Byline: Aileen Mehle
That ultimately dashing couple about town and country, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, just love, love, love their friend C.Z. Guest. And they love, love, love her gardening books, too. Especially the latest one just out called “Garden Talk — Ask Me Anything.” Not only are green thumbers and people who don’t know one end of a garden from another — but were always afraid to ask — asking C.Z. anything and everything. (From how to handle their acres of verdure to what to do about their patches of green). The book is selling like hot petunias. Second printing and all that. More than 100 books were bought at the Herrera party and they have been flying out of Bergdorf Goodman, one hears more than 1,000, where she holds courts and hustles just as elegantly as the forever best-dressed C.Z., always known as a fashion icon, does everything. Her own garden on Long Island is a thing of blooming beauty and a joy forever to those who tiptoe — nobody would dare trample — through it. Dear C.Z.
Everyone was at the party at the Herrera’s wonderful town house. To name but a few: Judy and Sam Peabody, Pauline Pitt, Caroline Firestone, the Constantine Sidamon-Eristoffs, Roger Ailes, Grace and Chris Meigher, Anna Wintour and Shelby Bryan, Marina and Francesco Galesi, Doda Voridis, Jane Holzer, Louise and Henry Grunwald, Countess Consuelo Crespi, Bea and Randolph Guthrie, Patricia Patterson, Jamie Niven, Alex Hitz of the Coca Cola Hitzes, Mary McFadden, Paul Wilmot, Bruce Weber, Linda Wells, Alexandra and Arthur Schlesinger, the Edgar Bronfmans, Alexandra and Taki Theodoracopulos, Graydon Carter, the Scott Wellses, Johnny Galliher, Andre Leon Talley, Pamela Stephaich, Casey Ribicoff, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, Liz Fondaras, the Pepe Fanjuls (Sr. and Jr. version), Marty Stevens, Robert Tartarini, Muffie and Sherrell Aston, and all the family — the Frederick E. Guests, the Alexander M.D. Guests, Cornelia Guest, back from London for the holidays — and all the friends who know one end of an astor from an aspidistra. Oh, and those were just the ones who bought books.
That Pauline Trigere, one of the enduring legends of the fashion world, is quelque chose. She has just been presented with the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by her proud native country, France, and she is tres excitee. Naturellement, she accepted the honor graciously wearing a little bright red jumpsuit, tres chic. Richard Duque, the French consul general in New York, hung the medal on her belle poitrine as her guests at the French consulate came to their feet in more than one round of cheers and applause. Vive la Trigere! During her long and fabulous career, her unmistakably unique designs have appeared on some of the best-dressed women in the world.
Because Pauline is a woman of a certain age, past 90, if you can believe it, her entourage for the occasion included Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld (counting her heart beats), Dr. Scott Kessler (swabbing her throaty throat), Dr. Yale Fisher (seeing that she could see) and Dr. Kevin O’Flaherty (insuring that she could hear all the gossip). The novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford and her husband, Bob Bradford, were at the ceremony along with Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Gael Greene, Cathy Black, Shelby White, Liliane Montevecchi, Pauline’s longtime friend Julio Werthheim who flew up from Argentina, her sons Jean-Pierre Radley and Philippe Radley with their families and ever so many friends and fashion world fans. Many of them also celebrated at the party Mona Riklis Ackerman gave for Pauline at her beautiful Park Avenue apartment, which once belonged to Barbara Hutton. When it came to knowing how to live, Barbara Hutton, before she ran through her multimillions, bowed to no one. But, kudos to Mona and the superb decorator-designer-architect Peter Marino, how could the apartment then have possibly looked better than it does now?
Alice Mason, aglow and aglitter in red and black paillettes and a black satin skirt by James Galanos — she’s never caught alive wearing anything by any other designer, even her nightgowns are suspect — entertained the literati and the glitterati at her holiday dinner, assisted by her darling daughter Dominique in a black silk Dior. They all came. They always do.
You all remember Alice. She’s not only a big-time hostess with the best guest list but a big-time realtor with the most exclusive New York City residences among her listings. You want to buy or sell a house or an apartment, check in. You want to go to a dinner with those so-interesting people you either know or read about, check in. Maybe she’ll invite you — oh, and maybe she won’t.
Brightening up the rooms at Alice’s apartment, where she magically wedges guests in the living room, dining room and library — Ahmet Ertegun once famously asked, “Are there any tables in her closets? — were such fascinating types as Woody Allen and Soon-Yi of whom you may have heard; Barbara Walters; the political columnist Joe Conason; the famous screenwriter and director Nora Ephron and her best-selling writer husband, Nick Pileggi; Carolyne Roehm and her beau, the political consultant Ed Rollins; Nada Kirdar and her international financier husband, Nemir Kirdir; the noted photographer Harry Benson and his wife, Gigi; the best-selling author Barbara Goldsmith; Jennet Conant and Steve Kroft of your TV and mine; Barbara and Richard Butler; Helen Gurley Brown and David Brown; Dominick Dunne; Sharon Hoge; Daisy and Paul Soros; Francesa Stanfill and Richard Ney; Lynn Sherr; Danielle and Richard Gardner; Douglas Cramer; Gil Shiva; Drew Schiff; the forever model Carmen, looking especially luminous; Boaz Mazor, and on and on and on. Alice wore her eye-popping pearls. They’re not really that big. There’s still room for her neck.