One of Palm Beach’s more riveting romances, a hotsy-totsy fling around town that could turn into something more serious, involves Chan Cox Mashek, the Texas heiress, and James “Jamie” Kabler, the divorced husband of Elizabeth Rosensteil Kabler, Mrs. Walter Annenberg’s daughter.

You will recall that Chan recently divorced her husband, John Mashek, amid a flurry of unpleasant publicity regarding failure to gain entrance to some select New York and Southampton private clubs. Now she’s taken much more than a passing fancy to Jamie, who with his preppy looks and impeccable grooming, looks like an ad for Polo by Ralph Lauren. When he was married to Elizabeth, they occupied a sweeping Greenwich estate when they were not country-clubbing around that classiest (and cash-iest) of Connecticut towns. Elizabeth’s an heiress too, you know.

Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin arrived in Paris last week and are now spread out in luxury at the Plaza-Athenee. Saturday night, the dynamic duo, just like Batman and Robin, turned up at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, for the Cesars, France’s answer to the Academy Awards. Both wore tuxedos; both looked divine to die, or at least to swoon. Meanwhile, Kim is thinking of launching her nudie PETA poster at the Hard Rock Cafe in Paris. Life is a cabaret, old chums.

At the Cesars, Kim and Alec sat next to Gerard Depardieu and Minister Jacques Toubon and his wife Lise, you will be bouleverses to hear. But after presenting Juliette Binoche with the Best Actress award for her starring role in “Blue,” Kim and Alec blew out of there. Just disappeared. And didn’t attend the supper afterwards, where about 300 people were waiting desperately for them, practically frothing at the mouth. The guests finally gave up hope. And you will be thrilled to learn that despite such acute disappointment, no one suicided himself, as they say en Francais.

Kim and Alec are pretty, but isn’t Depardieu bigger than both of them? I mean, he takes up twice the room.

Steven Spielberg arrived in Paris yesterday to attend the “Schindler’s List” celebration. He spent the night at the Ritz and flew right back home again today, a perfect way to get gray (grayer?) hair. He’s been working nonstop for what seems like forever, so now he’s taking a year off with Kate Capshaw. Right after he picks up those Academy Awards.

It all started with Demi Moore. Now, in “The Paper,” the new flick about 24-hours in the life of a New York tabloid, Marisa Tomei takes a leaf from Demi’s infamous Vanity Fair cover. Eight months pregnant in the movie, la Tomei parades in front of her husband, Michael Keaton, with her bare tummy hanging out. One man’s turn-on is another man’s yecchhh.

Cliff Klenk of the international set is about to put his fertile life between covers. He started out to do a cookbook — Cliff has been an accomplished cook and a master souffle chef for about 40 years — but when a publisher heard some of his escapades, he said, hey man, write your life. Compiling recipes was one thing, but Cliff can’t connect the dots when he’s writing about himself, so there’s a search on for a ghost. Who will turn whiter than any ghost if Cliff tells all, because if anyone knows where the bodies are buried…

Teresa Heinz, the stunning widow of Senator John Heinz and one of the richest women in the country, will be at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on March 8 to receive the Spirit of the City Award. Teresa just doesn’t sit around looking personable and pretty. She is the chairman of the Heinz Family Philanthropies and the vice chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund. Also being honored that night are Gwendolyn Calvert Baker, the president and ceo of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF; Dr. Prema Mathai-Davis, the national executive director of the Y.W.C.A., and Julian H. Robertson Jr., the chairman of Tiger Management Corp. There’s a black-tie dinner after the ceremony, and nobody, but nobody, is allowed to pull a Kim and Alec.

Art, health and beauty will unite for the common good on March 10 at the Robin Rice Gallery to benefit the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Donna Karan and Lauren Hutton are the chairmen of the gala reception, featuring an exhibition of photographs by well-known artists called “The Nurturing Spirit.” Naturally, Evelyn Lauder will be there, along with her husband, Leonard, the cosmetics tycoon, their son, Gary, soon to be married, and Leonard’s brother, Ronald. It was Ronald and his wife, Jo Carole, who were among the co-chairmen of the recent Art Show at the Seventh Regiment Armory. Not brother Leonard and his wife Evelyn, as you read here. I try to keep all the fast-moving Lauders straight but every now and then…

Speaking of fast-moving, Marylou Whitney is a little hard to keep straight too, but we do know — huzzah, huzzah — that she is giving a dinner dance Saturday night at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach honor- ing His Highness The Maharajah of Jaipur, may his tribe increase. The Maharajah is the honorary international chairman of the American Red Cross benefit luncheon Sunday at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. Gale Sorenson Brophy, a top horse breeder and racer, is the chairman of the luncheon and she’s expecting 600, give or take a few. As for the national honorary chairmen — they include Joan Bove, Eles Gillet, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Straub, the new owners of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, and, of course, la Marylou.

As for Gale Brophy, she and her husband, Giles Brophy, are the proud owners of “Thirty Six Red,” the third best three-year-old in 1990, and their “Strike The Gold” won the Blue Grass Stakes and then went on to win the 1991 Kentucky Derby, place second in the Belmont and achieve a place in racing history. So when Palm Beachers refer to Gale as a top breeder and racer they would like you to know they are not just talking crepes Suzette.

Attention! Nancy Zeckendorf has announced plans for the 1994 gala opening weekend of the Sante Fe Opera. She wants you to know particularly that it’s a gala, it has always been a gala, and, if she has anything to do with it, it always will. The weekend begins on June 30th at the El Dorado Hotel in downtown Santa Fe with the Opera Ball and ends on July 3 with a barbecue to bring everybody down to earth. In between, there are productions of “Tosca” and “The Barber of Seville,” and lunches and dinners to burn. Dress: Black tie and big jewels or bolo and boots. Well, yipeee.

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