Byline: Aileen Mehle
It is said that Barbara Bush was a bit hesitant in first giving her blessing to her beautiful granddaughter Lauren Bush’s dream of becoming a model — and everyone knows that Barbara’s blessing on anyone or anything is devoutly to be wished. But “Gammy’s” faith in Lauren’s good judgment won her over and now she’s happy with the tender young Elite model’s blossoming career. (Lauren’s lovely face and figure have been on the cover of enough magazines to make any grandmother proud, including the current issue of W, where she poses sultry-eyed and laced-to-the-waist in Versace.)
Still, Barbara, along with Lauren’s mother, Sharon, continues to watch over the 17-year-old thoroughbred, and you can bet that nothing gets by either one of them.
Tommy Hilfiger, who signed Lauren to show off his oeuvre practically the moment he saw her, has asked her to be his guest at the Race to Erase Multiple Sclerosis in Los Angeles on May 10, and Donatella Versace, who pounces on every current celeb to fluff up her front row, has invited her to her couture show in Paris this summer. Pace, Chelsea Clinton.
Also, Lauren’s helping her mother with a benefit Sharon Bush is organizing at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 4 for KIPP Academy, the Houston school for underprivileged children with eight branches across the country including one in the Bronx. Oh, and Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens will co-chair the event.
Our woman in Hungary, the tremendously energetic, get-things-done-now Nancy Brinker, is a fairly new ambassador there. But already she seems to have met everyone in Budapest who counts — the first requisite of any ambassador — and she knows more about the local politics than some of the wonks. So why am I not surprised? You send Nancy to do a job and then sit back and watch her get it done. Her favorite initials are ASAP.
She has also redone the Residence, which desperately needed more than just sweeping things under the rug. It now looks beautiful, having been supplied with every creature comfort. And the visitors keep coming to warm up her guest room, among the latest, Barbara and George Bush.
Speaking of the Race to Erase, Nancy Davis is off and running with this annual benefit, her ninth turn as chairman, during which she has raised $14 million. It will be held at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Calif., and the hosts for the evening are Kelsey Grammer and Sela Ward. Once again, Nancy is partnering with Tommy Hilfiger and John Sykes of VH-1 as co-chairs. The theme of the evening is “Peace and Love,” and Tommy will produce a star-studded fashion show. Then there’s Lauren.
As you read here, Le Grand Bal de Versailles will burst forth in all its glory at that incomparable palace on June 22 with le tout Paris in attendance and international friends and fans of Versailles from all over strutting their stuff. It will be a triumphant evening for the house that Louis XIV built because the Friends of Versailles, whose aim it is to promote goodwill between France and the U.S., have succeeded in raising the funds to restore the great Le Notre masterpiece, the Trois Fontaines Bosquet, in Versailles’ gardens. It has been in ruin since 1830.
There will be all sorts of divertissements before and after the grand ball. Catharine Hamilton of Chicago, the president of the Friends of Versailles who has done such a tremendous job with this organization, and her husband, David, will give a reception at their Paris apartment; there will be another reception at the prestigious Quai d’Orsay reception rooms, the home of the French Foreign Ministry; a dinner at the magnificent Banque de France, a mansion designed by Mansart in 1635, where the bank’s governor, Jean-Claude Trichet, a former governor of the World Bankairner, will receive; a visit to the Chateau de Saint Georges once owned by Consuelo Vanderbilt; cocktails at the beautiful Paris residence of handsome Paul de Ganay and, wonder of wonders, a picnic, a dejeuner sur l’herbe, in the Bosquet de la Salle de Bal. This is the last grove created by Le Notre and completed in 1683. Louis XIV in the flesh sometimes held great parties in this grove, where his guests danced on a marble platform surrounded by water. Fan-shaped cascades of water from the tiers enclosing the grove gushed up in Louis’ time , and now they will cascade for the guests in June! All invited are tres excites.
Speaking of houses, Jade Jagger, Mick and Bianca’s daughter, is going into the guesthouse-by-the-sea business this summer. Nothing Versailles-ish, naturally, just a cozy, 12-room hotel in Ibiza where the living is wild. This is where Jade spends most of her time designing jewelry and living the free and easy life. She plans on using solar power, serving only organic food and later following up with guesthouses in India and Bali, where there is plenty of sun to run the juicers. And then some.