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Muffie Potter Aston and the noted plastic surgeon Dr. Sherrell Aston’s long-awaited twins have arrived. Muffie was all dressed and ready to go to her third and final baby shower when her little girls threw her schedule into disarray by arriving 10 days early. Both girls are blonde, blue-eyed and full of sugar and spice, just like their mother. Ashleigh Tatiana, at 4 pounds, 13 ounces, beat her sister into the world by 60 seconds. Bracie Potter weighed in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces. Both girls already have an outfit for every occasion from their first two showers. You know Muffie.
That select set you read about and love had bundles of fun recently escaping New York’s cold weather, jetting or yachting to the beautiful resort Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. A mishmash of glamorous sun-lovers were lured by the wonderful weather, the new marina, any number of restaurants on the plaza, and Pete Dye’s newest 18-hole masterpiece, cunningly called “Dye Fore.”
The festivities kicked off with the Fanjul charity auction — the Fanjuls own Casa de Campo — held at the family’s breathtakingly beautiful villa on the beach, called Casa Grande. The party, sponsored by Cartier USA, attracted more than 500 people, who bid like pros, and the live auction was conducted by none other than sun-kissed George Hamilton, who was staying at his paradise retreat at the resort with his ex-wife and best pal, Alana Stewart. As for the party of the week, it was hosted at the beach by Pepe Fanjul Jr. and his sister, Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler. At least 80 people sat down to dinner, and another 200 arrived for dancing at Casa Grande’s private beach.
Everywhere you looked you saw such as billionaire shopping tycoon Mel Simon and his wife, Bren; designer Kenneth Cole with his family; director Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw (Spielberg is researching the Dominican Republic as a location for a new movie about Cuba); producer Brett Ratner; Lana Forstmann and her children, and Carol and George McFadden, who hosted a birthday bash at the marina’s Bellini Restaurant.
The ever-elegant couple Minnie and Dru Montagu came all the way from London to occupy their house and, from Caracas, Patty and Gustavo Cisneros of the Venezuelan billions also entertained a group of family and friends at their magnificent compound, Casa Bonita. Maria Luisa and Eugenio Mendoza were there, too, preparing for their daughter, Maria Luisa’s wedding this April in Caracas. Of course there were fireworks everywhere, Latin rhythms and nonstop dancing until daybreak. That’s Casa de Campo for you, folks.
Everyone there was thrilled to see the resort’s new luxury residences, called Los Altos de Chavon, located in the quiet little village by the same name. So guests arrived from New York, Miami and Palm Beach to check it out. Later that day, there was a golf tournament and those who didn’t do that shot, rode horses, played tennis or took a helicopter tour of the island. At dinner at the Pepperoni Bar, Alex Rodriguez, pride of the Yankees, was spotted having dinner with his wife. He, George Hamilton and Alana Stewart were all on hand for the cocktail party at Los Altos, which overlooks the Chavon River. Among the others enjoying the view were Peter Som, Pepe and Emilia Fanjul, Alfie Fanjul, Alexandra Lind Rose, Bettina Zilkha, and Miss Universe, Amelia Vega.
Jennifer Aniston says she can’t live in the $13 million mansion that Brad Pitt spent two years renovating. The house includes a nursery that will never be used, at least not by her. She wants to try to work out a settlement so Brad can keep his beloved house. In the meantime, she has been staying with her hairdresser, who, like many in his field, is an expert in consoling distraught clients.
Kate Moss turns 31 on Sunday and she’s planning a flamboyant birthday party at her 10-bedroom estate in the English countryside. Kate’s asking everyone to dress in over-the-top, glam-rock outfits with punk hairdos to help her blow out the candles on her cake. All the close friends, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Sadie Frost and London’s most colorful fashionistas have been invited. This is bound to be an even bigger and louder bash than Kate’s 30th birthday, which had a Twenties theme based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Beautiful and the Damned.” The pals are wondering whether Jefferson Hack, the father of Kate’s two-year-old daughter, will be by her side or if the fickle supermodel will have another date. I can wait if you can.
Because it usually happens that way, the opening night of the Winter Antiques Show on Jan. 20 will probably be miserable, rainy, sleeting, snowing — but wonderful. Not a chance that the meteorological maladies will inspire the city’s social personages to hibernate at home instead. Not a chance. The receiving line on opening night will be a decorative marvel, so they say. Grisaille renderings of the turn-of-the-century facade of the New York Historical Society, which is the site of this year’s lone exhibition, will lure them out, along with Bill Tansey’s boxwood topiaries and white, blossoming branches, enough to create a winter oasis. Opening-night committee co-chairmen Margaret Russell, Elle Decor’s editor in chief, and Joan Young, president of the East Side House Settlement board, will be there to greet one and all.
The chairman of the Winter Antiques Show, Arie Kopelman, along with Gov. and Mrs. George Pataki, this year’s honorary chairmen, and Oscar de la Renta, the honorary vice chairman, will welcome more than 1,100 of what could be described as New York’s gilded set. Among those expected are Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Dixon Boardman, Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis, Robert Couturier, the Edgar Cullmans, Liz and Felix Rohatyn, Allison Cowles and Arthur Sulzberger and Christine and Stephen Schwarzman. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Gems culled from the three supercandid celebs who regaled the audience at The New York Times Arts and Leisure weekend: Hilary Swank confessed, “The year I won the Oscar I earned $3,000. I didn’t even have health insurance.” Whereupon she fell out of her shoes, noting that she was running late that day for a photo shoot and that the shoes were borrowed. “In the end,” she said, “who really cares about what I’m wearing?” Oh, come on.
As for the artist Chuck Close, he recalled a time when he was a student at Yale and his classmate, Richard Serra, walked out of a Frank Stella lecture, calling him a fake and a fraud. Dear Chuck.
At the same event, Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna, began his discussion with an apology to the audience. “I apologize for any incoherence you hear today. It is early and I am afraid I feel like Charlie Rose looks.” (Zing!!!) The 70-year-old Humphries then added, “I had two shows yesterday, which gets more challenging for me as I approach middle age.” Never one to pull punches, he/she gets much naughtier than that when he/she cuts to the bone on stage. But his/her audiences just love him/her.