SUZY FLASH! Diana, Princess of Wales, is hitting town! She’ll arrive in New York in all her blonde glory Dec. 9 and that very night will sweep into the Metropolitan Museum for the big Costume Institute gala, referred to in exalted fashion and social circles as “the party of the year.” The very next morning, Di will fly back home. The reason for the right-in-and-right-out visit, totally private and totally unofficial, would have to be Diana’s long-time friendship with Liz Tilberis of Harper’s Bazaar, one of the two co-chairs of the extravagant party that draws the cream of the cream to the museum every year. Yes, it’s loyalty-to-Liz time, and this is the perfect way to show it. Diana will not travel here alone; her sister, Lady Sarah, will accompany her.
Of course, the big question is: What will Diana wear that night when, rest assured, the eyes of the fashion world will be turned on her? (This fete benefits New York’s Council of Fashion Designers.) There’s a strong rumor that it will be a navy blue Galliano that she has been fitted for in London, but best not to bet the Crown Jewels. Diana wears what she wants to when she wants to, and she can always change her mind at the last minute. She’ll arrive at the museum just before dinner, and no, she will not stand in any receiving line. Again, this is all private and unofficial.
The evening will feature a retrospective of the House of Dior, so Bernard Arnault, the head of the house, will be there in person and preside at the main table. There you will find such illustrious ones as Diana; the First Lady of France, Bernadette Chirac; a former first lady of France, Claude Pompidou; Mme. Arnault; Liz Tilberis; her husband, Andrew Tilberis; Gianfranco Ferre, Dior’s former head designer, who will supervise the display of the house’s fabulous haute couture, and Dior’s present designer, John Galliano. The other co-chair that night, Mme. Michel (Helene) David-Weill, the philanthropist wife of the international banker, will preside over her own table of swells. And, yes, mes amis, the evening is a complete sellout.
Dreda Mele, Giorgio Armani’s Paris ambassador of style for more than a decade, resigned Monday. Having worked five years with the designer in New York, she spent the past 10 years as general director of Giorgio Armani France. Mele, who has worked with Hubert de Givenchy and AndrA CourrAges, was discreet about any reasons for the breakup.
“I’m leaving for a long holiday to India next month,” she said. “When I come back in January, I’ll know more about what I’m going to do — but I’m certainly not going to retire.”
Reached in his Milan headquarters, Armani said, “Dreda is, and always will be, a great friend of mine. She was one of the first people in Paris’s social and fashion worlds to appreciate my style. I owe her a great debt of gratitude for that and wish her all the best.”
Giovanni Agnelli Jr., the dashing heir to the Fiat automobile empire, wed architect Avery Howe on Saturday. The guest list was kept to 30, including Gianni and Marella Agnelli, Luchino Visconti di Modrone and Costantino Ruspoli. The ceremony was in the small family chapel on the grounds of the Agnellis’ 16th-century Tuscan villa. Emanuel Ungaro created the bride’s gown — a white cashmere coat with embroidered cuffs over a knee-length sleeveless lace dress.
“She asked for a short dress with no sleeves and a cashmere coat, in case it was cold,” said Ungaro. “The coat was also short to enhance her beautiful legs, and the dress has a wide collar to set off her neck.”
The menu reportedly featured mushroom dumplings, baked bass with vegetables and a Mont Blanc cake of chestnuts and cream. Presents included a collection of da Vinci codexes, an 18th-century gold-embroidered organdy tablecloth and a set of Limoges china.