A Little of This and a Lot of That: Sick of models and news about models? Too bad. They’re around to stay. When the older ones check out, new ones check in. The smart ones don’t dance on tables, don’t make out in public and save their money. As for the current crop: Jennifer Flavin, Sylvester Stallone’s ex, and Debbie Dickinson, sister of Janice Dickinson, the mother of Stallone’s child, modeled side by side on the runway at fashion and jewelry designer Maria Snyder’s Bryant Park show. All was not warm and fuzzy, but come on.
Debbie cooled off later in the dressing room where a photographer from a French magazine convinced her to take everything off for some pictures he was doing of her, explaining in broken English that ze panties take away from ze symmetry of ze photographs. How do you say ze snake oil in French? Meanwhile, the model Roshumba, also in the dressing room, yelled at the male editors and photographers skulking about, “This is not a peep show — get the hell out!” And they did. Hail, Roshumba!
As for the lovely Maria Snyder, maybe her romance with Michael Mailer hasn’t cooled, just been off the burner for a while. Mailer’s been in Los Angeles for the last few months writing “The Butcher Store,” a movie about boxing he’s trying to get papa Norman to direct, but papa is a busy man. Whatever, at Maria’s party after her show, there was Michael, all smiles and superlatives about the show. The two even indulged in a bit of public display of affection. Thank you for that.
Shakira and Michael Caine are in New York for a whirlwind few days, Michael to hit the talk shows in conjunction with his just-completed NBC miniseries, “World War II: When Lions Roared” (Michael plays Josef Stalin, of all cuties), while the lovely Shakira hit the Donna Karan show. They both hit Jackie Mason’s “Politically Incorrect” Broadway show, which has audiences hysterical with laughter and rolling on the floor. Today, Michael leaves for Florida to search for a Sunshine State residence, where he and Shakira can bask and bathe in the sea without benefit of ze paparazzi.
Serena (Mrs. Neil) Balfour, the smashing half-American, half-British blonde who is the Duke of Marlborough’s niece, and the great-granddaughter of the mighty American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, just doesn’t sit around London looking decorative. Among her good works, she is the founder of the “Friends of Warsaw” Foundation, sponsors of a Warsaw weekend beginning June 24 whose aim is to raise money for the Ex Animo Hospital for Children with Cancer, woefully inadequate to support the many needy children separated from their parents and fearful of their fate. “Friends of Warsaw” also hopes to establish “Help the Aged” centers in Poland — and if, in the process, they can encourage tourism and promote Polish products, so much the better.
Guests have been invited from around the world — the U.S., France, England, Spain, Italy, Portugal — for the first time ever to spend this Warsaw weekend visiting country houses and palaces, having meals and listening to music there and attending the first ball in the Royal Castle since before the war. There will be a festival in the Park with the best of Polish crafts on display and dinner in the Old Square. Those invited will stay at the Bristol, comparable to the George V in Paris or at the very modern Marriott. And, dear ladies and kind gentlemen, extra expert pressers have been hired for the night, just to get you in shape for the ball. Many ball gowns will be made for the big party by Tomasz Starzewski in London, but Serena Balfour herself will wear an Oscar de la Renta. Hairdressers will be flown in from London and Paris to fluff up or pin up. Among those expected are Van Zuylens, Radziwills, d’Ornanos, Poniatowskis, Rothschilds, Yturbes, Kempners, Lanvins, Kents, royals and non-royals, most of the Polish old guard, the Polish government and ambassadors to burn.
Maryll and Bernard Lanvin are giving a big luncheon in their chateau outside Paris the weekend before Warsaw and, on June 26, Lita Livanos is marrying Giorgios Vardinoyannis in a big church wedding in London, so guests invited to both weekends and the wedding can continue their celebrations. (The original dates of the Warsaw fete were July 9, 10 and 11, but dates were changed for security reasons because of President Clinton’s visit to Warsaw on July 12. First things first. I guess.)
Kenneth Jay Lane, the fantasy jewelry designer, has said he’s going to Warsaw, too, and then may just take in Prague to see some swell castles and some swell friends. Among the swell friends at the buffet for Mercedes and Sid Bass at his luxe apartment were such as Robert Silvers, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Boaz Mazor, Mary McFadden, Patricia Patterson, Gil Shiva, Chessy Rayner, Judy Taubman, Linda Wachner, Barbara Walters, Oatsie Charles, Vivian Duffield and Jocelyn Stevens, Betsy Bloomingdale, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Florence Grinda of Paris, Countess Marina Cicogna, lovely Lorna de Wangen and, from Texas, where the Basses bloom, Dennis Holahan, Ann and Edward Hudson Jr. and Peter Flagg.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are now off sunning in splendor on Fisher Island in Florida with their children, Prince Frederick of Kent and Princess Gabriella of Kent, and their friends Barbara and William Tapert along for the ride. But before the Kents managed to get away from it all, they were the guests of honor at a dinner given by Emelia and Pepe Fanjul of all that sugar at their beautiful villa in Palm Beach. The cream of the crop was there, including the renowned Gen. Vernon Walters, the consummate American diplomat, Percy Steinhart, Carroll Petrie of New York, Aimee de Heeren and her daughter and son-in-law, Christina and John Noble, Cristina Goldsmith, Eles and Warry Gillet, Lou Gartner, Jane and Guilford Dudley, Noreen and Johnny Drexel, Edward Cook and, last but not least, the press tycoon Conrad Black and his fascinating wife, Barbara Amiel. La bella Emelia looked bella in a floaty chiffon Oscar de la Renta print. His clothes get around almost as much as he does.
Before we finish with the Kents — until next year, maybe — let’s just say that Lee Thaw’s dinner for them in her elegant duplex apartment on Park brought out the blue bloods as well as the red. The charming Prince and Princess Michael of Greece and Denmark (not to be confused with the Kents) were there, as were Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, looking absolutely beautiful; Prince Pierre d’Arenbergs; Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia; Archduke and Archduchess Geza von Hapsburg; Marina Galesi, Countess Teresa von Kagenech; Countess Marina Cicogna; Barbara and William Tapert; Bea and Randolph Guthrie; Anne Bass with Julian Lethbridge; Khalil Rizk; William Lieberman; Ashton Hawkins; John Richardson; Kenneth Jay Lane; Gil Shiva; Reinaldo Herrera; Alex Gregory; Victor Shafferman; John Leboutillier; Jean Vanderbilt; Marilyn McCully; Deeda Blair; Eleanor Lambert; Didi d’Anglejan, and Nan Kempner. Lee Thaw wore a a tissue lamÄ a la Bakst by Oscar de la Renta. His clothes get around almost as much as he does. Or did I say that already? I don’t care if you don’t.