In case you missed my scoop Tuesday, let me remind you today that billionaire philanthropist David Koch, now of United Nations Plaza, will soon be David Koch, the billionaire philanthropist of Fifth Avenue. Koch, who gives extraordinary parties at his houses in Southampton and Aspen, bought Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ Fifth Avenue flat for $9.5 million, half a million more than the asking price. Koch did not wish to be outbid, hence the extra half mil. Of course, this is a tremendous price to pay for a desirable but certainly not grand place. But it’s the provenance that counts, the fact that the beloved Jackie spent many happy years in New York there. The apartment needs a certain amount of work, so David Koch will probably have to spend a couple of million refurbishing it to the specifications of one of the richest men in the country.
Because she’s had so much press in London and elsewhere, a curious throng took avid note of Laura Bailey’s arrival at the “Interview With the Vampire” premiere in London the other night. What a sight. Not only was she not coiffed and wearing stunning clothes but, as was reported (without the least unkindness), “she looked like she’d been dragged through a hedge backwards, tonsorially and sartorially.” I guess you could say she’s the casual type. But never mind all that. What really caught the crowd’s eye was watching her tool up a in stretch limo driven by the personal chauffeur of her dashing lover, Richard Gere.
Supermodel turned actress Tyra Banks, complimented on her role as a college track star in her main man John Singleton’s “Higher Learning” says that as a model she thinks she’s more on the sexy side. “I have hips and breasts, so for my part in the movie I worked out four hours a day for five weeks. I was able to lose my hips, make my thighs bigger, my stomach harder — but, luckily, my bosom remained the same.” And how very nice for John Singleton.
The rumors from Rome have Marisa Berenson and financier Costanzo Mutti ready to marry in the spring, and not a moment too soon. They’ve already been together for eight years.
It’s a fete…its’s a fiesta…it’s a festivale…it’s Ferre! Gianfranco Ferre, who has cut his own special swath through rooms and runways all over Europe, is now bringing his show to America. The designer flies into New York next week to unveil his newest collection, called Studio 000.1 by Ferre, at a cocktail party benefiting DIFFA at the American Standard Building on Feb. 1. One hears he’s organized his very own carnivale for the evening with former Cirque du Soleil acrobats performing alongside various supermodels. After all that, there’ll be a little dinner at Harry Cipriani with Gianfranco’s admirers present and adoring.
All the people you read about, know and try your best to love were at the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory, trying their best not to dodge the photographers. Afterwards, Paige Rense, the editor in chief of Architectural Digest, gave a big party at Mortimer’s to celebrate the show with architects, interior designers and writers underfoot. Paige wore a brown satin tunic and turned on the powerful personality that has made her a legend in shelter mags. Brooke Astor in black lace turned on the powerful personality that has made her a legend in philanthropy and society. Among the crowd: Robin and Angier Biddle Duke, Jacquelin Robertson, Betty and Virgil Sherrill, Alice Mason, Marilyn Berger and Don Hewitt, Rose Tarlow with Richard Meier, Marilyn Evins, Thorunn Wathne with Harry Platt, Michael Graves, Steven Aronson, Victoria Newhouse, Evelyn Lauder, Mario Buatta, Pilar and Juan Pablo Molyneux, Judy Green, John Loring (replicas of the fantastic posters on the walls of his London apartment decorated the walls of Mortimer’s for the night), Harriett and Noel Levine, Paul Goldberger, Geoffrey Beene, Kitty D’Alessio, Brendan Gill and last but not least Paige’s newish husband, the artist Kenneth Noland. Someone, seeing their obvious devotion, described Paige and Ken as like lovebirds billing and cooing on the edge of a birdbath. Oh, that and more!
Joan Collins, glamorized from tip to toe, is in town promoting her new beauty, exercise and stay-young-forever book, and going to parties in her honor. Blaine and Robert Trump took over Cafe Mortimer the other evening to celebrate Joan’s New York arrival, and, speaking of arrivals, her arrival at the Trump party was something to see — sexy white suit, glittering jewels and all the other big-time accoutrements of someone whose glamour is her business.
The party was a blast and what a mix. Everyone from the distinguished plastic surgeon Dr. Dan Baker and his wife, Nina Griscom, to the peak-scaling Sandy Pittman in a white satin jacket studded with brilliants. In between were such as Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Cari Modine, CeCe Kieselstein Cord, Paul Wilmot, Ann Jones, Marina Palma, Kenneth Jay Lane, Isaac Mizrahi, Joan Rivers and Oren Lehman, Bob Colacello, Karl Wellner, Richard Levy and Joan’s Hollywood agent, Jeffrey Lane. After dinner, Lord and Lady White popped in for a drink. He is, of course, Gordon White, the tycoon, who wears his title gracefully. One has not lived until one has heard his take on the Princess of Wales. It was the kind of party where everyone talked at once and everyone listened at once. If you find that hard to follow — well, you had to be there.
Blaine wore her little Gemma Khang suit trimmed in faux fur and her little matching bag from Bottega Veneta. Cari Modine wore her little white satin suit and coat designed by Isaac Mizrahi. Isaac wore his turtleneck and a smart parka. But, to repeat, you had to be there.
The big news in Vail on Feb. 10-12 is Nancy Davis’s “Race to Erase MS” fund-raiser, a ski and be-seen weekend “for style watchers and stargazers.” Nancy Davis would like us all to know that supermodels (are you as tired of that word as I am?) Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Dayle Haddon will all be there chilling out as will such beauties as Nicollette Sheridan, Jane Seymour and Natalie Cole. On the celebrity ski teams are Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and perky singer Celine Dion among others, and the organizers insist that elegant eveningwear will prevail at Saturday night’s gala in the Marriott Hotel’s ballroom with a silent auction hosted by former Saturday Night Livers Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz and entertainment by the one and only Kenny G.
Nancy Davis, the daughter of California philanthropists Barbara and Marvin Davis, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago and is committed to finding a cure for the disease, hence the fund-raiser on the slopes.
Even if you’re from out of town, you have to know that Nancy Reagan has been in town for the past few days. The breakfasts. The lunches. The dinners. Read all about it in Friday’s column and about Gordon Getty’s party in his Fifth Avenue apartment after the Russian Symphony Orchestra’s matinee performance at Avery Fisher Hall. Gordon’s just crazy about the Russian Symphony. Lucky for them.