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Perhaps the most venerable social club in Palm Beach — where venerable is an adjective you hear every five minutes — is the gentleman’s club known as The Coconuts, which has been around for what seems like eons and whose annual New Year’s Eve gala still remains the hottest ticket in town. Not only hot but each year more and more over the top. Early on the gala started with the odd balloon or two and some silly paper hats. Now, the celebration at the Colony Hotel’s pavilion is noted for its glamorous lighting, spectacular scenic effects and the fact that it hauls out a DJ at midnight.

This year Bob Leidy, everybody’s buddy buddy, returns as chairman and this is what he wants this year: “sophisticated Supper Club glamour.” And that’s what he’s getting. Steven Stolman, the fashion designer who has styled this gala for the past seven years, is spreading sparkling silver sequins on the tables and hoisting white bouquets of mylar moons and stars overhead. There will be giant white palm trees à la Elsie de Wolfe and a backdrop of a starry Palm Beach night sky. If that doesn’t get the gang going, the entire room will be bathed in a sexy purple glow. Stolman will try anything.

Also a great big party tent will be pitched by the hotel’s pool, a favorite gathering place for the “cool kids,” who all seem to smoke, which sort of makes them “uncool.” But that’s their problem.

This party has become such a must-go-to (throngs storm the doors at 10:30 after Pauline Pitt’s annual buffet dinner) that now you have to have a numbered ticket to get in, or forget it. Some things never change, though. The Coconuts still form a receiving line, spiffy in their dinner jackets and red boutonnieres. The midnight breakfast is still chicken hash and pancakes and the Neal Smith Orchestra will still play until the balloons — or the guests — drop. So, if you’re in the hood, they’d all be so glad to see you there.

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This story first appeared in the December 22, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Actress Liv Tyler and her husband, Royston Langdon, have decided to name their baby son, born last week, Milo. It took a little longer than they planned because they were expecting a girl. Liv is thrilled that they will be one big happy family this Christmas. She says the baby is so handsome, “I can’t stand it. And he has full lips.” That should make the baby’s rock star grandfather, Steven Tyler, smile. He and Mick Jagger run neck and neck for the biggest lips in rock.

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Get ready to swoon with delight over “Carolina Herrera: Portrait of a Fashion Icon,” the ravishing book of pictures and text by Alexandra Kotur, delineating the remarkable career of the beautiful blonde Venezuelan aristocrat who has made a stunning name for herself in the fashion world since she set out to do that very thing. Some of the foremost photographers in the world have photographed Carolina and her gorgeous family and they’re all there in Kotur’s book, published by Assouline. Carolina, her husband, Reinaldo Herrera, artist Ross Bleckner and author Bob Colacello gave their annual holiday dinner benefiting ACRIA at the fabulous studio of sculptor Stephan Weiss, the late husband of Donna Karan, who cohosted this particular year’s party along with In Style’s Charla Lawhon.

The Stephan Weiss studio is one of those “only in Manhattan” spaces that kept onlookers amazed all night long. Karan had her favorite architect-designer, Dominic Kozinski, paint the cavernous space all white from floor to ceiling, project blue snowflakes all over the room and then suspend blue ice cubes over the 50-foot-long tables decorated with holiday greens and white candles. There were a lot of open jaws, even for that used-to-everything lot.

In the crowd were Brice and Helen Marden, David Salle, Sally and Rufus Albemarle, art dealer Mary Boone, Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa, director Ron Howard’s pretty daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, Douglas Hannant, Derek Lam, Adam Lippes and Matthew Williamson. And not to forget Tiffany Dubin, Patricia Cisneros, Veronica Hearst, Judy and Sam Peabody, Anne McNally and Isabella Rattazzi. Bleckner signed 100 T-shirts bearing his image designed by the advertising world’s Sam Shahid and even that used-to-everything crowd scrambled to buy one.

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You have to love that Scarlett Johansson. At the age of 20, she thinks she has found the secret to ever so many things, including how to deal with her older male co-stars whose average age is 57. She has worked with Bill Murray, Robert Redford, Colin Firth and Sean Connery and says she can help men with their mid-life crisis syndrome. Listen to this: “A young fertile fruitful woman can help them across that bridge.” Oy. She also expresses her interest in younger men. She says of Prince William, “He’s very handsome. I would certainly like to meet him some day. Maybe we could go for cocktails?” Not if she doesn’t keep those big red lips shut.

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Tom Cruise is off to London for the christening of Victoria and David Beckham’s sons, Brooklyn, 5, and Romeo, 2, tomorrow. Elton John and David Furnish will be there too. No truth to the rumors that they will be marrying any time soon, although Elton says it could happen in six months provided the proper laws are passed. They have decided that everything, if it happens, would be done very simply, and forget all that nonsense about having a huge party.

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Paul McCartney says wife Heather Mills talked him into going to a manicurist to get fake nails. After decades of flicking the strings of his guitars, his hands were a mess and Heather suggested  acrylic nails. Paul said no, he couldn’t do that, but he relented and did it on his last tour and he says it works like a dream. Okay, as long as he doesn’t start wearing hair extensions to re-create his original Fab Four do.

<p>Carolina Herrera</p>

Photo By: WWD Staff

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