The season in Nassau is winding down and the gentle and not so gentlefolk who simply adore the place are closing their pastel-painted houses in Lyford Cay and trading in their too-short shorts for something a little more decorous. Pat Buckley, who has taken a house at Lyford for the past several seasons, will be back in New York Thursday after six weeks of swims in the sea, constant house guests and gin games to match. Husband Bill Buckley cast aside his hectic schedule for the odd weekend and popped in on Patsy, who was thrilled to pieces. Only the absence of the Buckleys’ three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, who stayed behind in the Connecticut house, marred her happiness. The presence of several local hounds who hang around the house waiting for handouts did nothing to fill the void. The black cat that seemed to come with the place wasn’t such a hit either, but the Buckleys’ chef, Julian, got five stars from everyone. Even George Bush would love his broccoli.
Both Buckleys are crazy about their brilliant son Christopher’s new novel, “Thank You for Smoking,” which Random House will publish in May. It is said to be his funniest book ever, and that’s pretty funny. Robert Forbes of the Forbes Forbeses is celebrating Christopher and his book at a party on The Highlander, the Forbes yacht, on May 25, with a sailing up and down the Hudson thrown in. It all starts on Pier 62.
But before all that, Steve and Bina Forbes and Kip and Astrid Forbes, all of the Forbes Forbeses, of course, are giving a dinner dance along with a starlight voyage on board The Highlander on May 7 to launch their daughters. Providing you’re invited, you may wear your black tie or your blazer. The Forbes daughters are described as totally thrilled to be making their debuts at sea. Or, to hairsplitters, at river.
In keeping with tradition, the beautiful ballerinas of American Ballet Theatre have the hautest of the haute couturiers lining up to dress them for ABT’s Gala on May 9 at the Metropolitan Opera House. And what designer wouldn’t want to see his/her creations draped on those graceful bodies? The ballerinas will dance into the adjacent tent for dinner after the performance in showstoppers by Chanel, Carolina Herrera, Christian Lacroix and Mary McFadden.
Jean Paul Gaultier, the head-of-the pack designer who squeezed Madonna into — or maybe out of — some of her most outrageous rags, is branching out in all directions. Not only has he come up with breathtaking outfits for Pedro Almodovar’s wild new comedy flick “Kika,” he’s also hosting that controversial late-night TV show cunningly called “Eurotrash” and currently airing all over Britain. “Eurotrash” has a little something for everyone, from a 6-year-old French rapper banned from various radio stations to Europe’s newest porn star, who studies law and kick-boxing when she’s not in front of the cameras. Cute. P.S. In “Kika,” the sultry Spanish sexpot Victoria Abril plays a tabloid TV reporter/host — right up and right down Gaultier’s alley.
For those who just love to paper their walls with Rembrandts and Renoirs, remember May 12, when the International Fine Art Fair opens in New York with a gala benefit for the Frick Collection. Such women to reckon with as Mrs. Vincent Astor, Mrs. Perry R. Bass, Mrs. Michel David-Weill, Mrs. Henry Clay Frick 2nd, Mrs. Enid Annenberg Haupt, Mrs. John Hay Whitney and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman are honorary chairmen of the evening. The Frick, a jewel in the city’s crown, flourishes under the master hand of its director, Charles Ryskamp, and let’s keep it that way.
As for the Fine Art Fair, for five days the Park Avenue Armory will become a treasure house bursting with Old Masters and those baroque bronzes the Rothschilds used to adore. The cutoff date is 1900, so don’t look for any Calders among the Caravaggios. Dealers will be flying in from everywhere, including Count Jacques de la Beraudiere from Paris and Christopher Wood from London with his million-dollar Tissots tucked underneath his arm. All terribly “Masterpiece Theater.”
When those entertainment legends of yesteryear, Alice Faye and Phil Harris, watched their pretty blonde granddaughter, Tamara Beck, marry Michael Guterman in an all-Victorian sunset ceremony at a specially erected chapel at the La Quinta ranch area in Palm Springs, it was just as emotional as one of Alice’s old movies. Tammy’s wedding dress, the apotheosis of Victoriana, was made for her in New Orleans, and even with granny there, she was the star of the show at the big reception following in a huge tent at the Harrises’ Palm Springs spread called El Rancho Tecolote.
On that very same day, Reaney Kraft Dorsey, the granddaughter of another legend, the late bandleader Tommy Dorsey, married Robert Ryan Kunkler at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Engelwood, Colo., with a reception afterward at the Denver Museum of Natural History. They will spend their honeymoon in Australia.
You’ve all heard of the Wathne sisters — or if you haven’t, you should have. Now let’s hear it for one of the sisters’ offspring, Thorunn Wathne’s son Stefan, who bears the august title of founder and president of the Moscow Institute of Social and Political Studies. Stefan gave a party in the Versailles Room of the Carlyle Hotel for his guests from Moscow, three members of the Russian Parliament: Nikolai Travkin, Sergei Glaziev and Oleg Bogomolov, big shots all. Aside from assorted Wathnes, such guests turned out as Patricia Patterson, Jane and Alistair Keith, Harry Platt, Norma and Charlie Dana, Barbara and Tommy Bancroft, Hilary and Jack Geary, Meg and Stuart Kirkpatrick, Lil and Stefane Groueff, Alex Gregory, Barbara Cates and a dacha-load of others. Stefan graduated from Harvard in 1991 with honors in government and soviet studies and, just to show what a well-rounded young man he is, was senior editor of the Harvard Lampoon for three years.
Susan Gutfreund of New York and Paris (oh, I know you know) is the chairman of the May 10 Lifesavers Dinner at the Waldorf to benefit the American Suicide Foundation. Susan’s pal Karl Lagerfeld (yes, I know you know) joins her as co-chairman, a rare occurrence indeed for busy bee Karl, who not only designs for Chanel, Chloe and Fendi, but for his very own line. But, ecoute-toi, what are friends for?
The on dit is that it will be a lovely evening, with spring flowers on celadon cloths and music by Mike Carney, and even Mrs. Gore (Tipper, of course) will be there to receive the Humanitarian Award. Mike Wallace and William Styron will tell of their victorious battles against depression, which one hopes will be inspirational rather than tearjerking. Expected are Veronica and Randolph Hearst, Sylvia de Waldner and Gaby van Zuylen from Paris, Deeda and Bill Blair of the Washington Blairs, Anna Wintour, Bill Blass, Nancy and Henry Kissinger, Anne Bass, Howard Slatkin, Kip Forbes and a lot of others just like them.