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Sophia Loren, in a black beaded gown with a plunging neckline (as always), sheer off-the-shoulder sleeves and a blinding diamond necklace and earrings arrived arm-in-arm with Giorgio Armani for the grand reopening of La Scala, the legendary theater, which has always been considered opera’s spiritual home. Of course, it’s not all that spiritual when enraged audiences have been known to fling comestibles at the singers when they don’t like what they’re hearing, but never mind all that. La Scala has just been renovated at a cost of $77 million, and among those admiring its beauty at the opening were King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway; Prince Emanuele Filiberto and his wife, the former French actress Clotilde Courau, and Italy’s flamboyant Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. They led the 12 minutes of applause and 15 curtain calls for Maestro Riccardo Muti and the cast after their performance of Antonio Salieri’s “Europa Riconosciuta,” the piece that first opened the opera house in 1778 and had not been performed since, for whatever reason. This is the second time La Scala has been restored. It was destroyed by a bomb during World War II and reopened in 1946 with a concert under the baton of the world-famous director Arturo Toscanini.

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Muffie Potter Aston and her husband, Dr. Sherrell Aston, the noted plastic surgeon, didn’t have to go to a baby-naming book to decide what to name their twin daughters, who are officially expected in the middle of January. They decided to name the little ones Ashleigh Tatiana and Bracie Potter Aston. Tatiana is Muffie’s mother’s name and Bracie is Sherrell’s mother’s maiden name, so it’s all in the family. When the twins come, they won’t have to worry about being lavishly outfitted, judging from the gifts Muffie received at the first of three baby showers. Anne Hearst, Blaine Trump, Lynn Wyatt, Carolyne Roehm, Vera Wang, Anne Eisenhower-Flottl, Cece Cord, Daisy Soros, Karen LeFrak, Shirley Lord Rosenthal, Torunn Berge, Soffia Wathne, Susan Hess, Phyllis George, Julia Koch, Cynthia Lufkin, Faye Wattleton, Lyn Revson, Coco Kopelman, Grace Meigher and the twins’ maternal grandmother all came laden with pink cashmere baby outfits, sterling silver rattles, cups, spoons and whatever else babies can put in their mouths or throw around the room.

This story first appeared in the December 10, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Georgette Mosbacher’s far-flung Fifth Avenue apartment was the site of the shower, which was cohosted by Beth Dozoretz, the big Democratic fund-raiser. But let’s hasten to add the party was 100 percent bipartisan.

Georgette herself wore a pink cashmere top and pink shantung trousers, and scattered throughout the apartment was what looked like every last pink blossom on the planet. 

Want to know what they ate? Well, anyhow, the buffet table was centered with a towering gingerbread castle, with a little baby Noah’s Ark of stuffed kangaroos, lions, monkeys, giraffes, zebras and bears — each mother with a little baby in its pouch or arms. Now don’t tell me that isn’t cute. Muffie wore Oscar de la Renta’s pale gray pinstripe suit with a mink collar and told one and all that she has just put the finishing touches on the twins’ nursery, a bower of robin’s egg blue, creamy white and pink. 

“Auntie” Georgette made Muffie promise to let her have Ashleigh and Bracie’s first birthday party at her house, and you will be thrilled to hear that the twins will be getting their second shower, hosted by a cornucopia of pals — including Maria Cuomo Cole, Felicia Taylor and Susan Fales-Hill — at the Four Seasons next week. Catch me, I’m falling.

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Christian Lacroix, the most brilliant of designers and one that I love, has written his autobiography, which details the intimate years of his childhood in Arles in the Fifties. The name of the book is “Qui est là?” and it has just been published in France, and the designer has been talking to publishers in America. Those who’ve seen the galleys are comparing it with something of a Greek tragedy, mainly because of his recounting of family suicides and his grandfather’s bizarre methods of trying to teach him to fight. “When I was very little, my grandfather once took me to a local gypsy neighborhood and pushed me in the middle of the gang, saying, ‘Start a fight and then try and defend yourself,’” says Lacroix. Of the actually writing, he says, “It was not a gentle therapy, because I wanted to talk about what was very personal for me, but I didn’t want to expose that part of my life completely, either.” May we hope a sequel is on the way?

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Jamee Gregory slipped into a white lace blouse by Chloé and a black caviar-beaded coat to greet 400 guests at the Boy’s Club of New York’s preview party for the Wendy Antiques & Design show at the Park Avenue Armory. She was the honorary chairman, and among the connoisseurs she welcomed were Carroll Petrie, in a lilac suit with a matching fur collar, and such young collectors as Harrison LeFrak, Melissa Berkelhammer and Amanda Meigher. Naturally, Jamee invited all 400 of them to the signing of her glamorous coffee table book, “New York Apartments,” at Bergdorf Goodman on Dec. 18. When a girl writes a book, the idea is the girl’s got to sell the book.

At the Armory, Muffy Miller, who can never get enough of things Venetian, bought an exquisite 18th-century Venetian chest, and Hilary and Wilbur Ross placed the winning bid on Philip Baloun’s elegant topiary Christmas tree. You will be tickled to hear the night raised more than $100,000.

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Kate Winslet will be the voice of a cute little sewer rat named Rita in a new animated rags-to-riches comedy called “Flushed Away.” Hugh Jackman will play the voice of an upper-class rat who lives in a penthouse until he is flushed down the porcelain convenience and forced into a life of poverty.  But never mind all that, because he finds true love with Rita, a rat with a heart of gold. No one will say who inspired this story, but if it isn’t funny, tough box office for them.

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Interior designer Lisa Jackson will celebrate Christmas at home at her Park Avenue apartment with such guests as Sally and Rufus Albemarle, Tory Burch, Tiffany and Louis Dubin, Bettina Zilkha and Dominique Browning. On the other hand, downtown on Elizabeth Street, Richard Mishaan will open the new outpost of his home furnishings boutique, Homer, followed by a hot meal at the Kitchen Club with such pals as Pamela Fiori and Jane Pauley, whose New York penthouse he’s just signed on to design.

<p>Coco Kopelman</p>

Photo By: WWD Staff

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