Sure, they’ve already entertained Hillary Rodham Clinton, but Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn really christened the United States Embassy in Paris on Tuesday night with their first spare-no-expense bash. It was a joint birthday party: Felix’s 70th and his son, Pierre’s, 40th. The party’s theme was “Casablanca,” not just because it’s the Ambassador’s favorite movie, but also because that’s where Rohatyn and his family landed when they fled Poland in his childhood.For the party, men slicked back their hair and donned white dinner jackets. The women — most dripping with enormous gems — were in caftans or vintage Forties frocks. The Rohatyns’ 300 guests entered “Felix’s Cafe” — as near a replica to the famed movie’s set as the evening’s planners could manage, which had been constructed on the embassy’s sprawling back lawn. Befitting an American in Paris, it was largely a homegrown crowd. The New York contingent was represented by the Grunwalds, the Kravises, the Zilkhas, Casey Ribicoff, Bill Blass — whose creations were worn by both Liz Rohatyn and her daughter, Nina Griscom — and the Erteguns, who are returning for next month’s World Cup festivities. But it wasn’t soccer that had the crowd buzzing at the embassy. The excitement was about Linda Wachner’s new Paris digs, which she’s decorating herself — with a little help from none other than Hubert de Givenchy. The party at Felix’s Cafe started with Wachner and Vernon Jordan tearing up the dance floor even before the Moroccan feast was served. And Wachner certainly had the stamina: In the days before the party, she and Barbara Walters had been power-walking nearly four miles a day around Paris — in Speedo sweatsuits, of course.
Walters was given one of the two seats of honor right next to the birthday boy. Lilian de Rothschild had the other. After dinner and a handful of speeches — including one by Rohatyn’s former boss, Michel David-Weill of Lazard Freres — the crowd boogied the night away.
Leave it to Naomi to turn her birthday into a major production — involving air travel, of course. The migratory supermodel decided to celebrate her 28th in Morocco the previous weekend with a small group of friends, including John Galliano, Azzedine Alaia, Marc Jacobs and Stephen Meisel. They spent Saturday hanging out at Franca and Carla Sozzani’s palatial house in Marrakech and touring the souks — where Galliano snatched up rugs and Naomi bought everything to refurnish her Paris apartment, Moroccan-style — before reconvening that night to cut the cake.
And that was just the first leg of Naomi’s birthday itinerary.
“I’m going to stretch my birthday over a week,” she reported via cell phone from Morocco. “After here, I’m going to meet my boyfriend in Dubai for another birthday party there.”
Loyal fans of “Another World” might remember him as Nick Terry, but now Justin Chambers is a struggling actor/model no more — he’s the new star in three of
Calvin Klein’s upcoming ad campaigns.
Unlike Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Sabato Jr., though, Chambers won’t be stripping down to his briefs for a Times Square billboard. He’ll appear in fall print ads for CK
Jeans and the fragrance Contradiction for Men, which will break in September. And come spring, Chambers will appear as the face for Calvin Klein men’s collection.