Byline: Aileen Mehle

Viscount Linley, David for short, who is Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s son and Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, is a cabinetmaker and furniture designer extraordinary whose work is collected by connoisseurs in several countries. Ergo (or something), he is now in this country lecturing on what he knows best and promoting his beautiful new book, “Extraordinary Furniture,” a collection of magnificent photographs of the most extravagant and inventive furniture ever created. He was in New York with his lovely wife, Serena, fair-haired and with a figure that will not quit. The body beautiful was wrapped in cobwebby black lace by Herve Leger at a party for the Linleys given by Blaine Trump, Joan Rivers and Ann Jackson, the publisher of In Style magazine, which is sponsoring David Linley’s book tour. The theme of the party, given at Joan Rivers’s opulent East Side apartment, was “Autumn in New York” (because that’s what it is), and some of New York’s greatest-looking women turned out in their autumn finery — that is, if you consider Diane Sawyer, Christie Brinkley, Ann Jones, Deborah Norville, Lynda Carter, Cece Kieselstein-Cord, Cari Modine and Pia Miller Getty great looking. It’s your call. And then there was London’s Ruth Kennedy, also known as Lady Dundas, who assists Lord Linley and looks adorable whilst doing so. Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece swept in after dinner. Taking up space in Joan’s grand rooms were such stalwarts as Christopher Getty, Robert Trump, Robert Higdon, Mick Jones, Robert Altman, Greg Jordan, Tommy Corcoran, Karl Wellner, Isaac Mizrahi, Orin Lehman, etc., etc., etc. The next day the Linleys took off for Chicago. Because of the weather, it took them 10 hours to get there. I love New York, don’t you?
You read here how Joan Rivers, having to cope with a quirky elevator in her building, hired a couple of body builders to carry the women up to the sixth floor. Well, Serena Linley took the elevator, quirky or not. Cobwebby lace and muscle men do not go well together.

So many of the English who do things are in New York now that the whole place is beginning to sound like one big British accent. Mark Birley, London’s king of exclusive clubs (Annabel’s, Mark’s and Harry’s Bar) is here to hype his new men’s fragrance — Bergdorf Goodman is the purveyor — and if you know him and love him (and want to be assured of a good table at Annabel’s, Mark’s and Harry’s Bar when you nip into London), it couldn’t hurt to give him a party, could it? Nan and Tommy Kempner of the local social swim gave a big buffet for Mark, and they all came, including such distinguished English as Viscount Rothermere, the press lord, and Drue Heinz, widow of the American zillionaire whose family’s 57 plus varieties of foodstuffs made him one. Nan K. is famous for her fashion sense and her food, and lest anyone forget it she wore tight satin pants the color of a little yellow submarine and laid on a feast. Smelling Mark — he wore his new scent on his ear lobes — and wishing him well were such as Princess Laure de Beauvau-Craon, here from Paris, Antoinette Guerrini-Maraldi, the Howard Cushings, Joy Henderiks, Nina Griscom, Pierre Durand, Alex Gregory, Audrey and Henry Koehler, Sibilla Clark, Reinaldo Herrera, Kenneth Jay Lane, Jamie Niven, Chessy Rayner, Johnny Galliher, Blaine Trump, Eleanor Lambert, Carol Vogel, Catie and Don Marron Nancy Richardson, blooming like a rose, Grace and Chris Meigher, Johnny Piggozzi, Virginia and Freddie Melhado, Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jaquelin Robertson, Jayne Hitchcock Hoagland and Jim Hoagland, Khalil Rizk, Billy Norwich, Eugenie and John Radziwill, Marina and Francesco Galesi and, last but not least, Dawn Mello in a smashing red jacket, looking good like the head of Bergdorf’s should.

And then there’s Fergie, known less familiarly as the Duchess of York, listing her mea culpas on television, with Diane Sawyer asking the tough questions, signing a deal to deal with her avoirdupois with the help of Weight Watchers, and making the rounds to flog her book, “My Story.” Not having read it yet, I can’t vouch for what’s inside, but the front and back jacket photographs of the duchess taken by Greg Gorman are spectacular, movie star quality. She’s barefoot on the front cover, so her infamous toes are on view front and center. Her fingernails are polished pale pink, but the varnish on her toes is almost black. Perhaps they’re in mourning for all the trouble they caused her. Oh, hahahahaha.
While this red-headed roisterer is tidying up her life in the public eye, her former husband, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is, on the other hand, lying low and male bonding with a bunch of golfers here in the U.S.A. The American industrialist, William Flaherty, has been ferrying Andrew on a week-long golf safari on his new Hawker jet. Andrew has played the National in Augusta, Pine Valley in New Jersey, Merion Golf in Merion, Pa., and more, more, more, all prestigious. Joining a crack foursome of top American golfers, Andrew took them all to the cleaners! And he just loved it to pieces when they called him the RPITA. The first three initials stand for Royal Pain In — you figure out the rest. Oh, hahahahaha.

In “That Old Feeling,” Bette Midler gets that old feeling for a former husband, when they reignite the flames of passion in a parking lot at their daughter’s wedding. The movie opens on Valentine’s Day. Love, your magic spell is everywhere, even in a parking lot.

Andrew Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s son, and Tracee Ellis Ross, Diana Ross’s daughter, are making their film debuts in “Far Harbor,” produced by Castle Hill. The movie opens in New York next week. So we shall see just how far from the tree the apples have fallen.

(Next week, we give the Italians equal time, especially those who came to New York for the Save Venice concert and dinner-dance at the St. Regis. They’ve got to live, too. Avanti Savoia!)