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Lyn Revson, practically best dressed from birth (OK, maybe not that long), in the Best Dressed Hall Of Fame for years, known for her Norells and ballgowns by Balmain, knew just what to take with her when she went to spend a week in the Mexican countryside: eight Mexican dresses from her collection of 20 — made in Mexico by Mexicans, white cotton long-to-the-floor and hand-embroidered in brilliant colors —a little Chinese scuff sparkling with sequins, bathing suits from Eres, straw hats from Provence and, of course, jeans to wear with little tops and sweaters to dinner at Pablo’s.
Pablo’s? Wait a minute. Lyn wasn’t off on some touristy trip to Mexico, where she’d been many times before. She flew to Merida in Yucatan to stay with Paula Cusi, the Mexican heiress and art collector formerly married to the late billionaire Mexican media mogul Emilio Azcarraga. Paula magnificently restored a vast hacienda in the nearby village of San Bernardino to its former glory and then some. She has worked on the great house with its soaring ceilings and six enormous bedrooms for two years, and the results are staggeringly beautiful.
This story first appeared in the October 11, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The hacienda is painted yellow, its original color, and sits in the center of 500 acres with beautiful gardens tended by 20 gardeners. All vegetables consumed in the house are grown on the property, and Paula’s chef, ça va, fans say, is French. The food is fabulous.
There are two swimming pools stretching to infinity for guests’ delectation, and a chapel open to the sky was built by Paula for their spiritual needs. She also built a school for the children of workers living on the place.
Paula plans to fill her house with guests. Lyn Revson was the first one. “I can’t wait to go back,” she says. Is the Yucatan the next beautiful hideaway for the beautiful people? At least they won’t be on top of one another. There are haciendas there, some on hundreds of acres, to rent or to buy and yet to be discovered.
Pablo’s? Pablo’s is one of the best restaurants in Merida, and they just love jeans there.
The Grand Ball Room of the Waldorf will be an opera lovers’ dream when Renee Fleming sings for the crowd at the Princess Grace Foundation Awards Gala on Oct. 22. The stunning diva’s fall schedule has been a whirlwind. Her new CD, “Bel Canto,” is out, and the raves continue for her opening-night performance at the Met as Desdemona in “Otello.” Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Caroline and Prince Ernst of Hanover are flying in from Monaco for the gala. As always, the foundation will present its awards to talented young artists in dance, theater and film.
A thrilled-to-bits Barbara Davis says from Beverly Hills, “The Carousel of Hope spirit is definitely in the air. Everyone is out buying the prettiest dresses and we are working on the seating.” No easy task when you remember the prima donnas out there who consider the best placement their divine right. She continues, “This will be the most beautiful and exciting party ever!” Dear Barbara.
The Carousel of Hope is, of course, the big ball on Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton that through the years has raised more than $60 million for childhood diabetes — Barbara and Marvin Davis’ beloved charity. Oprah Winfrey will introduce Barbara at the party and is coming “from Chicago because she loves Sidney Poitier and Halle Berry. Halle will present Sidney with the ‘Brass Rings,’ the coveted awards.”
Sting, Sir Elton John and B.B. King will entertain and almost every star in Hollywood is expected, including Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Tom Hanks with his darling wife, Rita Wilson. The ball is a sellout as always, as sure a thing as that Barbara will wear pink that evening to match the pink roses flown from Ecuador, the pink trimmings on the Carousel horses and the pink organza decor in the ballroom. It’s the only way, really.