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From England comes the gladsome tidings that Stella McCartney will spend $750,000 to build a wildlife refuge, including six duck ponds and a water purification plant, on the 200-year-old, 300-acre farm in Hereford that she bought for almost $2 million last year. Stella tells British press that the project will conserve energy and includes 2,000 new plants and shrubs. We can tell Stella that that will add up to a lot of T-shirts.

Busy as pretty little bees, if you can call heiresses bees —and why not? — are Amanda and Lydia Hearst, the great-granddaughters of press giant William Randolph Hearst. The darlings have been getting ready for their debuts, deciding what parties to go to, what dresses to wear and all the rest of it. Vera Wang won. Amanda will wear a white Vera Wang gown for her formal debut at the Cotillion in San Francisco before returning to New York to spend the holidays with her mother, Anne Hearst.

This story first appeared in the December 18, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Cousin Lydia, Patricia Hearst’s daughter, will also wear a white Vera Wang when she comes out at the Infirmary Ball to benefit NYU Downtown Hospital. A bud is a bud is a bud.

A movie star is a movie star is a movie star. Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Claire Danes sparkled big time in Fred Leighton jewels at the New York premiere of “The Hours.” The ever-stylish Ms. Kidman wore rose-cut diamond chandelier earrings and a Twenties diamond clip clasped to the hip of her trousers. Ms. Moore shimmered in rose-cut diamond cluster pendant earrings and a pair of Edwardian pearl-and-diamond cuff bracelets. Ms. Danes chose an Edwardian diamond pendant and rose-cut diamond drop earrings.

It might come as a surprise that every now and then, these ladies do wear their own jewelry. But not if Leighton, Tiffany, Cartier and Winston can help it.

Lily Safra, the widow of Edmond J. Safra, an international banker and a billionaire many times over, came to New York from London to dedicate a new synagogue, elegantly designed by the noted French architect Thierry Despont, to her husband’s memory. Lily is a lovely, courageous woman, who in the last several years has gone through hell since the mysterious death of her husband in a fire in their Monte Carlo apartment, and later at the trial during which she handled herself impeccably and emerged in triumph like the lady she is.

During those years, she had to contend with much ugly publicity and sensational speculation, baseless and rooted in rumor. That she has risen above it so admirably is a reason for celebration, and her friends in New York were more than happy to celebrate with her.

At Cécile and Ezra Zilkha’s party for her at Swifty’s, Lily wore a 17th-century heavy gold necklace recovered from a Spanish ship, which was raised three years ago, and a golden dress nearly the same color as the necklace. Raising their glasses to her were such guests as Carol and George McFadden, Donna and Bill Acquavella, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Thierry Despont, Doda Voridis, Denise Hale, Gale and Bill Haseltine, Nemir Kirdar and his daughter Seira, Blaine and Robert Trump, Robert Higdon, Patricia Patterson, Judy Taubman, Lionel Pincus, Joy Henderiks, Alex Gregory, Kenneth Jay Lane, Pierre Durand and Gil Shiva, etc., etc., etc.

Over at Joan Rivers’ palatial apartment — palatial is the word, friends — the drawing room and the dining room were all silvery and sparkly and a scene of snowy beauty. Leave it to Joan. There were silver garlands on the mantle, brilliant mirrored ornaments and baby’s breath sparkled with silver. Running down the long dining table, great arrangements of all white lilies, snapdragons and roses mixed with silver leaves and berries. There were Buccellati’s silver sparrows at each place setting and silver vases filled with bunches of tiny white roses. You would have loved it. Lily did. She was the guest of honor wearing a beautiful outfit from Oscar de la Renta’s last Balmain collection, an iridescent claret-colored taffeta coat over claret brocade pants with little satin slippers to match.

Among those who saw her in it were Carroll Petrie, Lucile Peyrelongue in from London, Kip Forbes, Carmen Zarin Mehta, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Robert Bradford, Daisy and Paul Soros, Blaine Trump, Robert Higdon, Suzanne and Bill McDonough, Tommy Corcoran, Arnold Scaasi, Parker Ladd and of course, Thierry Despont.

On Friday, read all about Lee Thaw’s small elegant dinner at her Park Avenue maisonette for Nemir Kirdar and his glam, glam wife, Nada. You all remember Nemir, don’t you? He’s the noted international financier and the head of Investcorp, the global investment group that operates out of New York, London and Bahrain. In New York, he is particularly well-known for his spectacular purchase and resale of both Saks Fifth Avenue and Gucci. And didn’t Tiffany come in there somewhere?

See you on Friday.

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