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That adorable royal couple, Viscount and Viscountess Linley — Queen Elizabeth is the Viscount’s auntie — flew in from London for a few fun-filled, action-packed days in New York, including all the Burberry hoopla — the big store opening, the Vanity Fair party, etc. David and Serena, as the Linleys are known for short, were the reason Blaine and Robert Trump gave a little welcoming party at RSVP, the cozy little upstairs restaurant right across the street from Swifty’s, where if you can squeeze in 28 people, bully for you.
All those names you know and love and read about were tickled to be there, laughing and gossiping and eating roast chicken and chocolate soufflé and staring at Serena, who looked like a Dresden doll in a striped Missoni knit dress of many colors with a fetching V-neck. The hostess wore an Anna Molinari flesh pink sweater set trimmed in fur and chocolate brown pants, and Hilary Geary was in gold with diamond clips. If you have them, flaunt them.
In the jolly crowd: Ruth Kennedy, aka Lady Dundas, in a black pantsuit; Carolina Herrera in a dark blue velvet pantsuit by Carolina Herrera; Cece Cord; the brilliant husband-and-wife dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Belotserkovsky in Calvin Klein; Calvin Klein also wearing, surprise, Calvin Klein; Rena Sindi; Joan Collins and Percy Gibson; Susan Fales-Hill in a beaded gray flannel jacket; Tory Burch; Serena Boardman with her sister Samantha’s ex-beau Todd Meister (there are only so many to go around); Matthew Modine, and others too overexposed to mention.
Did you know Joan Collins and Matthew Modine are kicking around the idea of doing Tennessee Williams’ famous play “Sweet Bird of Youth” together? What a dazzling combo —Joan as the man-eating, past-her-prime actress Alexandra Del Lago, and Matthew as her tragic younger lover. Let’s hear it for those sweet birds.
Notes from the UK: The fall season is in full swing in England and Scotland, and Princess Arriana zu Hohenlohe, now known on three continents as Arriana Boardman since her big wedding to New York financier Dixon Boardman two summers ago in Spain at her father Prince Alfonso zu Hohenlohe’s Marbella Club, slipped on Oscar de la Renta’s white lace top and black pencil skirt to give a birthday party earlier this week for dashing Dixon at Marx Club in London. Arriana invited 30 of their friends from around the world including the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Cornelia Guest wearing a navy blue cocktail dress with a sable collar by Bill Blass, Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jane Churchill, Patty and Gustavo Cisneros, Lita and George Livanos, Sally and David Metcalf, Terry Allen Kramer and Nan Kempner (her again and again and again) in a black lace dress by Valentino.
Also there were Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, on their way to a shoot in Madrid. No presents were allowed for Dixon but there were lots of amusing toasts such as how many birds — as in pheasants and partridges — were bagged at Annick, the magnificent family pile of the Duke of Northumberland, which is rife with Canalettos and assorted Old Masters.
Arriana keeps talking about her renewed love of riding and her adoration of her new horse, Baby. She told Cornelia, who keeps her horses at Redding outside London and who’s no slouch in the saddle herself, that she was looking for a second horse. May she find one. Cornelia will be home at the end of the month to have Thanksgiving and to celebrate her birthday with her mother, C.Z. Guest, at Templeton, their estate in Old Westbury.
The one and only Christian Lacroix, couturier extraordinaire, was the guest of honor at the French Institute Alliance Française Trophée des Arts dinner dance at the Pierre where he had the plaisir of seeing so many lovely women filling the ballroom all wearing Lacroix as Christian was the first to notice.
“Even in France” he said with his melting charm, “the women didn’t look this elegant.” Fé Fendi and Valesca Guerrand-Hermès were not dressed à la Croix, but if you think a minute, with those last names, you know the reason why.
In his spontaneous heartfelt speech, Lacroix said: “It all began for me in New York — television, books, media, that’s the reason why I feel inspired.” (Did I mention melting charm?)
Among the Lacroix-clad ladies were Cécile Zilkha, her darling daughter Bettina, Olivia Flatto and Jamee Gregory. The Pierre’s new chef, Gerard Madani, prepared a grand bouffe of terrine de chevre, tournedos rossini, and poached quince millefeuille, and Hank Lane and his orchestra kept the floor packed until almost minuit.
You will be thrilled to learn that the Library Lions dinner at the New York Public Library brought in $1.3 million to support the library’s book budget, which can stand all the support it can get. The evening was a terribly grand gala with guests mingling in the Astor Hall for cocktails before sweeping in to dine in the Celeste Bartos Forum. L’Olivier decorated Astor Hall with 15-foot tall arrangements of sunflowers, maple branches and cascading grass. This creation was much admired by such stalwart library supporters as Louise and Henry Grunwald, Sue and Donald Newhouse, Marion and Andrew Heiskell, the eminent publisher Sonny Mehta and 495 others. Glorious Food fed the multitudes.