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Suzy

The Bush nieces, Lauren and Ashley, pick their inaugural dresses ... Pole dancing, the latest craze ... On the market for a cool $17.9 million.

Lauren Bush, President Bush’s niece, is just back from Australia, where she spent her semester abroad studying art history and anthropology at the University of Sydney. Lauren, an Elite model, did a shoot for Australian Vogue just before she left and, showing she has a serious side, stopped off in Sri Lanka on her way home on behalf of the U.N. World Food Program, whose mission is to bring awareness of how Americans can continue to help the victims of the tsunami.

Naturally, Lauren will be attending Uncle George’s inaugural festivities with her 16-year-old sister, Ashley, who’s been studying acting in New York. Lauren went straight from the airport to Peter Som and Ralph Lauren to pick out the perfect outfits to wear to the inauguration, the balls and the party that her cousins, Jenna and Barbara, are giving. As for sister Ashley, she will go to Diane von Furstenberg and Holly Kristen for her dresses. Those young Bush ladies certainly know their minds. That’s no news. It runs in the family.

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Move over, yoga and Pilates, the latest exercise craze in certain circles is pole dancing. Lucy Liu does it and Natalie Portman took lessons while preparing for her part in “Closer.” This tempted her co-stars, Jude Law and Clive Owen, to try it. Jude was hooked immediately and started taking lessons. “It’s the de rigueur style of exercise now in London, and it’s very good for the upper thigh and the deltoid,” says the “Alfie” star, who plans to install one in the house he will share with his bride-to-be, Sienna Miller. It’s a little early to remark that the family that poles together, stays together, but at least they’ll always have those lovely upper thighs and deltoids.

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Anne Slater’s grand and glorious Fifth Avenue apartment — it’s as glamorous as she is, all 17 rooms of it — is now for sale for $17.9 million. It’s the perfect place to give a party. It may be too big for Anne now, but when she was married to the late Denniston Slater, their parties and their guests were the talk of the town. Any town. Through its marble portals and stunning spaces passed some of the creamiest of international society. And it was there that Bill Buckley enchanted the Duke and Duchess of Windsor by playing the guitar and singing love songs in Spanish. But the most fascinating guest of all was Rosie, a very big, very white bear who, hearing a smashing party was going on chez Slater, dropped in with his trainer. One of them had a bottle of a beer and one of them wet the floor. God knows how many chic parties Rosie was invited to after that. She got to be quite the social climber, but drunk or sober, she was always a lady.

This story first appeared in the January 19, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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You’ve probably seen all the dresses the stars wore to the Golden Globes and noticed that Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron and Clint Eastwood’s wife, Dina Ruiz, and daughter, Kathryn, who was this year’s Miss Golden Globe, were all shimmering in $10 million worth of diamonds from Chopard. The other dazzling news is that Teri Hatcher and Mariska Hargitay found themselves sitting next to each other having pedicures at The Rescue Beauty Salon the day before the show. Mariska said, “We had pedicures at this wonderful place and we both won, so I think it was a magic pedicure.” Really, darling, a magic pedicure? What next?

Anyhow, Teri is doing the right thing by donating the silver Donna Karan dress she wore to accept her Best Comedy Actress award to a foundation called Clothes Off Our Back, which is having an auction for victims of the tsunami.

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The Associates Committee of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will kick off its 14th Annual Bunny Hop at Scalamandre, the home of some of the world’s most luxurious fabrics. This happens on Jan. 26, and among those expected are the society’s president, Coco Kopelman; Tory Burch; Nicole Limbocker; Joanne de Guardiola; Jennifer Creel; Rachel Hovnanian; Jamee Gregory, and this year’s co-chairs, Courtney Moss, Katie Colgate and Alexandra Mandis. The main event is set for The American Girl Place on Fifth Avenue on March 8 and will feature a magic act, computer games and a parade of storybook characters including Peter Rabbit, Pikachu and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Fun, fun, fun.

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The whispers that Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake got engaged in L.A. after Cameron was seen showing off a huge diamond ring on the third finger of her left hand are rapidly turning into a roar. This is not to say that the bauble couldn’t be a friendship ring, but now the rumor is she is asking one of her favorite designers, David Jet Black Horse, to create a short white leather Native American wedding dress with beading that she wants to accessorize with white moccasins. The reasoning behind this idea is that Cameron’s mother, Billie, is of Native American descent. What will they think of next?

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Here’s Mischa Barton on being beautiful: “It kind of irritates me that I’m seen as this pretty face. People also say I’m too thin. The truth is, pretty people aren’t as accepted as other people. It comes with all these stigmas. It’s like, ‘She’s pretty and thin so she’s got to have problems. She must be anorexic or depressed or bitchy.’ It doesn’t help that my ‘O.C.’ character is a pretty girl next door who looks like she has everything but is totally messed up.” Got that, everybody?

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Nicole Kidman is leaving California next week to go home to Australia. She starts work next month on the love story “Eucalyptus” opposite Russell Crowe, who has to pass Nicole’s fictional father’s test of naming every variety of eucalyptus tree he has planted on his farm in New South Wales in order to win her hand. Both stars will accept the minimum wage of $570 a week to help Australia’s deteriorating movie industry. But if “Eucalyptus” is a hit, the stars will get a percentage of the profits.

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Maggie Norris, who dresses some of Hollywood’s most beautiful stars, including Sharon Stone, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston, presented her spring collection of ballgowns, corsets and riding jackets at Bergdorf Goodman Jan. 13. Maggie has just returned from showing the collection at a benefit for The Animal Hospital of the Palm Beach Zoo. Everyone was there, including those two ladies who are considered the town’s most elegant cats. No names, please.

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