did not wear a Victor De Souza gown, perhaps she was paying homage to the late Oscar De La Renta. Simply exquisite. Bravo Jean!!!

The second lady was Independent musician influenced by Irish and Middle Eastern music Rachael Sage, who wore an inspired "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" style dress by Israeli designer Michal Negrin Spring 2015. Rachael first learned of the designer while on  a tour at Israel.

Writers  for this story: Yerelyn Cortez Hidalgo and Byron C. James Rodrigues.

Photos courtesy of Erin Baiano, BFA, and LUXXELIVING

A performance by students from The School of American Ballet during the Encore Dessert Dinner at David H. Koch Theater.

 The School of American Ballet's 2015 WINTER BALL
Raised More than $1.39 million
For Scholarships and School Programs
at the David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 9, 2015

The French Jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels was the lead corporate sponsor of the evening and did not disappoint with their selection of jewelry which models wore during the cocktail reception and displayed throughout the dinner portion of the evening. This long-standing partnership is a tribute to the friendship shared between SAB founder, George Balanchine, and one of the Van Cleef & Arpels founding brothers, Claude Arpels, who established the Maison in New York in 1939. Their shared passion for exceptional stones inspired a creative partnership that resulted in Balanchine's Jewels ballet and its sumptuous costumes.

The event was led by Chairmen Joyce C. Giuffra, Julia F. Koch, Serena Lese, and Laura Zeckendorf; and Young Patron Chairmen Noreen K. Ahmad, Amanda Brotman, Lesley Vecsler. 


The School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet, was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein as the first and most essential step in their quest to create an American classical ballet company.

SAB, located at New York City's Lincoln Center, is the premier ballet academy in the United States, training more students who go on to become professional dancers than any other school. SAB's former students fill the ranks of the New York City Ballet and other leading U.S. and international ballet companies.

Van Cleef & Arpels was born in Paris' Place Vendôme in 1906, following Alfred Van Cleef's marriage to Estelle Arpels in 1895.Always striving for excellence, the Maison has become a worldwide reference through its unique designs, its choice of exceptional stones and its virtuoso craftsmanship, offering jewels and timepieces that tell stories and bring enchantment to life. Over the years, the Maison has remained faithful to this highly distinctive style characterized by creativity, refinement and poetry. Whether inspired by nature, couture or the imagination, its collections evoke a timeless world of harmony and beauty.

Peter Walker hails from Fort Myers, Florida, where he began his early dance training at age eight. He attended the School of American Ballet during the 2006 and 2007 summer courses and enrolled as a full-time student in the winter of 2007. Peter honed his choreographic skills by participating in SAB's annual Student Choreography Workshop; and in 2011, 2012 and 2014, he was selected by Peter Martins to choreograph the Summer Session of the New York Choreographic Institute. He was a recipient of SAB's 2011 Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and became an apprentice with New York City Ballet. He joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in fall 2012. 

Rachael Sage is wearing a very unique ensemble by Michal Negrin from Israel.

Dinner atmosphere in the Promenade of David H. Koch Theater.

The luxury brand sponsor Van Cleef & Arpels displayed their jewelry on models during cocktail hour and dinner at the Promenade.

The students from The School of American Ballet strike a pose prior to their performance at the Promenade during The Encore dessert and dinner.

The School of American Ballet 2015 Winter Ball took place at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 9th, 2015. Guests arrived and showcased their exquisite gowns at the step-and-repeat to capture the moment from an array of photographers. This year the legendary French jeweler, Van Cleef & Arpels sponsored the glamorous, black-tie dinner dance for the eighth consecutive year.

To begin the reception began with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 7pm and dinner followed at 8pm at the Promenade. This glamorous annual dinner dance was attended by more than 500 patrons, including the School's board members and alumni as well as leaders from the New York corporate and social communities. Some of the attendees were Chelsea Clinton, Jean Shafirof, David H. Koch, Julia Koch, Amanda Brotman, Noreen K. Ahmad, Peter Martins, Serena Lese, Joyce Giuffra, Laura Zeckendorf, Margie Van Dercook, Nicolas Luchsinger, Peter Walker, Peter Martins, Gillian Miniter, Tiler Peck, Jill Kargman, Coco Kopelman, Daniel Ulbricht, Maria Kowalski, Martin Harvey, Max R. Shulman,  Darci Kistler, Marjorie Van Dercook, Nicolas Luchsinger, Harry Kargman, Elena Sapir, and Rita Dronsky.

"We are thrilled to announce that we raised more than $1.39 million this year, our highest ever for this event. The overwhelming generosity of our sponsor Van Cleef & Arpels and our attendees and donors made for a fantastic celebration last night," said Margie Van Dercook, executive director of the School of American Ballet. "Their much-appreciated donations will provide scholarships to aspiring dancers and support the School's student life programs."

 A highlight of the evening was a one-time-only performance by intermediate and advanced students of the School of American Ballet created specifically for the event during The Encore dessert dinner. This year, New York City Ballet dancer Peter Walker was selected as choreographer by Peter Martins, Artistic Director and Chairman of Faculty for SAB.

The proceeds from this event enhance every aspect of the School's extraordinary ballet training program, helping to provide more than $1.9 million annually in student scholarships, as well as supporting faculty, maintaining world-class studios and offering vital student programs beyond the classroom. 

The proceeds from this event enhance every aspect of the School's extraordinary ballet training program, helping to provide more than $1.9 million annually in student scholarships, as well as supporting faculty, maintaining world-class studios and offering vital student programs beyond the classroom.