Byline: Aileen Mehle
That crowd of big shots pushing into the Four Seasons was pushing in because Lauren and John Veronis, the investment banker, were giving a party for 250 select types to celebrate the engagement of their son, Harlan Peltz — that’s Harlan Peltz of YouthStream media — and Debra Harounian, a tall, blonde, beautiful lawyer. As Lauren would say, and did, what more could a mother want?
It was a tout a fait family affair with the bride’s parents, Roberta and David Harounian, on hand and such numerous siblings cheering the lovely couple on as Harlan’s sister Perri Peltz and her husband, Eric Ruttenberg; another sister, Alexandra Peltz; Kimberly Harounian; Jane Veronis; Jay Veronis, and Sophie and Nicholas Veronis. They didn’t fill the room but they tried. The hundreds of guests gathered beneath branches of cherry blossoms and camellias, arranged by Miho, took over.
Among the waves of young and not-so-young faces were — get ready for a list: Punch Sulzberger and Mrs. Punch, who is called Allison Cowles; the Republicans’ Republican Charles Gargano with, as ever, Phyllis George; Nathaniel de Rothschild; Cecile and Ezra Zilkha; Bettina Zilkha; Michael Bloomberg; the seen-everywhere Boardman sisters, Serena and Samantha; Evelyn and Leonard Lauder; Lyn Revson; Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner; Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman with Dr. Frank Petito; Freddy Melhado; Rena Sindi; Janet and Derald Ruttenberg; Barbara and Gerald Levin; Patty and Marty Raynes; Casey Ribicoff; the Tisch brothers, Larry and Bob, with their wives, Billie and Joan; Nancy and Henry (Cendant) Silverman; Leonard (lots of stuff) Stern; Barbara Walters; Wendy and Bill Luers; Lally Weymouth; the Herbert Allens 3rd; the Pepe Fanjuls; Nicholas Berggruen; Catie and Donald Marron; John Theodoracopoulos, and others too rich, famous, cute and overexposed to mention.
Nancy Holmes celebrated her 80th birthday — she said it, I didn’t — at the Lotos Club at a party for 80 friends given in her honor by Randy Jones, the publisher, and Connie Jones, his pretty blonde wife. Nancy was thrilled because her son, Peter Thompson, and her daughter, Brooke Negley, were there with Brooke’s daughters, Nancy, Emily and Sydney. I don’t know what Nancy’s granddaughters call her but it isn’t granny.
To fit into her Trigere from 12 years ago (see below), Nancy didn’t have a decent meal for three weeks and then the dress was too big. Hell. So the night before her party, she ate a ton of spaghetti and had two martinis. It’s the only way, really. Happy birthday, dear Nancy.
It was a sea of red on Valentine’s Day at Club Colette in Palm Beach when fashion designer Steven Stolman gave a cocktail party to honor Pauline Trigere, the truly legendary designer, known for the luxury and drama of her designs, clothes that go on forever, that are treasured in closets and tissue through the years and are now the ultimate in vogue, stars of vintage collections. Pauline, always quick with a quip is also famous for her sassy line, “Feeling blue? Wear red!” Dear Pauline.
The Ladies all lined up at the party to reminisce with Pauline, a miracle in her 90’s, who retired 14 years ago but is still going strong. She looked sensational in a slinky red jumpsuit with a plunging neckline — what else? — sprinkled with glittering turtle brooches. Pauline collects gorgeous little turtle pins and brooches and clips and rings and things. Her favorite turtles are studded with jewels, real of course. Fakes are fun but diamonds and rubies and sapphires and emeralds are even more fun. Just ask her.
Pauline’s familiar signature, that big, bold Trigere, was projected in red across the ceiling of the party tent, and a dressmaker’s mannequin featured a Trigere-inspired dress made from hundreds and hundreds of red carnations. Did you ever?
A flurry of Pauline’s fans were there including Palm Beach Mayor Lesly Smith, glamorous Betsy Kaiser (who used to model for Pauline) and Pauline Baker Pitt. Have you heard she’s the most popular girl in town?
Desmond Fitzgerald, whose wonderful Irish title is The Knight of Glin, and his wife, Olda, who is always known as Madam Fitzgerald, were in from Ireland to celebrate the launching of Olda’s new book, “Ashford Castle…Through the Centuries.” Although the Fitzgeralds run their own Glin Castle, Olda’s love of Irish history and Ashford Castle’s illustrious past inspired her to write the 160-page book. It’s all about Irish life at Ashford as enjoyed by both Sir Benjamin Guinness of the Guinness Guinnesses and his son, Sir Arthur Guinness, who called it home, sweet home, for 80 years. Helping the Knight and Madam celebrate at Christie’s were Kenneth Jay Lane, Edwina Sandys, Rita Gam, Shelia O’Malley and Ashton Hawkins. Like that.