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Slim Aarons celebrated his book “Slim Aarons: Once Upon A Time” at the Hickey Freeman boutique at Bergdorf Goodman’s Men’s Store, and they all came. Twenty of his photographs of what he calls “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places” were on display. Slim has photographed almost everyone of import in the last six decades, including Katherine Hepburn; Lady Daphne Cameron lying on a tiger-skin rug in the trophy room at Laddie Sandford’s Palm Beach house; the Hon. Desmond Guinness at Leixlip Castle, his home in Ireland, with his children, Marine and Patrick; Lord Olivier, and the book’s legendary cover girl, the late C.Z. Guest with her children, Alexander and Cornelia, at the family’s Villa Artemis in Palm Beach. All very swell, but then Slim is a swell photographer.

This story first appeared in the March 17, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


Madonna, who is supposed to be choreographer, costumer and set designer as she prepares for her upcoming world tour — an extravaganza based on a time-journey through each decade of the last century, beginning with the Roaring Twenties — has pretty much given up on her efforts to get pregnant one last time. Oh, dear. She tells friends that she would like to give her daughter Lourdes, seven, and her son, Rocco, three, a baby sister or brother. But at 45, she thinks the risks of having a complicated pregnancy might just be too great. She and her husband, Guy Ritchie, have been tossing around the idea of adoption. True or false: the Ritchies never cease to stir the pot. It’s that old devil “la publicité.”


Kate Beckinsale sometimes carries her five-year-old daughter, Lily, around with her in an oversized purse with a photograph of Lily looking like a perfect little princess on the outside of the bag. Even in Hollywood this causes a double take when the real thing is by her side or in her arms.


You will be thrilled to hear that Jude Law’s love Sienna Miller, that pretty thing, has adopted a couple of dear little puppies from an English animal center. Their names are Porgy and Bess. Well, Jude, who already has three children, didn’t need any more, and even the puppies make him nervous. So Sienna has boarded them with her mother for the time being. So much for Porgy and Bess.


Twenty-five of Gwyneth Paltrow’s girlfriends gave her a baby shower in New York last week, and the dessert was a big cake with blue frosting — blue being for boys. The word is Gwyneth and her rocker husband, Chris Martin, are definitely expecting a boy, to be named Bruce after Gwyn’s late beloved father, Bruce Paltrow.

Gwyneth already has a piece of property in Spain, but in case she wants to pick up a farmhouse in Tuscany for an idyllic getaway, she should have one of her pals introduce her to Count Niki Bolza of those Bolzas who left Milan in the 17th century to find their fortune as bankers in Vienna. The Count is in town, hobnobbing with his American chums, and is always available.

Niki and his girlfriend, English jewelry designer Kristine Holmes, dressed up in 18th century costumes that they found hanging in the attic of a country house in Italy, wore them to the Save Venice Ball at the Metropolitan Club and waltzed away with the prize for Most Romantic Couple. Niki said it wasn’t really much of a stretch, since he comes from the land of Romeo and Juliet on the borders of Tuscany and Umbria, where romance runs in the water. The Tuscany country villa — for sale for $5 million — sits on 2,000 acres with a vineyard and 25 of the most delightful 13th-century farmhouses imaginable.

And they’re not falling apart, either. In fact, they’ve been meticulously restored. The property is just down the road from the estates of Sting and Salvatore Ferragamo, and depending on what you think of them makes it easy or not so easy to part with $5 million.


After eight years of living in the Bahamas, India Hicks, the daughter of the late famed international interior designer David Hicks and the granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, and her partner, David Flynt Wood, were approached by an English publisher to do a book called “Island Style.” And so they did. The publishing party was held at Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue emporium, and it was a celebration indeed.

The book is a collection of beautiful photographs about the Caribbean island India and David live on and three or four projects they’ve created since moving there. The two of them have established a plantation colonial style that is very much in keeping with the tropics. When they weren’t writing, they had three children who ran wild around the island until a friend started the Dunmore School for the education of their kids and bohemian children living on the island. Ralph Lauren launched the book in London and now New York, with Palm Beach to follow on Monday, and is donating a percentage of the evening’s sales to benefit the Dunmore School.

Featured in the book are two houses and a hotel on Harbour Island; the Guest House at Hibiscus Hill; the Landing Hotel and Restaurant; and a third house, Savannah, on Windemere Island that was originally built by India’s father in 1969 and restored by her in 2002. The book includes more than 200 color photographs reflecting the authors’ love of color and keen sense of style so in keeping with their magnificent surroundings.

Ralph Lauren wrote the foreword to the book, noting, “The seductive combination presented in ‘Island Life’ — a combination of classic British taste (including its eccentricities) and the traditions and flavors of the Caribbean — cannot fail to inspire anyone who has the good fortune to pick it up.” And who knows better than Ralph?

She may have a busy schedule as a mother, designer, hotelier and author, but India makes time to ride horses, ski (snow and water), Rollerblade, wakeboard and scuba dive. She has also bungee jumped, parachuted, hang-glided, hiked the Grand Canyon and run two marathons to raise money for charity. To say nothing of having been a superb model, and oh, please don’t blame her because she’s beautiful.

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