Bettina's Take: Dennis Basso Party

Dennis Basso fall 2011

Dennis Basso knows how to throw a party. He and his partner, Michael Cominotto, understand the importance of details like lighting, an interesting mix of people, delicious food, the right setting, and elegant touches like calligraphed name cards and menus, of course.

But their parties have more than that—that unexplainable element that makes a party an event, that makes you happy you're there, that you didn't miss this moment, this conversation, this relaxed vibe in a gorgeous (and sometimes formal) place.

On February 15, Dennis gave a celebratory dinner after his beautiful afternoon fashion show (see more on that from the Ethnic Chicks, aka Susan Fales-Hill and me), at the newly opened La Petite Maison, the New York branch of the legendary restaurant from Nice and London, owned by the attractive and charming David Barokas.

Located in a townhouse that was the seat of the Rockefeller offices in the '50s, and later Aquavit, La Petite Maison is a wood-paneled beauty of a restaurant, with soft lighting that makes everyone look like they got a good night's sleep—and who really gets a good night's sleep during Fashion Week?

I was thrilled to see Nina Garcia, who just gave birth two months ago and looks once again like a runway model. I asked if she'd been to any of the shows: "The baby is only two months old! It's too soon! I had put on 45 pounds … " Nina, you look incredible, I'd never have known.

Most of the guests had been to the show. Star Jones was raving about it. "It was a fur-gasm," she gushed. "I don't buy fur from anyone else. Dennis takes skins to another level. The long black dress that closed the show was stylish, sexy, and fashion forward."

Allison Lutnick loved the mix of fur and cashmere, while Jamie Gregory is dreaming about the sable anorak.

As we sat to dinner, guests, including Jamie Tisch and Todd Meister, Hal Rubenstein, Larry Creel, Avi Mortimer, and Elizabeth Lindemann, enjoyed niçoise specialties from zucchini blossom beignets to La Petite Maison's signature roast chicken.

"Dennis is the best host," said my dinner partner, architect and designer Richard Mishaan, who knows a thing or two about throwing a party himself.

The entire table—indeed, the entire room—was in total agreement.