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The Venezuelan tycoon Gustavo Cisneros is the subject of a trenchant biography that has already sold 250,000 copies in Latin America. Written in Spanish by the noted Chilean journalist Pablo Bachelet with a laudatory foreword by the esteemed writer Carlos Fuentes, the book has been translated into English by Edith Grossman, who recently published a highly regarded translation of “Don Quixote.”
The U.S. publication of “Gustavo Cisneros: Pioneer” was celebrated at a reception for 400 of Gustavo’s fans and friends in the dramatic Atrium of the Museum of Modern Art hosted by such worthies as Gustavo’s beautiful wife Patty Phelps de Cisneros; Glenn Lowry, the museum’s director; Richard Parsons of Time Warner, and Barbara Walters, who spoke, from the podium, of Gustavo’s tremendous business acumen, his great entrepreneurial flair and his vast philanthropies, singing his praises in all keys.
The museum’s fourth and fifth floor galleries were opened especially for the Cisneros’ guests during the party, where the marvelous new paintings and sculpture installations were on display, including a number of works by Latin American artists that Patty, an ardent supporter of cultural initiatives in Venezuela and other countries, recently donated to the museum. (Fuentes calls Patty Gustavo’s “magnificent ally”).
The Cisneros’ three children, Guillermo (with his wife Adriana); Carolina (and her husband Alberto), and Adriana (another Adriana, with her fiancé, the writer Nicholas Griffin) were all there to honor their father. Among the multitudes doing the same were David Rockefeller Sr. and Jr. versions; Robert Hughes, the internationally known art critic; Dr. Valentin Fuster, the famous cardiologist; Lauren and John Veronis; Terry Riley, the chief curator of architecture and design at MoMA; Mary and Tom Lentz, the director of the Harvard University Art Museums; John Richardson, the art historian; Emily Rafferty, the new president of the Metropolitan Museum; Susan (Mrs. Glenn) Lowry; Paula and Dr. Leon Root; Donald Marron; Judith Miller and Jason Epstein; Cesar Trujillo, the former president of Colombia; Glenda Bailey of Harper’s Bazaar; Pablo Bachelet; Mercedes and Sid Bass; Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, who took the photograph of Gustavo on the book’s cover; Mica and Ahmet Ertegun; the Lee Bollingers (he is the president of Columbia University); William F. Buckley Jr.; Pierre Demand; Leonard Lauder; Richard Meier; the one and only Dr. Rees Pritchett and Mrs. Pritchett; Prof. Safwan M. Masri, the vice dean of Columbia Business School; Wendy and Bill Luers, and Moises Kaufman, the Venezuelan playwright and more, more, more.
Bravo, Gustavo! Brava, Patty! Two people of whom it can be said, “They make a difference.”
This story first appeared in the February 23, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
If you’ve heard this before, don’t stop me because I want to hear it again myself. Camilla Parker Bowles, having anointed the design team of Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine to create her wedding dress when she marries Prince Charles on April 8, must remember how much they have helped her develop her own style, since she discovered them in 2001. They designed the cream-colored matching handbag she wore to a charity ball at Somerset House, the bronze and ivory dress she wore to the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the navy velvet sheath with satin panels and sheer sleeves she chose to make an entrance in at the Prince’s Trusts’ Fashion Rocks benefit at Albert Hall in 2003. (Robinson Valentine is also a favorite of Cherie Blair, the British Prime Minister’s wife, you should perhaps know.)
The rumors are that Camilla’s gown will be a simple pastel that may or may not sweep the floor when she meets her prince before God and Country. Her hat, as you probably know by this time, will be designed by the extravagant milliner Philip Treacy, whose masterpieces sometimes rock the room. Philip has been quoted as saying he is honored and delighted to be chosen. You bet your bottom pheasant feather he is.
The Aga Khan is in the middle of what just might be the most expensive divorce in history. It’s all over between him and his 41-year old German wife, the Begum Inaara Aga Khan, who was the former pop singer Gabriele Homey. When they married, a lot of people who know Karem Aga Khan well wondered, why her.
Well, wonder no more. The conjecture in European fleshpots (don’t you love that word?) is that the breakup was the result of the 68-year-old Karem’s close relationship with one Helene Michaut, described as 20, French and gorgeous and conveniently, one of the stewardesses on his three private planes.
Photographers snapped the two of them walking hand in hand on a deserted beach, Helene in a skimpy bikini —but there’s another kind?
She has also been a frequent guest on Karem’s multi-million dollar yacht. Fine, as long as she doesn’t get seasick.
The Aga Khan is said to be worth several billion dollars and his first wife walked away with a bundle plus staggering jewelry, which she later sold. So who knows what Homey will take homey — I mean home — this time.
Kate Winslet will carry a $100,000 matte silver alligator clutch by Lana Marks to the Oscars. The handbag’s frame is studded with 40 carats of diamonds and sapphires to complement her vintage gown. So if you miss her, you’ll see her anyhow. As for Drew Barrymore, she’ll slither down the red carpet with Marks’ skinny alligator Concorde clutch in hand. It has just enough room for her cell phone, lip gloss and a little mad money.
There are those in Madrid who are saying that Penélope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey will marry there in July. Then again, there are those in Madrid, as well as in New York, who will say anything. If they do wed, she’d better wear something gauzy — Madrid in July is hotter than Penélope and Matthew put together.