The invitation everyone in Los Angeles, New York and all points of the compass is dying to receive is for the presentation of the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to the Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani on March 8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Nancy Reagan herself will present the award on this very special evening, Merv Griffin is the master of ceremonies and the entertainment is being described as “extraordinary.” Rudy will join a list of such former recipients as Mikhail Gorbachev, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, King Hussein I, Bob Hope, Lady Thatcher and the Reverend Billy Graham.
Just where he belongs.
Valentino’s surprise birthday party for his partner Giancarlo Giammetti at the Serpentine Gallery in London was a hit-hit-hit and a hoot-hoot-hoot. The theme was “Dress Pop” inspired by Andy Warhol, the pop of Pop Art, so the big tent at the Serpentine was a cross between Andy’s Factory and Studio 54, its black velvet walls covered with multicolored Warhol images. The food was, of course, Italian, pasta with truffles and mozzarella, passion fruit mousse and a big chocolate birthday cake. Everyone danced like anything till 12:30 a.m. when they had to leave. The gallery is located in Kensington Gardens, and it’s a rule that you can’t stay in a royal location after midnight. (Valentino and his winning ways got the time extended a half hour).
Lily Safra was there wearing vintage Valentino from the Seventies. Nati Abascal turned heads in a sexy wig, Georgina Brandolini wore Day-Glo colors, Marina Palma was ever so Studio 54 and Cornelia Guest was a vision in a wine-colored Badgley Mischka. As for David Furnish, he wore blue jeans emblazoned with the Union Jack. Cool, I guess. Rupert Everett, Tom Ford, Richard Buckley and Tim Jeffries all brightened their little corners. Joan Collins was there with her husband-to-be, Percy Gibson, and Arki Busson was there alone, because model Elle MacPherson, the mother of his child, to whom he has just become engaged, was off skiing in Switzerland. Giancarlo, the birthday boy, wore a Warhol-esque wig and big black shades and looked more Warhol than Warhol. (How did he know to dress like that if the party was a surprise?)
Alannah Weston is a new name in New York young social circles, and she’s just as lovely as her name. Priscilla Rattazzi Whittle’s “at home” for Alannah was a mix of bright young things and earnest, energetic achievers. I mean, you could just feel the earnest, energetic vibes. They were all there to celebrate “The Beach,” an exhibition of photography Alannah is presenting at the Gallery in Windsor, Fla., the exclusive and remarkably beautiful resort founded and owned by her parents, Hilary and Galen Weston, who flew from Toronto to be at Priscilla’s party. You all remember the Westons. Hilary is the lieutenant governor of Ontario, and Galen is the Canadian food tycoon. One look, and you know where Alannah got her good looks.
In the crowd: Coco Brandolini; Alex Von Furstenberg; Carolina Herrera; Kelly Klein; the Olivier Berggruens; Patricia Duff; Eric Fischl (whose work is included in “The Beach” exhibition); Bettina von Hase, who curated the exhibit along with Alannah; art historian Robert Rosenblum; Priscilla’s husband, the scholar and innovator Christopher Whittle, and dozens of others more or less like them.
The royal wedding of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, 34, and Argentine beauty Maxima Zorreguieta, 30, last weekend in Amsterdam was everything everyone’s little royal-loving heart desired. The ceremony in the romantic 15th-century New Church was crowded with more than 70 members of the world’s royal families including the Prince of Wales and Queen Noor of Jordan, who may not hold the sway she used to in that country — the beautiful young Queen Rania has more than taken her place — but is a stunning woman who still has an important presence there and abroad.
After the wedding reception, the newlyweds flew to London to see Maxima’s parents, Jorge Zorreguieta and Carmen Cerruti, who were not invited to the wedding, daddy having been involved in an ugly political scandal in Argentina, land of ugly political scandals. So after greeting her parents, the bride and groom disappeared on a “secret” honeymoon. But, tell me, how can you keep that kind of secret? Especially if you are the crown prince and princess of a 450-year-old dynasty who have just had 50,000 of your countrymen wave at you as you passed by in your golden wedding carriage? (The same carriage that was a gift presented in 1898 to the groom’s great-grandmother, the redoubtable Queen Wilhelmina). The answer is you can’t.
So it’s no surprise they’ve been found out, skiing down the slopes in St. Moritz. Next, friends say, they’ll fly to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics. Cold noses, warm hearts. Or is that cold noses, warm nights?
The New York Public Library is lionizing its Young Lions doubletime for their valuable, young support of the wonderful New York treasure trove that has no trouble pulling in the older lions but loves to see the cubs around, too. The Young Lions Spring Benefit is set for April 25, and they’re calling it “What a Glorious Evening! The Magic of Movie Musicals.” Can we wait? The co-chairs of the evening are Belle Burden Davis, Hannah Griswold, Emily Allen, Eliza Reed Bolen, Jacqueline Pugh and Stacy Wiener. On March 20, the Library will present its Young Lions Fiction Award, a $10,000 prize for a writer. Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke will be around for that one.
Then, on June 10, the Library will honor Jean-Marie Messier at its Corporate Dinner for his achievements in international business and his leadership in corporate citizenship. You all remember Jean-Marie Messier. He’s the chairman and ceo of Vivendi Universal and a darling of the financial pages. So far.
The American Friends of Sadler’s Wells are requesting the pleasure of the company of their many, many friends at a Gala Dinner Dance on Feb. 20, a major benefit at the River Club for this famous London ballet company. The company is proud of its new state-of-the-art theater in London where the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will appear in June, and proceeds from the River Club evening will support that presentation. Lady Solti will be the guest of honor — she is the governor of Sadler’s Wells and the widow of the renowned conductor Sir Georg Solti — and Michael Carney and his orchestra will play for the dancers and the dancing. Black tie, of course.