A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS: Christie’s threw a party and preview Friday night for Michael Smith’s two-day Palladian Villa sale, which ends today. While the interior designer mingled with Alexandra Wentworth, her husband George Stephanopoulos and friends, some guests viewed the 450 lots that are up for sale. Two were so bold as to traipse across the 17th-century Persian carpet that at one time graced the Agnellis’ Park Avenue apartment. “Oh, why don’t you take pictures?” Smith murmured as one half of the duo aimed an iPhone. “The ropes go up tomorrow.”

As the First Family’s favorite interior decorator, Smith knows a thing or two about protocol. Often asked about his work in the White House, he said he has a standard reply. “‘I don’t talk about my clients.’ It’s an easy out all the time.”

This story first appeared in the April 24, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

What fans will soon be able to get their hands on is “Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design,” Smith’s new book about the Malibu villa that his pal Margaret Russell penned the foreword for.

While some may have skipped Friday night’s festivities to tune into the police dragnet that was nearing a crescendo on TV with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Stephanopoulos was on to other things. “George and I are going to the Four Seasons,” Wentworth told Smith. “We’ll see you there.”