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Ashley Judd is planning to be in New York in the fall to star on Broadway in Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” for probably a six-month engagement. Can you imagine anyone more perfect to play Maggie the Cat than the beautiful and talented “luscious” Ashley? (If you have to sizzle on stage in practically nothing as Maggie does, you’d better have some meat on your bones.) Being born and raised a Southern girl, Ashley already has the accent down pat. Her dashing race-car driver husband, Dario Franchetti, will be coming to New York with her. You bet he will.

Gwyneth Paltrow is in town to see her family and dip her pretty little toes into the fashion week circus. Gwynnie, I’m sure you know, is currently based in London, where she’s bought a magnificent flat. She’s such a devotee of feng shui — she believes it ensures harmony with the universe — they say she even had a door moved 3 feet, but you know how people exaggerate. Recently, Gwyneth spent a week at the Ashram, the famous spa in L.A., where those who were there said she was always the first to reach the top of the mountain that the Ashramites climb every morning, a 15-mile hike. This is the very place that Julia Roberts fled after three days; it was simply too much for the poor girl. But not Gwynnie, who lost five pounds by the end of her stay.

This story first appeared in the September 20, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Paltrow was one of the chairmen at the New Yorkers for Children Gala at the Regent Wall Street the other night, wearing a black, off-the-shoulder number by Balmain couture that fluttered and sparkled in all the right places, thanks in no small part to the lighting of Bentley Meeker, who knows how to make the ladies look good. Gwyn giggled and blushed like a school girl when she was asked about her romance with Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, the son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. They met in Spain through friends who may or may not have been Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who have a house on Majorca, or even on Valentino’s yacht where Gwyneth cruised the Mediterranean this summer. She is said to like and be flattered by Felipe’s sensitive and continental ways, so different from the gung-ho guys who were her past boyfriends. The handsome 34-year-old prince is a notorious lady killer with more than a dozen publicized conquests behind him, including Caroline de Borbon, the niece of Queen Beatrix of Holland; Gabriella Sebastian, the daughter of the Spanish ambassador to Germany, and Gigi Howard, an American student. It was once thought he might actually marry Norwegian lingerie model Eva Sannum, 25, this year, although a major Spanish law would have had to have been changed to allow the marriage of the prince to a commoner. After four years together, they called it a day. Felipe has made it clear that he will marry “for love and love alone,” while his mother has made no secret of the fact that she would like her son to marry and start a family rapidamente. She says, “I don’t mind who he marries, just as long as he is happy.” Recently, Felipe moved his collection of teddy bears into a little villa with 11 bedrooms and nine bathrooms near his parents’ palace outside Madrid. No word on whether he’s given Gwyneth the tour or taken her home to meet the family yet.

Muffie Potter Aston opened her Park Avenue aerie to welcome Mary Davidson, her co-chairman of the 14th annual Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center preview party for The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, to be held at the Park Avenue Armory Oct. 17. The group included Susan Burke, Daisy Soros, Nicole Limbocker and Susan Bodnar. They tasted hors d’oeuvres by Glorious Food, the same as those to be served at the preview party, and sipped on Veuve Clicquot, ditto. The sponsor of the party is Louis Vuitton and the vice chairmen include Pat Buckley, Nan Kempner, Blaine Trump, Carroll Petrie, Joanne de Guardiola, Evelyn Lauder, Julia Koch, Emilia Fanjul, Karen LeFrak, Noreen Drexel, Betty Sherrill, Helen Schifter, Thorunn Wathne, Bettina Zilkha, Gail Hilson and who’s left?

Bergdorf Goodman is so excited about CeCe Cord’s new doggie duds designs that the store is giving her a window of her very own to show off her lifestyle collection for Doggies who Lunch. The collection, called “Travels with Tiger” and named after CeCe’s Yorkshire terrier Tiger, is a huge success, featuring sizes from petite, small, medium and even large in case you want to buy your boxer a bespoke sweater trimmed with chenille cherries. If the fit isn’t perfect, the store will alter whatever for your precious. They’ve done a lot of that already.

CeCe’s designs also include a doggie dinner table with two silver bowls encased in a teak box with crocodile handles, luxury beds for your beloveds, travel bags trimmed in croc, ostrich, lizard, and bridle leather. Then, there are the beautifully packaged doggie treats homemade by CeCe and her family. Tiger begins traveling in New York Oct. 29 when Bergdorf’s celebrates the collection at a cocktail party in the store. Then Tiger goes on to Wilkes Bashford and Stanley Korshak’s stores in Dallas, CeCe’s hometown, and later Palm Beach. And the “Travels with Tiger” hangtags attached to everything taken on Tiger’s trip read: “I’ve bought in Wapiti, dozed in Tahiti, visited pyramids in Giza, roamed the beach in Ibiza/Crowned princes adore me, maitre d’s bring treats for me, and mile after mile I only travel in style. Bon Voyage, Tiger.”

Of course, who doesn’t know the whole thing is conspicuous consumption? But how much would you be willing to pay for unconditional love?

Catherine Zeta-Jones wore Fred Leighton’s marvelous ruby and diamond jewels to the American Cancer Society’s Dream Ball in the Waldorf’s ballroom. Her gorgeous red-beaded gown was by Badgley Mischka and the Leighton cache included a double-strand diamond and ruby-bead necklace, diamond briolettes, a 1920s carved ruby and diamond bracelet, and a burma-ruby cabochon ring. Glitter galore. You could see her from the Plaza, the Pierre, the Regent Wall Street and the upper floors of the Carlyle.

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