Byline: Aileen Mehle
Chelsea Clinton was all over the place in Aspen. So, ever vigilant, was a retinue of six Secret Service agents, who kept their beady eyes constantly trained on her while managing, at the same time, to bump some fancy New Yorkers from their assigned condominiums. Pout, pout.
Chelsea flew into the Rockies commercially — no more of that ultra-posh flying so high in the sky with the parents — accompanied by a group of girlfriends on spring break. They did all the girly things, like hit the Aspen Club for facials and massages, and a few that were not all that girly like sashaying into the trendy restaurants and the Caribou Club for dancing. Chelsea’s hair is curlier than ever and her eyebrows plucked thinny-thin-thin, just like mommy’s. It’s a look.
Kevin Costner and his girlfriend Christine Baumgartner, Ringo Starr, Sally Field, Tony Peck, Katie Ford and Andre Balazs, Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola, William Lauder and Dayssi and Paul Kanavos, fun-lovers all, were also in town with their families playing in the snow.
Walking on the red carpet on Oscar night is like walking over hot coals. Some stars emerge glowing and rosy; others are burned to a crisp. Most of them are spoiled, but who can blame them? Everybody knows that the famous, even the sort of famous, are offered hundreds of dresses from the world’s top designers and millions of dollars in gems from the greatest jewelers. All of this, plus knowing a billion people, like crouching tigers and hidden dragons, are waiting to pounce and claw critically raises the anxiety level in the hours before the curtain when stars and their stylists are still agonizing over the perfect combination of couture, jewels, makeup and hair.
Jennifer Lopez, who decided to wear a whole dress this year, finally narrowed her choice down to four frocks and $10 million worth of yellow diamonds from Harry Winston, all of which she had on hold for two weeks. Two hours before she was to get into her pumpkin, with a seamstress sewing an 80-carat cushion-shaped diamond and two brooches onto the transparent chiffon top of her gray Chanel, she changed her mind, her prerogative. She decided the blaze of yellow didn’t suit the dress and that the 28-carat diamond ring was just too, too big for her delicate fingers. Oh? Anyhow, the yellow diamonds went back into their custom navy cases, and la Lopez grabbed a pair of white diamond pendant earrings from Fred Leighton for a winning look with minutes to spare. Ah, showfolk. What would we do without them?
Many of the nominees and presenters went through the same travails. Fashion winners — Marcia Gay Harden in Randolph Duke’s red satin killer ballgown, Hilary Swank in a white beaded Versace that showed 75 percent of her boobs and Sigourney Weaver in a red John Galliano for Christian Dior — all wore Harry Winston jewels and Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck wore Winston studs. Studs for the studs, so to speak. Oh, hahahahaha.
Kate Hudson, a blonde doll, did not garner compliments for her baby-blue fringed Chloe, but obviously she liked it and that’s that. As for her ever-youthful, ever-popular mommy, Goldie Hawn, some thought she should cut about two inches or more off that past-the-shoulders blonde mop and maybe restrain the giggle while she was up there onstage for all the world to see. She’s a big girl now.
But never mind all that, the two biggest duds at the do were Sarah Jessica Parker — what was she thinking of? — in a way-too short, way-too-tight black number that did absolutely nothing for her legs, and Tom Cruise, there to present the Best Director award to Steven Soderbergh for “Traffic.” He showed a total lack of respect for Hollywood’s biggest night by showing up in a nothing business suit, a dumb blue shirt open at the neck, no tie and an ugly burr haircut. Can it be that life without Nicole Kidman is already taking its toll?
And is it a new thing to have gray lips? Both Angelina Jolie and Lopez arrived with ashy ones. But, really, even extraordinarily beautiful women cannot get away with gray lips. If that’s the natural look, what do they do for supernatural?
As for Julia Roberts, what a divinity in her vintage black and white Valentino and high-drama hair-do! If you missed her picture on the front page of Monday’s WWD, I feel sorry for you.
On a completely different note, the guests at the Prince of Wales’s country fete in June, at his beloved Highgrove, will spend two nights at the too-picturesque-for-words Manor House in the village of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds. And, cheers there’ll be a summer lawn party there where one may not only lounge back and relax, but even sip a cool drink in a skiff on the reflecting pond. Or don your whites for a friendly game of croquet or simply enjoy the sunset from the comfort of a chaise longue. Amusements will follow the candlelit supper that evening as guests slip away for parlor (parlour?) games or a brandy by the fire. After retiring for the last night of slumber in the country, all will awaken for one final English country breakfast before saying toodles to it all. Terminally British, of course, but where the hell do you think you are, people?