"Caro Federico" were the words on the invitation, and, as promised, last night's Venetian Heritage gala, which was underwritten by Fendi, paid tribute to the Italian movie maestro Fellini. "I grew up watching his movies, maybe this is why I am so not normal," Giovanna Battaglia told Style.com in between ciao bellas with Rula Jebreal and Chiara Clemente. Waris Ahluwalia and Maggie Betts were deep in conversation about dream analysis and the subconscious in the director's work when guests were ushered from the cocktail hour into the auditorium—the evening's main draw was Edward Norton and Diane Lane live-narrating a new documentary about Fellini. Isabella Rossellini, who knew the filmmaker through his work with her father, Roberto, was thrilled to introduce the doc. "What I wish the most is to bring back his playfulness about life, the joy of life, the color."
After the performance ended, everyone was feeling a little more Italian, a little more inspired. "That was too delicious!" said Linda Fargo. "I might have to run away and join the circus." Laure Heriard Dubreuil agreed: "The fashion in Fellini movies is so stunning. It's a fantasy, the whole world. Everything was magic." The magic faded a little as guests filed downstairs after dinner and saw the slushy New York streets awaiting them. Then again, what could be more Dolce Vita than trudging through a March blizzard in an evening gown, into a car, and away into the night?