I'd always associated the word "ball" with, y'know, gowns. But what do I know? At the 2010 Tribeca Ball, held at the NY Academy of Art, Parker Posey and Jennifer Connolly and everybody else looked, instead, ready for rooftop cocktails.

I mean, don't get me wrong - Helena Christensen looks totally elegant. But I just would have heard "ball" and reached for a floor-length. How did they know? Is it some kind of celeb spidey-sense?


Ditto for Jennifer Connolly. She looks severely lovely in her simple black, but if this is what the fairy godmother transformed your rags into, wouldn't you be just a leetle let down?


In Alek Wek's case, the fairy godmother apparently thought she said she was going to 2000 and wanted to set off a seizure in any enemies she happened to meet.


When she turned her attention to Glenda Bailey, she misheard and thought she said "doll," specifically a collector's porcelain toddler named "Angelica" from QVC.


I know, whenever possible, I like to have built-into my dresses the effect that it's too small and is pulling across the hips. Glad to see Hilary Rhoda agrees.


Nicole Miller says: why stop there?!


When I can't do that, I throw on a sack, belt it, and call it a day. Mary-Alice Stephenson, too! And she's a stylist, so there ya go.


See, the Richards sisters totally heard "ball" and thought "gown!" (And, um, really fugly chubbies.)


Sesely Tyson clearly thought, "I'll just wear what I always wear and look so cool that no one can say anything," which is kind of what happened.


Parker Posey: downtown party on the bottom, Mahjong party on top.


Olivia Palermo channels a Mrs. Roper vibe, a 5-year-old's purse.


The leather cheerleader skirt: a look I've never appreciated, for all its
obvious ironies. As modeled by designer Rebecca Minkoff.


That fairy godmother we were talking about? I like to think she looks a little something like writer and artist Beatrix Ost! At least, she'd be mine if I could choose: who doesn't love someone who says her style is inspired by "the warmth of people?"


[Images via Getty.]