Stepping Out

A balmy London eve drew Uma Thurman and Sting to The Orangery at Kensington Palace for the opening of Roger Vivier's Sloane Street shop.

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It’s always about the weather in London, and Uma Thurman, Sting and Dita Von Teese arrived at The Orangery at Kensington Palace on an unseasonably balmy evening last Wednesday to fete the opening of the new Roger Vivier boutique on Sloane Street. “The weather’s even better than Paris,” said Bruno Frisoni, Vivier’s creative director, who lauded Londoners’ dedication to fashion. “Whatever the season, you’ll see women in chiffon dresses, no stockings and high heels. In Paris they buy more for function.”

Vivier’s owner Diego Della Valle mingled with guests sipping kir royales on the terrace. Meanwhile, Thurman, who was in town promoting her movie “Prime,” offered her take on the brand. “They can be ubermodern and clean or pretty classic,” said the actress, pointing out two of the many styles on display.

The night before, heavy-hitters gathered at the Royal Albert Hall to raise money for Britain’s biggest children’s charity, the NSPCC. The evening’s organizers, Elizabeth Saltzman and Tracey Emin, went from table to table shaking down guests for pledges. During the auction, David Tang made his wife take off her jewelry and put it under the hammer, while Rolf Sachs offered himself up as a personal guide and chaperone to those bidding for a five-day holiday in St. Moritz.

The crowd included finance titans Arki Busson and Louis Bacon, Thurman, André Balazs, The Countess of Wessex, Jerry Hall, Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Rena Sindi, Joana Schliemann, Saffron Aldridge, Lillian von Stauffenberg, Karen Groos, Nicole Hambro, and Sven and Zoe Ley. Organizers raised nearly $10 million, auctioning lots including a year’s supply of Valentino couture, tickets to the 2008 Olympic Games and a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 sports car.

This story first appeared in the May 16, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Meanwhile, in New York, Veronica Hearst hosted a lunch Monday at her Upper East Side apartment in honor of John Galliano in advance of his Dior cruise presentation, as well as dinner following at The Four Seasons this evening. The intimate gathering included Austin Hearst, Jeff Koons, Diane von Furstenberg, Agnes Gund, Delphine Arnault (who bemoaned that she would not be in New York to see “The Da Vinci Code”), Jacqueline Schnabel, Tinsley Mortimer, Hearst’s daughter, Fabiola Bercasa and a late-in-the-game appearance by Renée Fleming. Beracasa’s long-haired chihuahua, Alfonso, also made a cameo, much to the delight of the bandana-clad Galliano and his pals.

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