The Gala Season Restarts with Hats Galore

Philanthropists, billionaires and society swans flocked to the Central Park hat luncheon, the first major charity event held in person since the pandemic.

From afar, it looked like a confectioner’s window, a pastry assortment of fanciful forms: mille-feuilles, pecan wedges, fruit tarts and tall layer cakes, lavishly embellished and colorfully glazed.

But it was the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, popularly known as the Central Park hat luncheon. A fabled rite of the spring social season, it returned last week with a splash, as the first major gala in New York City to take place in person since the pandemic put the charity circuit on hiatus.

Spread over two days and across

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