Byline: Aileen Mehle

You can thank Richard Gere for putting a few more pounds in the pockets of blonde British model Laura Bailey, a former flame. Since the star of “First Knight” first started squiring sexy Laura around Londontown, she has soared from mail order catalog modeling to high profile catwalking. Some say she is now making more than $4,500 a day. Thank you, Richard, ever so.
As for that terminal hunk, he says, “I’m going to call all the women who gave me their phone numbers when I was married to Cindy. I’m happy and ready now to play the field.” Does that mean he saved the phone numbers all that time — just in case? Men.

Roger Moore’s son, Geoffrey, is speaking right up about his daddy’s romance with merry widow Christina Tholstrup, also known as “Kiki.” Geoffrey is quoted as saying, “At 67, it’s time he realized he’s too old to behave like James Bond.” One wonders how Geoffrey has the time to bother with opinions on Roger Moore’s amorous adventures when he’s so busy himself making time, or whatever, with lush-lipped Kelly Le Brock, also known as the ex-Mrs. Steven Seagal.
As for Roger’s estranged wife, Luisa, she’s keeping up appearances, and beautifully. She was putting on a happy face at Michael Caine’s birthday party at his London restaurant, Langan’s Brasserie, with her and Roger’s daughter, Deborah, in tow.
About Michael’s birthday party. To celebrate his 62nd year, he took over the upstairs area of Langan’s and invited the world. Joan Collins was there in a pink Chanel suit, but others were not quite so dressed to the teeth. Michael’s wife, Shakira, for example, wore jeans, a white T-shirt and a beaded jacket. Throw-away cool and all that. In the crowd were Lewis Gilbert, who directed Michael in “Alfie” and “Educating Rita,” and Len Deighton, who wrote “The Ipcress File,” which made Michael a star. (In Michael’s new movie, “Bullets to Beijing,” he plays Harry Palmer of “The Ipcress File” 30 years later). Then there were Muck Flick, the German multimillionaire, with his wife Donatella, Bob Hoskins, Evie and Leslie Bricusse, author Frederick Forsythe and Sir Andrew and Lady Lloyd Webber. Shakira is hoping she and Michael will be in New York for the big Oscar to-do that Entertainment Weekly is throwing at Elaine’s Monday night. She’s sure everybody she knows and loves, and vice versa, will be there.

Little Drew Barrymore — make that sort-of-little Drew Barrymore — will be one of the many surprises at the big party Grace Mirabella is giving on April 1 to celebrate Dominique Browning, Mirabella mag’s new editor in chief. You all remember Dominique. She was the first woman ever to break the glass ceiling at Newsweek — you could hear the shattering sound for miles around — when she became the weekly’s first ever female assistant managing editor.
Bobo Clark of GloriMundi will transform the Bowery Bar into an enchanted garden (at least) for the bash, and among the scintillating guests expected are Isaac Mizrahi, photographers Hiro and Sheila Metzner, publisher Morgan Entrekin, the stunning model Carmen, just back from Franco Moschino, Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier’s European runways shows — they loved her — the literary agent Andrew Wylie and others too — you fill in the blank — to mention.

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan has been in New York on one of her nearly monthly trips here from her current home in Switzerland. At a party at the Marty Bregmans, Yasmin was saying she was thrilled that Paola (Mrs. Mickey) Schulhof of the Sony Schulhofs will be the chairman of next year’s gala to benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation for which Yasmin works so tirelessly and raises millions. Also there was Anne Hearst and her sister Victoria with Bob Ginty, the actor and filmmaker who are an item and then some.

Alfred Corning Clark of the sewing machine fortune and Querube Arias, the daughter of the late Panamanian President Roberto Arias, are thrilled to announce that they have married and will live in New York and Palm Beach and anywhere else they feel like living. Her friends describe Querube as adorable and divine and all those good things — so Alfred picked an orchid in the garden of love.

Absent from the magnificent wedding in Seville of the Infanta Elena, daughter of the King and Queen of Spain, to Jaime de Marichalar, was Princess Stephanie of Monaco, primarily because she was not invited. Her sister, Princess Caroline, was, but she has told friends the reason she didn’t go is because big, extravagant weddings depress her. When you consider her own sad experiences along those lines it’s easy to see why. Add to that her current going-nowhere romance with French actor Vincent Lindon.
Some say Princess Diana, who did not attend, was not invited either, but that’s little more than a rumor probably occasioned by that widespread and still rankling publicity years ago when Diana was reported to have flirted with the King of Spain. The Prince of Wales was there, of course, as were Prince Rainier and Prince Albert.
As for Steph, her wedding to her lover and the father of her two children, Daniel Ducruet, is now set for May 20 at the Cathedral in Monte Carlo, but don’t count on it. Rainier wants it to be very small, but reportedly a certain young, royal faction, at the Spanish wedding, encouraged him not to skimp on Steph’s nuptials. They feel that everybody has known for years about Steph’s situation, so why treat it like a dirty little secret to be swept under the palace rug. When last heard about, the maybe-wedding was still scheduled to be certain-small.

Lord Douro, son and heir of the Duke of Wellington and chairman of the Montblanc de la Culture Award for arts patronage, gave $25,000 to each of three winners at Lincoln Center last week: Jane Alexander, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who will give the money to WritersCorps, which helps develop talent in inner-cities; the famous composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who signed his check over to the Spoleto Festivals he founded in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina, and Ikuo Hirayama, dean of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Rita Moreno was the mistress of ceremonies and among the presenters were Lauren Hutton and Celeste Holm. In the glamorous crush were such as John Guare, Robert Wilson, George Plimpton and others too nationally endowed and artistic to mention.

Nancy Zeckendorf of New York will make the June 29 opening weekend of the Santa Fe Opera as international as possible. Coming are the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and Mrs. Donal Blinken and the Ambassador of Hungary to the U.S. and Mrs. George Banlaki. Both ambassadors will serve as honorary chairmen of the “Countess Maritza Ball” at Santa Fe’s Eldorado Hotel. Other honorary chairmen are Louise and Henry Grunwald of New York, and you should know that Henry’s father, Alfred Grunwald, was the librettist for “Countess Maritza,” the Hungarian operetta which opens the season. More than 100 guests recently crowded into Tamara Guilden’s splendid Fifth Avenue drawing room at a reception where Nancy Zeckendorf explained it all to them, as only Nancy can do.