Though the newly redheaded Blake Lively (she dyed it for the movie Hick) arrived at the Time 100 Gala a vision in an aquamarine Zuhair Murad gown, it would take only a moment for her look literally to unravel. Toward the end of cocktail hour, the tardy Lively, one of this year’s Time Influentials, was attempting to beeline toward the gala’s seated dining area in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center when she involuntarily stopped, as if some mysterious force were pulling her back. “Oh? Oh!” she said, turning around, confused. “Oh? Oh!” said many in the crowd around her.
Lively’s long silk chiffon train — apparently not intended for fast maneuvering — had become ensnared under the foot of none other than ubiquitous party photographer (and dear friend of New York) Patrick McMullan. As Lively’s publicist, Leslie Sloane, tried to identify the culprit, McMullan, oblivious, walked away — with the train still stuck to his shoe. A second later, Lively’s train had left her gown and was trailing along after McMullan like a four-foot piece of aqua silk chiffon toilet paper. Martha Stewart was the first to recognize the problem. “Patrick!” she demanded. “Give her back her train!” McMullan, still oblivious, turned around and gasped, “Oh, I seem to have stepped on some lady’s train!” A calm and composed Lively, whose gown, luckily, had a very strong understructure, and who looked fine with or without train, flashed her trademark smile and insisted she could fix it; she had safety pins! So she headed to the hallway bathroom to do just that.
After a fifteen-minute interlude that, witnesses say, included a less-composed Lively bursting into an occupied stall, frantically explaining she had ripped her dress, the industrious actress emerged with the train oddly safety-pinned just above the left side of her left butt cheek. It seemed unnecessary, given that the gown had looked just fine, even ripped, but what do we know? Soon she was back with her fellow Influentials, seated next to her savior Martha Stewart in the front row, and leading off the dance party for Sting’s performance of “Desert Rose.” “You just have to be crafty!” said Lively, dancing away.