From Di in New York to the marrying Millers and the usual models and moguls, the social scene saw many highs (and a few lows) this year. Here, some 1995 highlights.
Princess Diana made an appearance — in royal blue, no less — at the annual CFDA awards gala at New York’s Lincoln Center. Once the word was out that Di was coming to the Jan. 30 gala to present a special award to Liz Tilberis, the fashion set went all out to keep her in good company. Mariah Carey, Sigourney Weaver, Karl Lagerfeld and Nadja Auermann were among the other presenters. From the design world came John Galliano, Victor Alfaro, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and Cynthia Rowley, to name a few.
Once again the Naked Angels Theater Company hosted its annual fund-raiser on Valentine’s Day, and once again evening co-chair John F. Kennedy Jr. was the most sought-after Valentine in the room. The party, held at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, was a veritable assembly of young Hollywood. Marisa Tomei danced the night away, while Kennedy spent most of his night tucked away in the back smooching with his girlfriend, Carolyne Bessett.
When Steven Spielberg was honored with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in Los Angeles, the dinner brought out a crowd with more luster than usual. Jack Nicholson, Lew and Edie Wasserman, Warren Beatty, Jack and Felicia Lemmon, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Clint Eastwood and Sid and Lorraine Sheinberg were among those who gathered in the Beverly Hilton Grand Ballroom for the event.
In Paris, Valentino threw a “Spring Break” party at his Avenue Montaigne shop which attracted some 500 VIPs, including Claudia Schiffer and David Copperfield, and Tony Curtis and Jill Vandenburg.
“This is how a boutique should be all the time,” Valentino said. “No clothes, just music and flowers.”
Monte Carlo was the place to be the first weekend in April. The resort town was bustling with activity, beginning with a gala performance of Rossini’s “Cenerentola” at the Monte Carlo Opera House, followed by a sumptuous supper in the Salle Empire of the Hotel de Paris. The next night, the Bal de la Rose burst forth in all its splendor at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club. Pamela Harriman flew in for the ball, which also attracted Karl Lagerfeld, Princess Laure de Beauveau Craon, Prince Michael of Greece, Lord and Lady Linley, and models Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, Nadja Auermann and Karen Mulder.
Dedicated to the memory of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the May 1 American Ballet Theater spring gala at Lincoln Center was attended by 900 glittering guests. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg paid homage to her late mother, who actively supported ABT for 25 years, by serving as this year’s honorary chairwoman. Arnold Schwarzenegger, John F. Kennedy Jr., Gianni Versace and a slew of socials from around the world were on hand.
Leave it to Milan’s design professor, Gianfranco Ferre, to teach Hollywood a thing or two about subtlety. At the annual AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) gala, honoree Ferre delivered a night of subdued elegance for 1,300 guests — including Dennis Hopper, Liza Minnelli, Leonardo DiCaprio and Rod Stewart — presenting fashions during a huge dinner party at the Century Plaza Hotel.
One of this year’s most electrifying events was the London wedding — and surrounding parties — of Marie-Chantal Miller to Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. Where else could one find the Queens of England, Spain, Jordan, Romania, Sweden and, of course, Greece, dabbing their eyes in the pews? With over a dozen princes and as many princesses, the weekend celebration, complete with a 1,000-guest ball, has been called the fairy-tale wedding of the year. (For more Miller weddings, see October).
Every summer, the Hamptons offer a forum for quiet — and not so quiet — weekend entertainment. One of this year’s best was the book party for Ben Bradlee’s autobiography, “A Good Life,” held on the lawn of Howard Stringer’s East Hampton home. About a hundred media heavyweights showed up, including Barry Diller, Jann Wenner, Lorne Michaels, Betty Friedan and Nora Ephron. Don Johnson and Anjelica Huston supplied the Hollywood glitter.
New York’s fall season was kicked off with a party Chanel threw for Karl Lagerfeld at the cavernous Industria photo studios to celebrate the designer’s photo exhibition at SoHo’s Leica Gallery. The event brought out a mix of revelers from the fashion and downtown scenes, including Carrie Donovan, Amber Valletta, Trish Goff, Anna Sui, Eric Goode, Fran Lebowitz and Kelly Klein. That same week, Kate Moss celebrated the publication of her self-titled book at the James Danziger Gallery.
Trans-Atlantic lawyer Kristen van Reil threw what some people are calling the ball to end all balls, in the Park of Saint Cloud, just outside Paris. He said he did it for no real reason — no birthday, no wedding — but simply to entertain his friends, including Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, Sir James Goldsmith, Olimpia and David de Rothschild, Maryll Lanvin, Sao Schlumberger, Cristiana Brandolini, Jackie de Ravenel and Irene Amic.
In Milan, despite a fashion show schedule that seemed to leave no time for anything else, the fashion flock managed to find some off-the-runway amusement. Krizia’s Mariuccia Mandelli threw a lavish dinner for 350; and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana gave a dinner for Linda Evangelista that brought out an intimate group of models, actors and musicians.
Robert Miller was at it again in October, with the wedding of his youngest daughter, Alexandra, to Prince Alexandre von und zu Furstenberg. Like the London nuptials he hosted for daughter Marie-Chantal, this event was all glitter.
Hollywood’s A list flooded Barneys New York in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. The store was the site of the annual Fire and Ice Ball. Jack Nicholson was there — he spent most of his time chatting with Sharon Stone by the cosmetics counter — as were Ron Perelman, Dustin Hoffman, Christian Slater, Faye Dunaway and Jim Carrey. Guests mingled freely through the store’s designer boutiques before sitting for a Wolfgang Puck-made dinner on the third and fourth floors. The event raised $1.6 million for the Revlon/ UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program. The Delano Hotel in South Beach was the scene of scenes over Thanksgiving weekend. There were moguls and models all around, including Calvin Klein, David Geffen, Barry Diller, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Ralph Lauren. Madonna, who has a house in nearby Coconut Grove, turned up for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant (she’s a part owner) and at the Kelly Klein book party held at the Delano that Saturday.
Stars from the worlds of music and fashion converged on New York for the first annual VH1 Fashion & Music Awards. Though all the hype was promising a smashing evening, it’s safe to say that neither the CFDA nor the Oscars have anything to worry about.
The crowds kept coming and coming and coming to the annual Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Gala on Dec. 4. Chaired this year by Anna Wintour, Annette de la Renta and Clarissa Bronfman, the event was a big success — at least financially. The overcrowding, however, lead to less comfortable accommodations for guests who, after a while, could barely move.