Byline: Aileen Mehle
Kathy and Billy Rayner of the New York and East Hampton social swim have left for India to see what they can see. Not that this is their first visit there by a long shot. They just love to girdle the globe.
In Palm Beach, people give parties at the drop of a hint, so of course there was a big opening party for Billy Rayner’s retrospective showing at the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden — he paints, you know — but another one when it closed with Ann Nitze and the Nashville heiress Alyne Massey doing the honors. At the opening, everyone was just crazy about Billy’s work and came back to put in an order for one of his exotic scenes. So without a moment to spare, Kathy and Billy packed their portmanteaus and his paint bag and flew off to Rajasthan, Jaipur, etc. to fulfill all those commissions. They aren’t having earthquakes where they’re going, they said. From their mouths to God’s ear. If the earth moves, well, they’re still in love.
That giant of the music world Ahmet Ertegun and his wife, Mica, aren’t quite so sanguine. They were planning to spend their 40th wedding anniversary in Jaipur at an action-packed weekend celebration from April 6 to 9 with all sorts of fun things planned, receptions, dinners, shopping, sightseeing, a black-tie gala evening at Naila Fort, lunches, polo, a visit to the Taj Mahal, like that. Their rich pal, the irrepressible, one-of-a-kind Biki Oberoi of the vast Indian hotel chain, was to have been their host, but all that has been canceled now because of the tragic situation in India, and the Erteguns and their friends will be making other plans.
Sir Elton John — and even if you don’t, there are people out there who think the man of hit songs, lush lyrics and born-again hair is England’s hottest export since the Beatles — will entertain in concert at the Spring Gala for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation on May 2 at Cipriani’s. The evening is as black tie as you can get with Elizabeth Hurley, Linda Stein and Evelyn and Leonard Lauder putting it all together. Candice Bergen and her husband, Marshall Rose, have bought the first table to see Elton rock.
Two years ago, the Foundation hosted its first hugely successful evening to honor Larry Norton, the chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, but once is not good enough and the famous doctor is the man of the hour again. Of all the good reasons why, one is that Elton is Larry Norton’s biggest fan — he has treated many of his friends — and Elton is entertaining purely for pleasure. (In the interests of trivia, did you know Elton has nearly 1,000 pairs of sunglasses that he keeps in a beautiful cabinet at his house in Provence? It was made especially for him by Viscount (David) Linley, Princess Margaret’s son, who makes all that fine furniture you see in the best houses.)
Denise Hale, the San Francisco social flash, is back at home after visiting Bali, where she glowed (as in sweated) in the humidity, Cambodia, where she reveled in the beauty of Angkor Wat, and Bangkok, where she found true luxury where she wasn’t really expecting it. Well, good for her, a woman who should know because she’s been in some big towns and heard her some big talk almost all her life. Which was just the way she wanted it.
Now Denise, never one to sit on her tuffet for long, will be going to Palm Beach to visit Pauline Baker Boardman Pitt before flying off to the Dominican Republic to join Emilia and Pepe Fanjul’s house party at their lush resort, Casa de Campo in La Romana. It will be such fun, oh my, because she’ll be there basking under the sun with such sunglassed swells as Sir David Frost and Lady Carina Frost, Dixon Boardman and Arriana von Hohenlohe (soon to be married), Jane and Guilford Dudley, Blaine and Robert Trump, Hillie Pilkington of the London beau monde and others of that stripe. As for Pauline Baker Boardman Pitt, that lovely creature has taken a yacht to go cruising with her pals Liz and Eddie Ward, they of the English nobility and constant tans, and her special pal Jamie Niven, her loving friend and current constant companion. Heavens, they have such a good time together, but, for those inquiring minds and nosy quidnuncs who keep wanting to know, they are not getting married and, heavens, Pauline is not about to make a commitment. That’s for now.
Pia and Christopher Getty are giving a dinner party on Feb. 14 at which Carroll Petrie, who already has a gang of awards on her shelves, will receive the Russian National Orchestra’s Gordon Getty Award. Gordon, Christopher’s uncle, is a great supporter of the RNO, and he’ll be here from San Francisco to present the award to Carroll in recognition of her contributions to international understanding through the arts. So now you know. Pia Getty’s parents, Chantal and Robert Miller, the duty-free shopping tycoon, are the hosts of the evening at their magnificent East Side town house. You’d think you’d have to wear a white tie and tails, at least, to get in the door, but, no, business attire will do. Standing on ceremony can be such a drag — especially when the Russians are coming.