PALM BEACH — Not to be too refined about it, it’s the tail end of the season in Palm Beach. But like the tail end of a comet, the resort is still managing to shoot off sparks. Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent — he is Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin, as if you didn’t know — have been here for a week with their two children, staying with the forever beautiful Mrs. Rodman (Aimee) de Heeren at her forever beautiful house on the sea.
So who better to be the target of every party, night and day, than the royal Kents? They’re easy and breezy and not terribly acquainted with the word stuffy. The local hostesses are pleased — thrilled to bits is more like it — to have them as guests of honor at every lighted candle.
Unstuffy Prince Michael even wore one of those jazzy, battery-charged flashy ties to the great party Lewis (she’s a girl) and Bob Foman gave at their South Ocean Boulevard, lake-to-ocean house on Easter night. “Well,” said his Royal Highness, explaining it all for us while his bow tie winked and blinked away double time. “The invitation did say dress festive.” Besides, it all went so well with his black shirt, thinly striped in white.
Le tout Palm Beach — or at least 150 of them — was at the Foman party. They gathered for cocktails in the orchid-filled, far-flung house and courtyard and swept down a canopied passageway past the swimming pool to a big beautiful tent draped from the ceiling with pastel ribbons. This is where a seated dinner was served on tables covered with cloths printed with Easter eggs and centered with tiny gardens planted with Spring flowers. If no bunny rabbits popped out, well, even the Fomans can’t have everything.
White was the color of the night. Princess Michael of Kent, known to her nears and dears as Marie-Christine, floated in on a cloud of white organza. Lewis Foman wore a white lace Scaasi jumpsuit. Aimee de Heeren wore white chiffon. Chessy Patcevitch was in black and white. Princess Maria Pia di Savoia wore something white and sparkly.
In the crowd were Bobby Foman Jr. and his beautiful wife Jeanette; Jane and Gilford Dudley (she was in a black chiffon top and a white organza skirt with white polkadots); Ginnie and Ned Burke; Alexandra and Arnauld de Borchgrave (she wore a fitted sequined jacket by Oscar de la Renta); Lord and Lady Charles Spencer-Churchill (they are long separated but friendly and staying in Palm Beach with their children); Cristina and Jerry Goldsmith; Trevania and John Henderson (she wore a Bill Blass black chiffon and sequined short dress); Eles and Warry Gillet; Michelle and Xavier Givaudan of the Geneva Givaudans (she wore a Christian Lacroix jumpsuit); Betsy and Michael Kaiser; Leslie Smith in strapless white with tiny black polkadots; Linda Mortimer; Teddy and Bill Pitt; Carroll Petrie in a pale peach silk cheongsam; Barbara and William Tapert; Harriet and Paul de Rosiere; Jean Tailer in pale aqua with a pleated skirt; Lee Thaw, in a coral de la Renta; Judy and Alfred Taubman; Anne and Moose Taylor; Michel of Yugoslavia; Harry Platt, and on and on into the night. The Denny LaRue Orchestra played for the dancing and you should have seen those Palm Beach bunnies hop.
The beauteous Maria Snyder — known for her Goddess Dress, a sexy slinky number very hot right now with what people like to call the fashion elite — will be having her fall show sponsored by DuPont Lycra on Sunday at the Josephine Pavilion at Bryant Park. Along with Maria, who is always in attendance at her shows, are the young internationals who follow her closely, and this Sunday it will be no different. Planning to be there are Arietta Livanos; Princess Olga of Greece; Pia Getty; Marie-Chantal and Alexandra Miller; Tatiana von Furstenberg; Tiffany Dubin; Diane Von Furstenberg; Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, plus a pack of others who will have to settle for standing room only.
The models Maria has lined up include such covergirl sisters as Niki and Krissy Taylor, Sylvester Stallone’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer Flavin, Cosmo covergirl Frederique, Sports Illustrated swimsuit beauties Roshumba and Vendela and Helena Christiansen. The fashion cognoscenti keeps hearing that Maria herself has been asked to model for some top designers around town, but the dear girl has said she is not going to do it, but thanks anyhow. At Thursday’s Christian Francis Roth show — again at the Josephine Pavilion at Bryant Park — Karen Duffy of MTV will be dragging along her beau Dwight Yoakam to watch the girls go by. Duff, so cute herself, has nothing to fear. And Dwight’s promised to take his hat off. Also in attendance will be Lee Radziwill, Nina Griscom, Patty Raynes, Carol Mack and the Miller girls again.
To get back to Princess Michael of Kent for a minute, she’ll be lecturing at the Metropolitan Museum Thursday and going to a dinner afterwards that Lee Thaw is giving at home for her and Prince Michael. Barbara Tapert is giving a lunch for the Princess at Mortimers on Friday. And that, dear readers, will just have to hold you until Mercedes Bass gives a party for 40 at Carnegie Hall Saturday night to celebrate husband Sid’s birthday, and Sid gives a party for 100 on stage at the Metropolitan Opera on Sunday night to celebrate Mercedes’ birthday. It’s a double your pleasure, double your fun, tit-for-tat and all that thing.