CHEERS FOR NICKY: On a cold night in New York City, Lee Radziwill, regal, resilient, impeccably coiffured, was keeping warm in a corner of La Grenouille. She cut through an intimate space heaving with a distinguished crowd — Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Mercedes Bass, Mica Ertegun, Mark Lyall Grant, the British ambassador to the United Nations — to reach her destination, right by the side of Nicky Haslam. The interior designer has just published another coffee-table book — a collection of reminisces, clippings and sketches titled “A Designer’s Life” — and so it was time again for another gathering of his long-devoted fan club, New York chapter.
The leader of this cheering squad is, indisputably, Radziwill.
“He’s terribly witty, terribly well-read,” she said, sounding like she could have gone on for a lot longer. They first met in London and Haslam later stayed at her home in Sicily during the summers, one of several memories he revisits in a book covering 75 years of his life.
Radziwill herself couldn’t remember where or when they first met, though she does recall those Italian summers, but it was clear that the reason for their long friendship is a mutual admiration for each other. “He’s stayed with me for many, many summers, and he adores my dogs and he adores me,” she said. “I’ve seen him go through many, many, many different phases.”
“Remember the punk phase?” the writer Bob Colacello added, helpfully. Finally, it seemed, he had joined her ranks as an éminence grise. “Absolutely,” Radziwill said.