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Capri is more or less the place to be at the moment. Designer Michael Kors and Italian cashmere tycoon Sergio Loro Piana and his brother, Pier Luigi, have all been staying at the Grand Hotel Quisisana, along with various members of the Vuitton-lugging group. And Mariah Carey is expected in June for a long stay, so they say. The Regata dei Tre Golfi, a 170-mile sailboat race that began in 1954, was taking place last weekend. Pier Luigi, or “Pigi” to his many friends, captained a crew of 25 on his sailboat, the 83-foot-long My Song, and took first place in real time for the regatta. Miuccia Prada‘s husband, the mad sailor Patrizio Bertelli, and his boat, Ulisse, was signed up for the race, but in the end, didn’t make it. Of course, those not staring at the boats were staring at the fashion show the onlookers provided. Sergio Loro Piana’s wife, Luisa, wore a natty blue and white striped shirt and a navy Windmate bomber jacket lined in the same color cashmere while watching the action from the Ziacanaia, a 101-foot yacht, with close friends, who were all pretty natty themselves.
On Sunday, the action moved from the cliffs of Capri to the hills of Rome for the International Horse Show, which has been held in the Piazza di Siena since 1933. Princess Alessandra Borghese, in a green-and-pink print dress by Etro, and her very closest chum, Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, in a white shirt embroidered with a blue fish by Prada and a navy cashmere sweater, watched the show from Loro Piana’s marquee — Loro Piana being the patron of the Gran Premio Citta di Roma, the traditional closing competition. The two princesses had to leave right after lunch because they were due at the Vatican for a special mass. They are said to be great friends of the new pope, Benedict XVI, who has a house near Gloria’s castle in Germany.
Also enjoying the show from the marquee were the American ambassador to Italy, Mel Sembler, with his daughter, Diane; Princess Pignatelli, in a pale blue hat and a seersucker blazer; Prince and Princess Ruspoli (the prince elegant in an ivory linen suit and hat and the princess chic in a champagne silk shantung pantsuit and a beige hat); Princess Vittoria Windisch Graetz, and Count and Countess Frederici. Countess Frederici was the most extravagantly dressed woman of the day in a blue hat with a white flower, dazzling diamond and sapphire earrings and a white pantsuit on which she clipped two enormous flower pins, one in sapphires, the other in diamonds. Maili Zegna of the clothing clan wore beige linen, Luisa Loro Piana stayed cool in white linen bermudas and her sister-in-law, Laura, wore linen the exact color of ochre. To each her own.
That night, much of the same crowd returned for a spaghettata to witness the spectacular performance of the famous Carosello dei Carabinieri, whose finale included a breathtaking charge of 300 sword-wielding soldiers who galloped down the field aiming at each other. Those Italians.
Guests not staying in their own palazzi checked into the Hassler, the city’s haven for the rich and richer, where every now and then you can bump into everyone from Nicole to Madonna to Tom Cruise. La dolce vita.
If you weren’t among the fans and fashionable ballet superaficionados at American Ballet Theatre’s 65th annual opening-night gala at the Metropolitan Opera, you have only yourself to blame. Because if not, you missed a glittering fete with performances by some of the greatest dancers in the world and a show-stopping tour de force by the one and only Savion Glover, the famous tap dancer like no other.
Caroline Kennedy, in shimmering blue satin by Oscar de la Renta, was the honorary chairman of the evening, following as ever in the footsteps of her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who for years was one of the ABT’s greatest supporters and mentors. One of the most moving of the many moving performances that evening was the pas de deux by Alessandra Ferri, now in her 20th year as a principal dancer with ABT, and Julio Bocca. The applause could be heard for what seemed like a mile away. For the first time at ABT’s opening night in years, the company’s beautiful prima ballerina, Irina Dvorovenko, did not slip into her ballet slippers. She just had a baby two months ago, so, wearing an ivory satin Roberto Cavalli with cascading ruffles, she was content to watch from the wings while her handsome husband, Maxim Beloserkovsky, danced in the Don Quixote suite.
As for the fashion parade, co-chairs Blaine Trump and Susan Fales-Hill wore, respectively, a romantic sea foam vintage Bellville Sassoon and a long black lace Gianfranco Ferre. Other standouts were Tory Burch, in a black embroidered vintage Balmain; Sloan Lindemann Barnett, in pink satin Balmain, and Ines Rivero, in an ice blue satin gown by Oscar de la Renta. Anne Grauso wore a long black-and-white beaded chiffon Nina Ricci, Muffie Potter Aston was in a white beaded gown and a couple of pounds of ostrich feathers by Michael Kors and Emilia Fanjul wore a white silk Oscar de la Renta trimmed in diamantes.
After the performance, there was a dinner for 1,100 guests under the tent at Lincoln Center, which was decorated fantastically by Bill Tansey and with flattering lighting by Bentley Meeker. The underwriters of the evening were Graff jewelers and Northern Trust, with Cole Haan as ABT’s leading benefactor and Countrywide Financial as the national sponsor. Others in the crowd were Lynda Carter and Robert Altman, Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower, Harvey Keitel, Carrie Modine, Joan Rivers, Kelly and Cal Ripken, Natalia Vodianova, Francisco Costa, Blair Husain, the Duchess of York and on and on into the spectacular night.