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The Aspen Report: News From the Slopes, the Shops and the Sizzling Spots

Francesco Scavullo, after spending the holidays at his home in Southampton with his partner, Sean Byrnes, and his beloved King Charles spaniel, Winston, returned to his New York apartment saying he wasn’t feeling well. He died shortly thereafter. The cause of his death has not yet been determined, but the service will be held at Campbell’s at a date to be announced. (For more on Scavullo, see page 16.)

This story first appeared in the January 7, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Queen Noor of Jordan was in Aspen over the holidays and was seen lunching at the Aspen Mountain Club on the top of Ajax — Aspen’s main mountain for those of you who haven’t a clue about altitudes — where everyone who is anyone has lunch, providing they can manage the $80,000 initiation fee or are the guest of someone who can. The Queen had lunch with the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Stuart Bernstein, and his wife, Wilma. All very jolly. Also having at the foie gras and sipping hot chocolate were Carolyne Roehm, who was there with her new beau, the one she met last year on the gondola, and Liv and Damon Mezzacappa with their two schnauzers, Marco and Polo, who eat from their very own personalized doggy bowls, thank you very much.

Ted Turner’s one-year-old grandson, Beau Turner Jr., who was in Aspen with his mother, Gannon Turner, and grandmother, Laura Hunt, got bitten by an itsy, bitsy spider but is recovering nicely, thank you very much.

Renee and Lester Crown, who bought the Aspen Ski Corp. from the Marvin Davises 10 years ago, gave a cocktail party at the Aspen Mountain Club and they all came — Joan Collins and her husband, Percy Gibson; Natalie Cole, and R.J. and Robert Wagner, for starters. The Crowns also own the Little Nell Hotel, where all the celebrities stay, one of the reasons being that it’s situated mere steps from the gondola. As for Jack Nicholson, who had friends and family staying at his house to welcome the New Year, he could be found sitting on the steps of the town’s movie theater watching people file in to see his new movie, “Something’s Gotta Give.” Jack was there checking out Steve Martin’s movie, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” and also checking out the pretty girls passing by. He never misses a trick or a pretty girl. His pretty-girl co-star, Diane Keaton, was nowhere to be seen.

Also out and about on New Year’s Eve was Bill Koch with his fiancée, Bridget Rooney, who was sporting two eye-popping diamond rings from Billy boy. She was also sporting a red Prada blouse, a black miniskirt and knee-high boots. “I usually don’t wear a mini and knee-high boots at the same time, but since it’s New Year’s Eve, I figured why not?” Bill and Bridget are planning a small wedding on Cape Cod this summer and the wedding party will include Bridget’s seven-year-old son by Kevin Costner. Kevin’s also in Aspen with his fiancée, Christine Baumgartner, and his other children. They are planning a big wedding in September with all the trimmings at his sprawling Aspen ranch, which he is expanding to make even more sprawling by building a new main house in time for the wedding.

Aspen’s favorite pastime after skiing is always shopping, hitting the stores with a vengeance. Jada Pinkett Smith all but bought out the hot new Dior skiwear, including fur moon boots, cashmere hats, gloves, goggles, the works. Mariah Carey bought an all-white ski outfit from the Dior boutique and whatever was left of the accessories that Jada hadn’t taken home. Jada also picked up a beaded bag at Fendi. Antonio Banderas bought a full-length mink coat from Dennis Basso’s store for his wife, Melanie Griffith. Sarah Jessica Parker ordered a baby blue alligator duffel bag from Lana Marks and a silver alligator clutch for good measure. Madonna called in for six alligator hipster belts and Serena Williams ordered two rose-colored tennis bags with matching ostrich handles. Kristin Davis and Diana Ross picked up new outfits at Prada and cruised the Caribou Club on different nights. You will be thrilled to hear that Kristin’s dress was black with beaded flowers and that Diana wore a pale pink cashmere sweater and pajama bottoms.

It was nonstop socializing in the Rockies. Nicole Miller and Richard Mishaan gave a party at The Whiskey, and Prince Bandar, the Saudi Arabian zillionaire, Lorne Michaels and Michael Ovitz all gave parties at their houses.

The resort was chockablock with good-looking women, including Goldie Hawn, there with Kurt Russell; David Niven’s granddaughter, Fernanda Niven; Patricia Duff, and Kelley(Mrs. Don) Johnson.

In the brains department, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was spotted having breakfast with an old school chum from Denver at the very down-home Hickory House.

Some of the world’s sleekest private planes got snowed in when Aspen was hit with three feet of new powder. People were stranded for 48 hours but nobody — well, almost nobody — complained, and everybody said it was the best skiing they’ve seen in 20 years — at least those who will admit to remembering that far back. Oh, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

With their second anniversary coming up on Feb. 17, Joan Collins and Percy Gibson say despite rumors to the contrary, they have never been happier. They know who started the false story — “a so-called friend” — and label the charges of public spats and a rough ride completely scurrilous. They are getting ready to start a six-month grind in London of a new play, “Full Circle,” and are now in Acapulco, where Joan is working on the final edit of her new novel, “Misfortunes Daughters,” to be published by Hyperion next year.

(In Friday’s column, read all about noted journalist Henry Grunwald’s engrossing new novel, “A Saint, More or Less,” and the huge party at the New York Public Library given by his wife, Louise, to celebrate the book’s publication by Random House. The world came.)