Carole's in front, resembling a sleeping beauty. The woman in the tiara next to her is Kay Francis, while the man in the whiskers isn't a man at all, but society columnist Elsa Maxwell. Clockwise from Maxwell are Delmer Daves, Beatrice Ames (Mrs. Donald Ogden Stewart), Dr. Henry W. Martin (Louella Parsons' husband, wearing a mask) and the Countess di Frasso, clad in the same nun outfit as the other picture.
According to Carla, this photo is from Jock Whitney's "High Noon Party." John Hay "Jock" Whitney (1904-1982) was a member of high society; his biography at the Internet Movie Database also describes him as a "multi-millionaire sportsman, pioneering color-movie producer, soldier, financier, philanthropist, art-collector, diplomat and newspaper publisher." And judging from the identical costumes and outfits in the two party pictures, it's possible this event lasted well into the night (which may explain why Francis and Martin are not to be found in the other photo).
According to Carla, this photo is dated Feb. 7, 1936, which a check of a perpetual calendar shows fell on a Friday. That makes more sense for a party date than the 24th, which would have been a Monday (remember, in those days there were no three-day holiday weekends aside from Labor Day). So I'm guessing the 24th might have been when that photo initially ran for publication.
This was probably the party that ignited the Gable-Lombard romance. They may not have been physically close in that photo we ran yesterday, but that would change in due time.
Oh, and here's the link to Carla's fabulous site: http://carolelombard.org/ It's worth a bookmark and frequent visits; even self-styled Lombard "experts" will come away learning things they never knew about Carole.