Byline: Aileen Mehle
For those who missed my scoop Tuesday that the Princess of Wales would be lending her luminosity to the big Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum on Dec. 9 — she’ll be in New York exactly one day before flying back to London — let it be known that there will be still another luminous blonde at the party — Miss Sharon Stone of the Hollywood Stones. Ta-da!
Princess Salima, the beautiful, British-born former wife of Karim Aga Khan, one of the most powerful and richest men in the world, may have picked out a replacement. There is a strong rumor that Salima, known to her friends everywhere as Sally, could be thinking of marrying again. The fortunate chap is a 41-year-old French lawyer, Philippe Lizop, who lives in Paris. Sally met him when she was seeking legal counsel regarding her divorce from the Aga Khan. There is just one teeny-tiny snag: Philippe is married. But, huzzah and hurrah, he is getting divorced, and last month he and Sal went to Tahiti together. As for Karim, he found a replacement long before he divorced Sal.
Now that news of the divorce between Princess Diana’s former stepmother, Raine, and French Count de Chambrun has hit the headlines, Raine’s mummy, the one and only Dame Barbara Cartland, the in-her-90s writer of zillions of romance novels, has given voice to the possibility of Raine’s marrying again. “Why not?” asks she. “She’s been a countess three times, she’s only 67 and still very beautiful. She still has time to become a duchess.” Let’s hear it for Barbara, one of my favorite people in the world. (For those keeping score, Raine is the former Countess of Dartmouth, Countess Spencer and, of course, Countess Chamburn. The last thing her mum would like is to see Raine in a rut.)
It was fun and probably some games at the Prince of Wales’s country house, Highgrove, the other eve when a group, including Camilla Parker Bowles of course, gathered to help him celebrate his homecoming — after a nine-day tour — plus his 48th birthday. On hand were the famed sitar player Ravi Shankar and 40 of Charles’s closest chums. Oh, and Camilla Parker Bowles, of course. Or did I just say that?
In Hollywood, they’re saying that Sharon Stone and her former assistant, Paulette Marshall, have kissed and made up after a bumpy stretch. Paulette, who had worked for Sharon for several years, was offered a bigger and better-paying job at a production company. About all this Sharon was scarcely pleased and rather vocal, to such an extent, some say, that she even wanted Paulette to sign a legal paper guaranteeing Sharon confidentiality. Now, however, they have talked things out peacefully, and the only sound you hear is bluebirds twittering in the background.
Isaac Mizrahi, one of the three chairmen of New York City Ballet’s opening night All American Extravaganza on next Tuesday at Lincoln Center, has visions of an all-American entrance with Nina Griscom and Linda Wells, the other two chairs of the evening. The three darlings will enter the premises in a symphony of red, white and blue, Isaac having designed a red ensemble for Nina and a white one for Linda. He himself, all slimmed down and with a cute new haircut, will appear in a blue velvet bespoke dinner jacket by the famous English tailor, Anderson & Sheppard. Is not this alone worth the price of admission?
Lovers of Venice, and just about who isn’t, turned out for the glossy Save Venice ball on the roof of the St. Regis. It was called “A Celebration of Music and Verse,” and many thought the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra concert preceding the dinner — featuring violins, violas, cellos, a flute, two oboes, clarinets and bassoons — was better than the osso bucco and pink polenta. That’s life.
Among the glitterati, chatting vivaciously and dancing even more so to the strains of Peter Duchin and his orchestra were such as Donatella Girombelli — the Italian fashion dynamo who underwrote the evening — Beatrice and Randolph Guthrie, Patricia Patterson, Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, the Duchess of Cadaval, the Marchese and Marchesa Berlingieri — who own one of the most beautiful palazzos in Venice — Larry Lovett, Betsy Lovett, Princess Laetitia Boncompagni, Gillian Attfield, Elizabeth and Alton Peters, the Philip Millers, the renowned Dr. Jim Nicholas and his wife, Kiki, in glittering gold, the Denis Stanfills, Doda Voridis and on and on into the notte.
Great ceremonies at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., marked the 10th anniversary of the crucial summit meeting in Reykjavik between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, a summit that ended in an impasse, but that ultimately led to the end of the Cold War. George Shultz, the former secretary of state, delivered the keynote address, and an afternoon panel discussed what might have happened — “What If Reagan Had Said Yes” — if the President had been willing to deal away the Strategic Defense Initiative. There was also a special ceremony to commemorate the late Nicholas Ruwe, who was our ambassador to Iceland at the time and who directed the Reykjavik summit arrangements. Nick Ruwe’s widow, Nancy Ruwe, who now lives in Washington, has donated a beautiful terrace to the Library to honor Nick, a remarkable man and public servant whose life was cut short too soon. The two Nancys, Reagan and Ruwe, both moved and touched, were present through the entire day of tributes.
John Loring of the Tiffany Lorings has written the most beautiful Christmas book imaginable, “A Tiffany Christmas,” with gorgeous pictures of Yuletide tables accompanied by witty and wonderful text. It’s the sort of book that does your heart good and makes you wish for Christmas 365 days a year. Tiffany gave a tea for 200 to celebrate John’s publication, decking the store with boughs and garlands to welcome such guests as Hilary Geary, Bunty and Tom Armstrong, Mario Buatta, Norma and Charlie Dana, Alyne Massey, Cecile Zilkha, Carroll Petrie, Jane Dudley, Mai Hallingby, Karen LeFrak, Barbara Cates and more, more, more. John autographed his books in gentlemanly style, complete with kind words and warm smiles and kisses galore. Everyone was making their lists and checking them twice and trying — very hard — to be nice. You never can tell when Santa is listening.