by Max Brantley
It was a warm and funny lovefest. The audience included another famous woman who's worn de la Renta fashion — TV personality Barbara Walters. She sat on the front row with billlionaire Alice Walton, who currently has a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington on loan to the Clinton Center.
The Clintons took turms extolling de la Renta, as did famed fashion editor Anna Wintour of Vogue. The designer told a story about talking Hillary into appearing on the cover of Vogue, the first first lady to do so. Bill Clinton praised de la Renta's humanitarian efforts, but lamented that he'd never gotten to wear one of the designer's dresses. It was that sort of evening. Chelsea talked of de la Renta's competitiveness, including at cards, but said nobody could top her dad when it came to competitiveness. No doubt about that.
Huge audience reactions came when 1) Wintour said she hoped to have Hillary on the cover of Vogue as the first female president after the 2016 election and 2) when de la Renta said the night wasn't so much a tribute to him as to Hillary, a future president. The Clintons, Bill particularly, seemed to enjoy the remarks, but made no spoken references to a potential run by Mrs. Clinton in 2016.
My anecdotal observation was that, though the crowd swarmed all the Clintons afterward, there might have been a bigger crowd around Hillary. Chelsea did say one of the things she liked about de la Renta was that he was always looking to the future, not the past. Maybe the crowd took that to heart.