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The word from Hollywood is that Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz are seeing each other again. Their breakup only lasted until Nicole got back from her holiday in Australia with her two children. They kept in touch by phone and when she returned, they met quietly for drinks at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, laughing and talking into the night and being as discreet as big stars can be in that town. There was a rift after Lenny was caught by photographers getting cozy with Brazilian model Isis Arruda in a Miami nightclub, and then there were the actresses Michelle Rodriguez and Rhea Durham, whom he dated while Nicole was away. Has anyone mentioned that his nickname is Lenny the Loin? Oh well, whatever. Lenny is supposed to be a changed man now and Nicole wants to believe him.

This story first appeared in the March 12, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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There are parties and then there are parties, and then there are great parties. One of the really great ones was given at La Grenouille, the superb New York restaurant where the elite meet to eat, to celebrate the 50th birthday of handsome, blonde financier Karl Wellner. The party was given by Karl’s beautiful, blonde wife Deborah Norville, of your TV and mine. The entire restaurant was taken over and about 80 of the couple’s closest friends came out for the fun, dressed from top to toe like illustrations in a fashion magazine. Deborah wore Armani, which she does quite a lot. Actually, Deborah and Karl gave the party together. They do ever so many things together and have three adorable — yes, blonde — children to show for it.

It was a wonderful, very let-loose affair; extremely warm — even hot — when three sexy Brazilian dancers (belly and otherwise) took to the floor wearing the odd sequin and the odd tail feather, madly shaking the room while Brazilian percussionists percussed to torrid music. You haven’t really lived until you’ve seen Woody Johnson, Dixon Boardman, Leonard Lauder and Leonard Stern out there shaking on the floor with those wild, wiggling women. Talk about good sports.

All the people you love and read about were there — Mary and Howdy Phipps, of the highest society circles; Carol and George McFadden, likewise; Karen and Richard LeFrak; Nan and Tommy Kempner; Muffie and Sherrell Aston; Blaine and Robert Trump; Pauline Pitt; Barbara Bancroft; Julia and David Koch; Karen and Peter John Goulandris; Lisa and Keith Jewell; Christine and Steve Schwarzman; Georgette Mossbacher; Arianna Boardman; Ann and Tim Forbes; Kip Forbes; Nancy and Henry Silverman; Robert Higdon; Pepe Fanjul; Hilary Geary and Wilbur Ross; Jamee and Peter Gregory; Pamela Gross and Jimmy Finkelstein; Sharon Handler and John Loeb; Ezra Zilkha; the John Georgeses; Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola; Susan and John Hess; Anne Hearst; Paul Wilmot, and more, more, more.

Upstairs in La Grenouille’s gorgeous private party room, cocktails were served to the perfumed pack before they swept downstairs, there to dine on lobster ravioli, breast of veal and chocolate torte. It’s the only way, really.

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You’ve all heard of François-Marie Banier, haven’t you? Of course you have. And brilliant readers even know to pronounce his name properly, j’espere.

Monsieur Banier is the acclaimed French photographer who has been part of the French cultural scene in Paris for 25 years, absolutely delighting his friends and fans with portraits of his friends and fans. You become acclaimed, you understand, when you say “Regardez l’oiseau” to such as Caroline of Monaco, a.k.a. Caroline of Hanover, Yves Saint Laurent, Johnny Depp (Banier is the godfather of Johnny’s daughter, Lily Rose — you read it here first!), Vanessa Paradis (Depp’s beautiful companion and Lily Rose’s mother), Lauren Bacall, Catherine Deneuve and others too dazzling to mention.

Banier’s oeuvre is and has been on display at the Bass Museum in Miami Beach, his first American show, and among those at his opening was his number-one fan and friend, Liliane Bettencourt, who flew in from Paris especially for the exhibition.

You’ve all heard of Liliane, haven’t you? Of course you have. And most of you even know how to pronounce her name properly. It’s just as well because she is the cosmetics heiress — her father founded L’Oréal — and she is one of the richest women in the whole wide world. You’re probably wearing a L’Oréal product right now, boys and girls, which is why Liliane, who is also a great philanthropist, is one of the richest women in the whole wide world.

Quite naturally, L’Oréal sponsored the exhibition — that’s what friends are for — and there to lend his personal support at the show and at the grand dinner afterward for 100 on the beautiful terrace of the Delano hotel was Lindsay Owen-Jones, the big man at L’Oréal. This is an especially shrewd scheme when you know ahead of time that you, your boss lady and Banier will all be receiving keys to the city from Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer.

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Sir Paul McCartney says he’s gotta’ sing and he has millions of fans clamoring for more. But he cannot bear the idea of being separated from his adorable five-month-old daughter, Beatrice, not to mention his adorable wife, Heather. So the Beatle has decided to make it a family affair and take them along on a 13-gig concert tour through Europe this spring with stops in Paris, Madrid, Prague, Oslo and Zurich. Little Bea will be a big girl by the time it’s over. This is the same way Sir Paul used to tour with Linda and their children when he ran the band Wings back in the Eighties. No word whether Heather will start singing with the band the way Linda did. I can wait if you can.

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