The height of the season

It is the height of the season in Palm Beach and last week, the week of Valentine’s, America’s most fashionable permanent resort was around and round with parties.There are lots of Kennedys in Palm Beach including Ethel, Jean Kennedy Smith and Christopher Kennedy Lawford who is there for his new book Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption.

Rosita, the Duchess of Marlborough talking to Tina Fanjul

Diana Bell gave a tea for Marianne Castle’s birthday. Mrs. C wasn’t the only Aquarius in the mix – there was Kate Ford, Grace Meigher, Pauline Pitt and Maria Floyd too. Then there were two very glamorous dinner parties – Marianne and John Castle’s dinner for Rosita, Her Grace, the Duchess of Marlborough at the Castle’s Castillo del Mar, formerly the Joseph P. Kennedy Mansion which son John F. Kennedy used as his Winter White House back in the days when that was the fashion.

The duchess stopped off in Palm Beach on her way to Sun Valley and then Mexico. She returns to Palm Beach at the end of this week and will be in residence through the end of April.

At the Castles’ – Julia and David Koch (who are expecting their third little Koch in June; Mayor Lesley Smith, Pauline Pitt, Tina Fanjul, Cristina de Caraman, James Walsh, Chris and Grace Meigher, Felix Mirando, John Drexel; Pauline Pitt’s brother Anthony Baker and Jim Mitchell.

Clockwise from top left: John Drexel and Pauline Pitt; Marianne Castle and David Koch; Grace Meigher and John Castle; Julia Koch and Cristina de Caraman.

On another night of gorgeous Palm Beach weather, the senior Emilia and Pepe Fanjuls gave a little dinner for their friend Louise Grunwald at their Palm Beach mansion.

Gracing the Fanjuls’: Sunny, His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Katharine Bryan, Terry Kramer and Nick Simunek, Cynthia Boardman, whose daughter Sarah is being married in Palm Beach on April 8; Pauline Pitt, Anthony Baker, Annette Tapert Allen, Jim Mitchell, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Duncan McLaren, in from London and staying with Pauline Pitt, Ken Karakul, Fabienne Albrecht – who lives in Basel, Gstaad and Monte Carlo, and is staying with the Kramer-Simuneks; Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, Ana Cristina Alvarado, the jewelry designer from New York, and Siri and Tony Mortimer.

Sunny Marlborough, as he is known to his friends, was also staying with Terry Allen Kramer and Nick Simunek. The duke, who stopped in PB long enough to play a golf tournament in Hobe Sound (White’s of London vs. the Brook in New York) was on his way back to England after a holiday in Barbados. But he won’t be away for long – he returns mid-March through late April to the sheltering palms he’s been visiting since he was a mere wee one himself visiting his legendary grannie, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan in Manalapan.

Meanwhile, if you think that’s all that was going on down emeraldine way, there were others, namely: well, Truman Capote said it first (or loudest) - "It was a lovely party if you've never been to a party before." Meaning, they all go to so much, so many, that the time comes when they all begin to blend together.

So when one comes along that feels different/unexpected, it's a cause for celebration. That's exactly what it was with the drinks party Vicki Young and Steven Stolman gave in honor of interior designer (and Vicki's son) Jack Young's 50th (fiftieth what? You had to ask?). It was a fresh venue -- the grand new headquarters of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach designed by architect Jeffery Smith and interior designer Scott Snyder with its stately entrance hall, a warm and woodsy (w/fireplace) library and a large terrace beyond (tented for the evening) opening onto Pan's Garden- the lush walled garden created by the late Lydia Mann.

David Crohan, the great jazz pianist from Cafe L'Europe played everything from Broadway standards to Carole King and James Taylor. The food was pure a glom-gobbly-wobbly riot of caloric delights: peanut butter and bacon canapés (“have another – you only pass this way once…”), smoked salmon tea sandwiches and cheese puffs (the dessert). And oy!, as they rightfully say up my way.

Nonetheless the night was really about Jack’s friends — an eclectic mix of family and friends from all over, especially Colorado, the birthday boy's home. In the crowd of sun-drenched babies: Chris and Grace Meigher, Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter, Lesly Smith and Dr. James Walsh, Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Taylor, Pauline Pitt, Isolde O'Hanlon, Beau and Jackie Breckenridge, Cathy Bleznak, Jill Young, Robert Janjigian, Ryan Meehan, Ross Meltzer and Tom Samet, Tommy Quick, Dennis Basso and Michael Cominotto, Susan Gubelmann, Brett Price, Maribeth and Ellen Welsh, Sandy Heine, Howard and Michele Kessler, Brian Farrell, Don Burns and Greg Connors, Patrick Killian, Alex Snyder, Laura Evans, Michael and Nancy Peacock, Peter and Brantley Knowles, Regine Traulsen and Bill Diamond and Joe and Sheila O'Malley Fuchs.

Roy Rodriguez and Mia Morrison

Jack Young and Maribeth Welsh

Jackie Breckenridge with her mom Connie Shackelford

Grace and Christopher Meigher
Elise and Mark Lefkowitz

Frannie Scaife and Cathy Bleznak

Jill Young and Steven Stolman

Will Murphy, Jennifer Garrigues, John Ferguson, and Bill Eubanks

Brian Farrell and Patrick Killian

Pauline Pitt

Lauryl Guse and Maura Weisman

Michael Formica, Bob Hiemstra, and Steven Stolman

Mai Harrison, Dennis Basso, and Cornelia Ercklentz

Rafael Saladrigas, Bill Diamond, and Sandra

Susan Gubelmann, Bryan McDonald, and Mark Brentlinger
Marcia Gay Harden and Ed Harris

Last week, The Cinema Society and Hugo Boss hosted the premiere of “Winter Passing” for New York’s fashionable cinemaphiles at the Tribeca Grand hotel.

Written and directed by award winning playwright Adam Rapp, Winter Passing is a drama that charts the fractious reunion of an estranged father played by Ed Harris, and daughter played by Zooey Deschanel. Miss Deschanel gives a stunning performance that had both movie-goers and critics talking.

Cinema Society Founder Andrew Saffir welcomed the film’s cast to the premiere and dinner which followed at the hip Tribeca Grand Hotel.

Cast of Winter Passing
In attendance were cast members Ed Harris, Zooey Deschanel, Dallas Roberts, Amelia Warner, Rob Beitzel; the film’s creator Adam Rapp, the film’s producers David Koplan, Jennifer Dana, Anthony Katagas, and Yari Film Group’s Isabel White and Erin Eggers, who all received accolades from the house — Marcia Gay Harden, Helena Christensen, Michael Stipe, Rachel Roy, actress Annie Parisse, Elettra Wiedemann, Cari Modine, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley, Janice Combs, Cindy Adams, George Whipple, Ralph Macchio, Sports Illustrated model Marissa Miller, NBC’s Dan Abrams, Daniel Benedict, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers, Bettina Zilkha, Hugo Boss’ Katja Douedari and Mary Ellen Mills, Allison Sarofim, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Olivia Chantecaille.

Michael Stipe and Zooey Deschanel

Andrew Saffir, Helena Christensen, and Daniel Benedict

Amelia Warner

Cindy Adams
Carson Kressley
Marissa Miller
L. to r.: Allison Sarofim; Dan Abrams and Michael Stipe; Andrew Saffir and Rachel Roy.

Ghislaine Maxwell

Elettra Wiedemann
Cynthia Rowley
Cari Modine
Annie Parisse

Olivia Chantecaille

Ed Harris
Adam Rapp

George Whipple

Ralph Macchio
Janice Combs

Thom Filicia, Marcia Gay Harden, and Carson Kressley

Jackie Astier and Bettina Zilkha
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Last Thursday night designer Joanna Mastroianni showcased her Fall 2006 Collection at Bryant Park with models parading down the runway in sleek lines and balanced silhouettes—slim shapes paired with loose jackets. Models Carole Alt and Heidi Albertson, the L-Word’s Karina Lombard, Fairuza Balk, Patrick McDonald, Diane DeWitt, Debbie Bancroft, Tina Louise, Lauren Thierry Watkins, Inna DeSilva, Carmen Santiago, and Michèle Gerber Klein looked on from the front row as the pieces lit up the tent with shades of red, gold, and copper.

Joanna Mastroianni

Mastroianni was inspired by the fragile beauty of a Faberge egg along with the romantic ambiance of the Russian Imperial Court. She also introduced a line of accessories; intricately patterned hand-beaded belts and handbags enhanced the luxe mood of the collection.

Designer Bob Mackie, CFDA President Stan Herman, and Costume Designer Joe McFate were in the audience along with Full Frontal Fashion’s Judy Licht and her daughter Jessie Della Femina.

There was one notable model who missed the show… Natasha, Mastroianni’s Pomeranian caused some commotion when she went missing right before she was supposed to prance the runway. After the designer dispatched someone to search for the fluffy creature whose furry coat matched the collection’s fur perfectly, the dog turned up frolicking in the tents outside of the show.
Joanna Mastroianni, David Yassky, and Carol Alt
Debra Suri, Shyna Tolani, and Carmen Santiago

Joanna Mastroianni and model

Heidi Albertson and Carol Alt
Lauren Thierry Watkins and Tina Louise
L. to r.: Jessie Della Femina and Judy Licht; Michèle Gerber Klein and Tina Louise;  Fairuza Balk and Patrick McDonald.
Gastineau Girls stylists
Carmen Santiago and Inna DeSilva
Bob Mackie, Debbie Bancroft, and Stan Herman
Debbie Bancroft and Diane Dewitt

Photographs by Lucien Capehart (Young); Neil Rasmus/©Patrick McMullan (Cinema Society).


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/