Byline: Aileen Mehle
The cozy little, private little place to be in L.A. during the Academy Awards was at that smashing little, delicious little dinner given by the hostess of note Dani Janssen for her forever pal Clint Eastwood, who had just won the Irving Thalberg Award. The spread was chez Dani, who does all her own cooking, imagine. All the swells in the entertainment racket were there, a haven after all the big parties they dropped into first. Everywhere you looked you saw Quincy Jones, the Jean Hersholt Award winner, with Nastassia Kinski, Tom Hanks with his wife Rita Wilson, the famous Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni (winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award) and his wife Erica, Anne and Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, beautiful black-clad Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, Anna Strasberg and her son David, Shirley MacLaine, Berry Gordy, Peter Weller, Penny Marshall, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Whoopi Goldberg, the lot.
There was of course a tiny little awkward moment when Jack Nicholson arrived with Rebecca Broussard, the mother of his children, whose hair is now a Forties-style platinum blonde. Rebecca immediately bristled when she saw Anjelica Huston sitting there with her husband Robert Graham. Rebecca insisted that she and Jack leave before guest of honor Clint Eastwood had even arrived. I trust I don’t have to explain that Nicholson and Anjelica were longtime lovers and that he gave her the slip for a pregnant Rebecca, who must fear that some embers still remain. Speaking of embers, Frances Fisher, the mother of Clint Eastwood’s child, was nowhere in sight and hasn’t been at all lately. That’s entertainment. Anyhow, some diehards were still hanging around at 7:30 a.m., Hollywood time.
Prince Rainier and Princess Caroline of Monaco have invited elegant music lovers from all over to a gala weekend this weekend in Monte Carlo to benefit the Monte Carlo Opera, because, really, that’s part of their job, no? The festivities kick off with a gala performance of “Cenerentola” by the Monte Carlo Opera Company in their beautiful opera house, with lavish sets and costumes designed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Rainier, Caroline and, yes, Prince Albert will all be there. Afterwards there will be a black tie supper and dance at the Hotel de Paris.
The following evening, the Monte Carlo Sporting Club will be the setting of the “Bal de la Rose” where Jacques Grange will decorate the Salle des Etoiles with thousand of roses. The ball’s theme will be “Tango” with a performance by Alfredo Arias, who really knows what he’s about. Karl Lagerfeld and the House of Chanel are underwriting just about everything in sight. Among the glitterati planning to attend the fun are the Hon. Pamela Harriman, Princess Esra Jah, Karl Lagereld, Countess Donina Cicogna, Claudia Schiffer, the Philippe Niarchoses and others too tremendous to mention.
The best-dressed ladies about town are burrowing into their closets and coming up with couture clothes slated to make their way to the “Absolut Glamour Couture and Celebrity Auction” on April 19 at the Racquet and Tennis Club to benefit the Cancer Research Institute. Nan and Thomas Kempner are the chairmen of it all, and Todd Oldham, Victor Alfaro and Cynthia Rowley are the co-chairmen. The invitations with beautiful Steven Meisel couture photos donated by Vogue’s Anna Wintour are out, and the response has proved that fashionable New Yorkers are only too happy to bare their, well, wardrobes, for the right cause.
Nan Kempner, who defines the expression clothes horse, made the first pledge with a Valentino black suit and pleated coat which defines the expression to die for. Susan Gutfreund is parting with a yellow Givenchy summer gown embroidered with radiant flowers and Georgette Mosbacher has offered up a 1983 Pierre Cardin with rhinestone detail. Marina Schiano has slimmed down her bulging closets by donating a 1987 Carolina Herrera black tulle evening dress and Joan Rivers contributed a gold and gray sweater by Oscar de la Renta. As for Pauline Trigere, that fashion diva had to donate a contemporary piece as she is working on her own retrospective and simply couldn’t pull a vintage number. Chessy Rayner and Mica Ertegun have both contributed glorious creations by Mme. Gres, Chessy’s being one featured in the December retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum. Judy Peabody’s gift is two black Bill Blass evening knockouts; Nicole Miller came up with a 1989 printed, sequined dress, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan has waved bye-bye to a sprightly Scaasi gown in pink and yellow. And speaking of that designer, Austin Hearst thumbed through the couture collection of his late mother, the fashion legend Mrs. William Randolph (Austine) Hearst Jr., and selected two Scaasi creations for the auction.
Not to be outdone by the stylish ladies of Manhattan, Sharon Stone has given a dress from her movie, “The Specialist,” Stockard Channing contributed a cocoa satin suit from “Six Degrees of Separation,” and Michael Douglas recalled his Gordon Gekko days in “Wall Street” by donating a suit from that picture. Also, the following designers have donated contemporary pieces from their latest collections: Victor Alfaro, Vera Wang, Todd Oldham, Byron Lars, Cynthia Rowley, Eric Gaskins, Pamela Dennis, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui, Christian Lacroix, Geoffrey Beene, Mary McFadden, Isaac Mizrahi, Josie Natori, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole and Donna Karan. The sweet things.
The board of directors of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York wants us all to know that CCC will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 24 at the Plaza and that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be honored that night with the first annual Eleanor Roosevelt Award. Samuel P. Peabody, CCC’s chairman will receive the first annual Samuel P. Peabody Award (!) which he’ll promptly turn over to three deserving people. Dear Sam. The evening, black tie of course, will be hosted by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and everyone you ever heard of is on the celebration committee. Does the name Hillary Rodham Clinton ring a bell?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will celebrate its grand 125th Anniversary Ball on April 10 with a turn-of-the-century dance evoking the era of “The Age of Innocence,” which Edith Wharton made famous forever in her 1920 novel. The Museum’s restaurant will, for the evening, be turned into a fin de siAcle ballroom, and everyone will float around in black tie and, it is hoped, pretty party dresses. There will be dancing to the Hank Lane Orchestra in the restaurant and disco music by Tom Finn in the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court. Disco may not be very turn-of-the-century but time marches on, and the day will come when even disco will be considered quaint. Count on it.
Lorna Luft says she won’t marry her much-younger boyfriend Colin Freeman this year. Either they can’t agree on a date or she wants to wait until he gets one year older. The trouble with that is….well, you know already.
Second generation hot stuff. Former British star Eunice Grayson, who played one of the few girls 007 could never, in not one but two Sean Connery James Bond epics, is bursting with pride. Her daughter Kate Jackson — not that Kate Jackson — has been signed to follow in mummy’s stilettos as a 90’s Bond girl opposite Pierce Brosnan in the upcoming “Goldeneye.”
Stop the presses. Sinead O’Connor is planning to have a full head of hair when she marries Richard Heslop, the producer of her new video. Is she just tired of the bald look or does she want to be sure people can tell them apart?