Anne Bass — a combination of good looks, wealth and dimples to die for — and Julian Lethbridge — an abstract painter described by those who know him as “interesting” and “charming” — are the newest romance to stir up this bored and jaded city. This is not just another fling but a quite serious affair. Anne is not only happy but “radiant” and “glowing.” Ain’t too many of those around. So where do we go from here? Make that — so where do they go from here?
Anne and Julian were at Khalil Rizk’s Lebanese dinner the other night at his beautiful, terraced Manhattan townhouse of many stories, looking as though they were trying to keep the thrills and heart throbs under control. Also looking happy whilst tucking into the hummus, lentils and chicken with barley were such as Deeda Blair, Marit Gruson, Blaine Trump, Nan and Tommy Kempner, Doda Voridis, Alex Gregory, Jerry Zipkin, Ashton Hawkins, Linda and Archibald Gillies (of the Astor Foundations and the Andy Warhol Foundation, respectively), Claudia Ruspoli, Duane and Mark Hampton, Katherine Warren, Brooke Hayward and Peter Duchin, Beth DeWoody, Tarek Kettaneh and Khalil’s sister, Joumana Rizk. But all eyes were on Anne and Julian.
Princess Margaret, looking tan and rested and in fine spirits, has just left for London after spending a few days with her friend Drue Heinz at the Heinz New York townhouse, a Mongiardino gem. Princess Margaret’s other good friends, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera plus Cynthia and Graydon Carter of the Vanity Fair Carters, gave a small dinner in her honor at the Carters’ big Dakota apartment, which looks like an English country house minus the dog hair.
Princess Margaret wore a royal blue organza dress designed by Carolina, but she informed the lovely fashion designer that the dress was really too short for her on arrival so she had taken one of the ruffles at the side of the frock and added to the bottom — and did Carolina mind? Carolina, in a short chocolate velvet suit of her own making, thought it was just fine. What are friends for?
This is who was at the dinner: Princess Margaret’s old friends Lord Glenconner and Lady Anne Glenconner (she is the Princess’s lady-in-waiting); pretty Peggy Noonan, the Reagan and Bush presidential speechwriter, who has just finished her second book, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”; Sara Giles; Dominick Dunne; Barry Diller;, Ron Perelman with Patricia Medavoy — or Patricia Medavoy with Ron Perelman; Hamilton South, and Gil Shiva. You just know Princess Margaret had a good time, because she didn’t even think of going home until almost 12:30.
The wedding of the year in Caracas will take place on March 17 when Carlos Alejandro Beracasa marries Maria Fernanda Vaamonde at “La Barraca,” the home of Carlos’s late grandfather, now the residence of Carlos’s father, Alfredo Beracasa, on Avenida Alegria Bercasa in Los Chorros. Following the wedding, the reception will also take place in the historic house. Both the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be studied in the United States and both have B.S. degrees in economics.
Carlos Beracasa is the son of Mrs. Randolph (Veronica) Hearst of New York and California, and both she and Randolph Hearst, head of the Hearst empire, will be in Caracas for the wedding and will host a dinner there for family and friends.
The bride’s gown was designed by Bill Blass, Veronica Hearst’s dress is by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, and the maid of honor, Carlos’s sister Fabiola, will also wear something by Lagerfeld. But more of all this after the wedding.
Victor Skrebneski, the world-famous Chicago-based photographer, who makes ugly people look beautiful and beautiful people look divine, has just composed a wonderful new book of photographs, magnificent portraits of the great opera stars of today, male and female. Placido Domingo, who is, of course, in the book, calls it “perhaps the most beautiful book on opera ever created.” “Bravi,” a coffee-table book composed in honor of the Chicago Lyric Opera’s 40th anniversary, should become a collector’s item for people who love opera — even people who hate opera. They’re all in there — June Anderson, Kiri Te Kanawa, Alfredo Kraus, Catherine Malfitano, Eva Marton, Samuel Ramey, James Morris, Frederica von Stade, Tatiana Troyanos and more. The Chicago Tribune says, “Skrebneski’s lens beholds beauty and perfection wherever it turns.” Amen and how.
The beauty Betsy Kaiser and her husband, Michael, gave a beauty of a big lunch at their beauty of a big house in Palm Beach, restored to its original grandeur by Michael Kaiser himself. And it needed restoring — to say the least. Now it’s a tropical dream or something. Or so thought the guests eating paella at poolside — Chessy Patcevitch; Judy Taubman; Louise Stephaich and her mother, Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock; Noreen and Johnny Drexel, like that. The great designer James Galanos has been in Palm Beach staying with the Kaisers, who have yanked him to every lighted candle since he arrived — the Preservation Society Ball at the Flagler Museum, Barton Gubelmann’s dinner at her oceanside house and Maureen and John Donnel’s dinner for Irene Roosevelt Aitken. Jimmy had a fine time, though not much inspiration for his next collection. After the social whirlwind, he fled to Houston. As for Betsy and Michael, they motored to Hobe Sound to see his mommy’s house and then flew off to their splendid mountainside place in St. Croix. One must avoid stagnation, must not one?
As for Lisa and Jack Anderson, they returned from their long hegira through the Far East just in time for the Moroccan-themed Preservation Society gala where Lisa wore a rare and stunning Moroccan caftan with a gold filigree belt studded with emeralds and diamonds. It was given to her by the King of Morocco, who can probably afford it.
Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Disney biggies, left sunny California for the horrors of New York weather to be here for the big gala surrounding the first preview of the Broadway musical version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” a benefit for the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Everywhere you looked at the Palace Theater and at the party at the Macklowe Hotel, you saw such as chairmen Jean Remmel Little, Norma Dana, Jane Gammill and Kari McDowell plus such first preview peekers as Adair and Bill Beutel, Anne Cox Chambers, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Jo Carole Lauder, Alison Howard Blumenfeld, the president of the Society, who brought her daughter Lucy, Irene Roosevelt Aitken, Susan and Coleman Burke and a whole mess of fairytale lovers just like them.
Mike Nichols, Lauren Bacall and Cynthia O’Neal are all hosts of the “Friends Spring Drive,” the highlight of which is the raffling off of a brand new 1994 very red Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet convertible on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on March 22. Benefiting from the drive is Friends In Deed — Mike Nichols is chairman of the board — an organization that gives physical and mental help to those with life-threatening illnesses. Dave himself will draw the winning ticket on the show that very night, and it’s all very exciting. If you love brand new 1994 very red Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet convertibles — who doesn’t? — and care for those who may not be as fortunate as you are, you can buy a raffle ticket by calling 1-800-966-LIFE — or look for orders forms in the March issues of many major magazines.