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The wedding of Alexandra Bernard Peltz and Clifford Stuart Gelb took place at an intimate ceremony with family and friends at a private club in New York. The bride, beautiful and petite, wore a gown designed by Hervé Pierre of Bill Blass, an ivory double face duchess satin strapless gown with a corseted bodice, a train à tournure, a white floral guipure bolero and an ivory tulle chapel length veil. She carried a bouquet of gardenias, one of her favorite flowers, and radiant was the word for her.
For the two matrons of honor, the bride’s sister Perri Peltz Ruttenberg and sister-in-law Debra Peltz, Pierre made fawn-colored silk faille ball skirts with pleated taffeta petticoats and coral taffeta blouses with inset pleats. The four little boy ringbearers were in cocoa taffeta trousers, cream silk shirts and burnt orange sashes. The two little flower girls wore dresses of burnt orange taffeta with lace trim and cocoa taffeta cumberbunds and carried baskets of flowers.
The mother of the bride, Lauren Veronis, wore a geranium silk twill draped dress with side gathering and chiffon insets designed by Pierre and Lars Nilsson. The decor by Robert Isabell was beautiful and simple, and simply beautiful, just as the bride wished. The pillars and the staircase of the club were entwined in garlands of greens and gardenias, and the dining room tables were covered with Edwardian striped cloths and centered with pots of coral and orange flowers.
Everyone dined on white truffle risotto with wild mushrooms, rack of lamb and chilled soup of elderflower and quince. Gypsy violins played during cocktails and Hank Lane and his orchestra played for the dancing. The wedding cake, made by Cile Burbidge, was almost an exact replica of the one she did for the bride’s mother 20 years ago. It’s the only way, really.
Athina Onassis will turn 18 on Jan. 29, the day she begins inheriting the income from almost $2 billion. On that very day, she will also become a target for fortune hunters like her mother before her, the late Christina Onassis, the only daughter of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who was once married to Jackie Kennedy.
Athina, who lives in Switzerland, with her father, Thierry Roussel, is a world class showjumper who hopes to compete for Greece in the Olympics in Athens in 2004. She boards and trains her million-dollar horses at a farm outside Brussels. As it happens, so does handsome 29-year-old Brazilian Olympic showjumper Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto, so it’s not such a surprise that the two have hit it off and are always together on and off the jumping circuit, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the prying eyes of the press.
Athina’s father keeps a close eye on this girl, who was dubbed the “richest girl in the world” after her mother’s lonely death in Buenos Aires in 1988, when Athina was three, a year after Christina divorced Roussel. Daddy doesn’t want Athina to do anything foolish, like getting married yet if he can help it. May she be luckier in love than her mother, who was notoriously said to have paid Roussel $5,000 a day to be by her side and — this is a fact — offered him a fortune if he would have another child by her. He said, “No.”
The Museum Ball, the American Museum of Natural History’s biggest annual benefit, was a huge success, which made everyone very happy, especially the co-chairs, Roger Altman and Ghigurate Kazickas, Roland and Lois Betts, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols and Constance and Stephen Spahn. For the big show, the museum was swathed in blazing crimson autumnal hues. At least 400 guests ascended the steps of the main Central Park West entrance to the reception in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda decorated in shades of amber, red and yellow, setting the hall and the tall Barosaurus aglow. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a heavy lizard aglow.
Dinner was in the magnificent Rose Center’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe, where the guests danced to the 12-piece Starlight Orchestra. Under the hand of Bill Tansey, the hall was transformed into a lush romantic Victorian garden at sunset filled with blood-red black magic roses, Dutch hydrangeas and spray roses, all setting the stage for a romantic evening spent in the “center of the universe” with the spectacular Hayden Sphere and the Rose Center’s dazzling planets hanging overhead.
The Museum Ball’s co-chairwomen Diane Sawyer wore an off-the-shoulder cashmere creation and Connie Spahn wore an Akris burgundy velvet strapless dress with a taffeta skirt and a matching stole. The evening raised more than $1.1 million to be added to the museum’s coffers.
On behalf of the Tibet House board of directors and honorary chairmen, Uma Thurman, an honorary chairman along with Ethan Hawke and Alex von Furstenberg are inviting you and you and you to the 13th annual Tibet House Benefit at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 28. Philip Glass is the artistic director of the unique concert — it has become a New York happening — and to date David Bowie, Ziggy Marley, Rufus Wainwright and the Drepung Gomang monks have said they’ll be there. Watch for the Drepung monks. Something you wouldn’t ever want to miss.
After the performance, invited guests will repair to the Roseland Ballroom for a buffet dinner party to celebrate the Tibetan New Year, the Year of the Water Sheep. Happy Water Sheep New Year!
Kimberly Rockefeller, whose husband Steven’s grandmother Abby Aldrich Rockefeller was a founder of the YWCA, joined Hartley duPont and Constance Tate to lead the applause when Ruth Reichl received the organization’s Morrow Award for women of achievement at the Marriot Marquis. Cynthia Lufkin, Debbie Bancroft and Joanne de Guardiola were among the ladies who lent their support.
Hilary Geary and Wilbur Ross are around the town together these nights. She’s freshly divorced from Peter Green and he’s divorced, not so freshly, from Betsy McCaughey after a lot of Sturm und Drang.