Byline: Aileen Mehle

It’s official. Danielle Steel, who writes one best-selling novel after another, has filed for divorce from millionaire yachtsman Tom Perkins, her fifth husband. The courtship took forever; the marriage was over before you could say go christen your third sailboat, see if I care. Danielle, the pride of San Francisco, is doing just fine and looking great. You read here that she was dazzling in diamonds and wearing a very French dress when George Hamilton escorted her to Denise Hale’s inty little dinner at San Francisco’s hot, new restaurant Farallon. Among the guests was Danielle’s fourth ex-husband John Traina who is re-creating the all-gone-but-not-forgotten glam club El Morocco in the ballroom of his mansion, which once belonged to the sugar-heavy Spreckles family than which there were no whicher in San Francisco. At dinner, Denise wore beige embroidered with lace by Ferre with a beige lace-trimmed shawl tossed across her shoulders. And that’s the way they do it in San Francisco.

That was Cornelia Guest, the forever post deb, in the front row of Zang Toi’s fashion show, ticking off “diva skirts” and “movie star dresses” in ice blues, pale pinks and creamy chocolate. Toi’s prints were inspired by the elaborate moldings of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. And speaking of debs, Patty Hearst Shaw’s daughter Gillian will be wearing Zang’s strapless white sheath with beaded pansies at the hem and a dramatic half shirt over it all when she comes out at the Infirmary Ball later this year. You’ll never see another one like it.

Here’s Faye Dunaway expounding: “A lot of actresses at my age are fat…I could be, but somehow I’ve found a way of living that keeps me fit and looking good.” Faye’s up next in Luc Besson’s “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.” No, she does not play Joan. Only a silly-billy would think that. Faye also remarks that she’s a great admirer of Sharon Stone, who appears next in “Simpatico” due for the millennium. “We’re a lot alike,” says Faye, who doesn’t explain in exactly what way. She might also let a waiting world in on what that “way of living” is that keeps her thin and sassy and still stunning. Just a few sentences will do. No book. She’s already written one of those.

Julianne Moore, a movie star who can act better than most, is following her role as the scheming Lady Chevely in “An Ideal Husband” with another English role, playing Sarah in Graham Greene’s “The End of the Affair,” complete with Ralph Fiennes. She’s come a long way from “Boogie Nights.”

Vroom, vroom, vroom! Here we go again! It’s all ready, set, go for the fourth Louis Vuitton Classic Car at Rockefeller Center this weekend. So French, so concours d’elegance. So exciting to stare at beautiful classic cars and watch Nicholas Cage’s lovely Bugatti compete with Ralph Lauren’s lovely Bugatti, non? Anyhow, as this superlative car show will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Prince Rainier’s reign, the “Magic of Monaco” Class will include chariots that participate in the two great races that whip the entire principality into a lather and Monte Carlo into a frenzy every year. And that’s only the half of it. At the grand finale on Sunday, chef Mario Mutatore, who’s responsible for those gustatory delights at Monte Carlo’s Hotel de Paris, will fly over to oversee a splendid brunch for the crowd featuring such delicacies as octopus ragout and stuffed piglets. What — no pussycats in custard?
Such racing freaks will be on hand as the famous Stirling Moss, the Marquis Alain de Cadenet, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Rupert Everett, Jerry Seinfeld and — shhh — maybe even Prince Albert may make a surprise appearance, the sly boots!

Here’s an invitation you’ll just love. Classy. The Earl of Dartmouth — he is the son of Princess Diana’s stepmother, Raine, the erstwhile, widowed Countess Spencer — is requesting the pleasure of certain exalted types’ company to a cocktail reception on Oct. 5. It’s in London, of course, in The Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords, and it’s in honor of Ambassador John Loeb CBE of New York, who once represented the United States as ambassador to Denmark. Guests are asked to please present their invitations at the Black Rod’s Garden Entrance. Gad, don’t you hate to see the House of Lords go?

The season may be over in Newport, but echoes of the lavish society wedding there linger on. Maybe it’s because so many Texans descended on the resort when grande dame Eileen Slocum’s granddaughter, Sophia Augusta Brown Trevor, married Louis McMurray Girard. The more than 400 guests at the wedding at the Church of St. John the Evangelist saw Sophia swan down the aisle in a traditional white satin wedding dress by the New York designer Yumi Katsura and an antique Brussels lace veil belonging to Eileen Slocum’s maternal ancestors. After the ceremony, the 400 swept into the Slocum mansion on Bellevue Avenue — very grand — where, under a huge, white, flower-filled tent, they dined on avocado soup, lobster, filet of beef and chocolate wedding cake surrounded by raspberries and dripping with creme Anglaise. Some of the swells mingling with other swells included Noreen and John Drexel; former Rhode Island Sen. and Mrs. Claiborne Pell; Helen and John Winslow; Betty Blake; Jackie and Nicky Drexel; Coco Blaffer; Topsy Taylor; Ruth Buchanan Wheeler and Ed Wheeler; Diana and Frederick Prince; Carter Brown; Hugh Auchincloss; Barton Gubelmann; Ariel Eweson; Louise and Charles Grosvenor, that sort of thing. Oh, and if you were wondering about the onslaught of Texans, well, the groom is from Texas.