Avis, that glamorous French chanteuse boarded
the baby grand with panache and sophistication in an evening
of multi-lingual songs, opening last night at the King Kong
Room of the Supper Club at 240 West 47th Street. Rex
Reed said, "... this entrancing and svelte
femme fatale conducts a guided tour through a landscape of
love that roams sensually from the boites of Edith Piaf's
Paris to the cellars of Marlene Dietrich's Berlin."
night Yanna brought out lots of her pals including her husband,
Rent-a-car tycoon Warren Avis, Reinaldo and Carolina
Herrera, Liz Smith, Dominick Dunne, Alex Hitz, Fernando Sanchez,
Dolores Smithies, Lee Thaw, Kenny Lane, Aileen Mehle, Boaz
Mazor, Mario Buatta, Phillip Junot, Heather Cohane, Mary McFadden,
David Beer, et al.
Thommie Walsh directs. $25 cover,
$15 food/drink minimum. Friday and Saturday,
December 5th and 6th at 9 PM. www.yannaavis.com
singing "old love, new love, every love but true love ...
Love for Sale"
Beach, they say, was filled to capacity with New Yorkers over
the long Thanksgiving weekend (which in Palm Beach is one day
short of a week). And the fete de fetes was, hands down, David
and Julia Koch’s cocktail buffet last Saturday
at their fabulous villa “El Sarmiento.” The whole
town turned out. Well, not quite, but close enough.
Kochs have one of the town’s most glamorous houses – all
25,000 square feet of it – once the home of Dolly
O’Brien back in the days when Clark Gable and The
Duke and the Duchess of Windsor came to stay. And stay.
Well, not at the same time.
and Julia Koch
Mrs. O’Brien was, in fact, Countess Dolly Hylan Heminway
Fleischmann O’Brien Dorelis. She was an insurance
man’s daughter from Philadelphia and so charming in her ways
that she gave both the future and the past a good name. Count
Jose Rex Holstein Dorelis was the man who gave her the title
and after that she was Countess Dolly Dorelis. And
he was history, at least in her house.
The count, who was a perfumer by trade, first hit Palm Beach in 1939
when it was a sleepy little island of mansions and millionaires and
parties till dawn. He was from a country where they didn’t
have counts – Rumania. That’s okay, there was always
the King of Bulgaria, who granted him the title.
It all sounded a little hokey even to people in Palm Beach, so just
to be on the safe side, the count carried around the papers with
him, a kind of drivers license for social entrepreneurs.
count was easy to spot at the B&T or the Everglades, or anywhere
else for that matter: he always wore monocles – two – at
the same time. Lotta squinting there, no? He was also distinguishable
to any head he turned by the gold tassel which protruded from an
antique flint box which he kept in his right rear pocket. You had
to be there.
Hylan Heminway Fleischmann O'Brien, Charles Munn and Joanne Connelley
Sweeny Ortiz-Patino at a ball in Palm Beach (circa 1950).
that was then and this is now. The Kochs, who
also live in Southampton and in Manhattan in the apartment
that belonged to Jacqueline Onassis, are the
proud parents of two young children and Saturday night’s
party as well as the occasional major charity benefit don’t/won’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t
hold a candle to the times that went on in the days of the Count
and Countess Dorelis.
Julia Koch, in a short gold beaded dress and her long tall husband
who reputedly has to make do on $30 million a year or such, greeted
their several hundred guests as they entered the famous mansion.
The party was so beautiful, according to one guest who’s seen
the best of them, that “it was reminiscent of the old glorious
days in Palm Beach.” There was a major traffic jam on South
Ocean Boulevard with guests arriving and departing. There were cocktails
in the house and in the garden. After cocktails there were tables
in the ballroom for the buffet and music, music, music.
Among the guests: The host’s brother Bill Koch, Emilia
and Pepe Fanjul, Pauline Pitt, Cristina de Caraman, just
back from Paris, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, who
live just a hop, skip and a jump away; Marianne and John
Castle, Maura and Bill Benjamin, Rodney Dillard and the
new Mrs. Dillard, Carol and Earle Mack, Carroll Petrie, John
Christensen, Jean Tailer, Giney and Ned Burke, Jim Mitchell, Charles
Holman, Kit and Bill Pannill, Mai and Ridgely Harrison, Victoria
and Minot Amory, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Howard Cox, Kate and Jimmy
Gubelmann, Liz Mezzacappa, Polly and David Ober, Donna and Bill Acquavella,
Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Maggie and Alan Scherer, Frieda and George
Lindemann, Mayor Leslie Smith, Dr. James Walsh, Tina and Bill Flaherty,
Hildegarde and David Jones, Geoffrey Bradfield, the David Gilmours,
Grace and Chris Meigher, Mila and Brian Mulroney, Liza Leidy, Arnold
Scaasi and Parker Ladd, Terry Kramer and Nick Simenuk, Alyne Massey,
John Bailey, Ann Downey and her daughter Mona,
the Countess de Sayve, who is now living in New
York and Palm Beach; Tina Fanjul, Jim Powers, Dina Merrill
and Ted Hartley whose show “Never Gonna Dance” with
music by George and Ira Gershwin and based on the Astaire/Rogers musical “Swingtime” opens
this Thursday on Broadway.
And the talk? Well, there’s a big divorce
looming down there among the sheltering palms.
The husband offered the wife 7 mill and 35 Gs a month.
But she wants 21 and 50 (Gs a month). It’s never
enough and it won’t ever be, even if it were a billion,
considering where it goes when she’s laying it out.
Meanwhile, in the happier fields of matrimony is
the ongoing rumor of the happy couple who secretly married
and aren’t talking about it.
honored Francine LeFrak and Rick Friedberg (pictured
above with Veronica Kelly, DPC, and Lois and Buzz Aldrin)
with the Human Spirit Award at the Christopher Reeve Paralysis
Foundation’s “A Magical Evening” gala this
year at the Marriott Marquis on Broadway and 45th Street.
LeFrak and Friedberg, Mr. and Mrs. in real life, were honored for
their exceptional civic and professional contributions to CRPF.
They also honored Michael Graves, the accomplished
architect with the CRPF Visionary Leadership Award, in recognition
for his personal courage and new partnership with the organization.
Graves himself was paralyzed due to an infection this year.
They also announced the two winners of this year’s Reeve-Irvine
Research Medal for Spinal Cord Repair, created by the Reeve-Irvine
Research center at the University of California Irvine, and Joan
Irvine Smith. This year’s winnder were Dr. james Fawcett
of Cambridge University and Dr. Jerry Silver of Case Western Reserve
University and comes with a cash prize of $50,000.
The 13th annual A Magical Evening gala was hosted by John Lithgow.
They raised approximately $1.8 million for CRPF’s spinal
repair research and Quality of Life programs. In 2003, CRPF approved
over $3.78 million for Individual Research Grants, $2.88 million
for the Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury, and $1.2 million
in Quality of Life Grants.
For lots more on this Magical Evening, look at Today's
Cartier Mansion on Fifth Avenue, all wrapped up for the holidays
to r.: Michael and Meg Bowen; Jean Tailer, Gail
Nessel, Maura Benjamin, and Dorothy Kohl; Jill Rau and
from West Palm Beach, FL - The new Alpark Couture
Salon in the Esplanade was the location for a gala cocktail
party and private preview on November 18th, in honor of the
2004 Vernissage 2004 Gala Chairman, Mrs. Jeffrey Fisher (Frances),
and her co chairmen, Mrs. William E. Benjamin II (Maura), Mrs.
Sidney Kohl (Dorothy), and Mrs.
Melvin B. Nessel (Gail). Honorary
Chairman is Mrs. T. Suffern Tailer (Jean).
The Connoisseurs and Collectors Host Committee Chairmen are Mr.
William I. Koch and Mr. Donald J. Trump.
The evening was graciously hosted by Alpark President Sami
Alpark and CEO René Gallardo.
Guests enjoyed a personal appearance and fashion extravaganza
by designer Reem Acraand a presentation of
dazzling jewels by VIVID Collection.
Vernissage 2004 is the opening evening of the The International Fine
Art & Antique Fair, to be held on Thursday, January 29th, at
the Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach. The event
benefits the Norton Museum of Art and is generously underwritten
in part by Grand Corporate Sponsor, VIVID Collection; Grand Corporate
Benefactor, The Private Bank at Bank of America; and Corporate Patrons,
The Bruce Gendelman Company, Christie's, Graff, and Palm Beach
Cottages and Gardens Magazine.
to r.: Frances Fisher and David Ober; Lisa and Lars
Erdmann; Christina Orr-Cahall with Bob and Ellen Jaffe.