Diane Von Furstenberg Humane Society Benefit

Diane Von Furstenberg at the Humane Society Benefit. Photo: Steven A Henry/WireImage.com

Animal charities present an unusual quandary for the rich in New York City, as the elegant socialites are apt to arrive wearing fur.

At least one well-known social fixture turned heads last night at Diane Von Furstenberg's studio, when she arrived on a chilly spring evening wearing a pelt to the Humane Society of New York's annual photo auction benefit.

Unfortunately the evening's Oscar-winning host, Adrien Brody, was unable to attend. (Eds note: Several years ago I interviewed the actor and tried to butter him up by saying what a fan I was of his mother, the wonderful photographer Sylvia Plachy -who donated an image to the auction -and I can remember how nonplussed he was that I wanted to talk about her and not him!) But I digress...

Boldface names who did attend included Cornelia Guest, Nate Berkus, Sotheby's chairman Jamie Niven, and the handsome photographer from "America's Next Top Model," Nigel Barker.

Von Furstenberg told StyleList that she had always been an animal lover. "I have a dog and a lot of chickens, on my farm," she said with a smile. "And they all get along very well."

Photographer Martha Swope was honored with an exhibit of her work taken while she was official photographer for the New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and several Broadway productions. Her photos of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jerome Robbins, legendary choreographer George Balanchine, Liza Minnelli and many other celebrities lined the walls.

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