HE South of France is still the playground of the Rich and Famous; it still holds its own when it comes to celebrities, and for very special reasons. It offers a great deal of privacy, which most of the Rich and Famous crave, except when they come out to be seen by the hoi polloi.
You can be anywhere on the Riviera and you’ll bump into friends from all around the world. If you weren’t in St. Tropez, Monte Carlo or Cannes you’d think you were in the Hamptons.
They were all there, from Ivana Trump and Rossano Rubicondi to Denise Rich, bringing in boatloads of fun friends. And they all rotated in and out and in again!
King Larry Kaiser was there, and had a horrendous tale of thievery at Nice Airport to enthrall and dismay all. But the police triumphed and the thief was caught…but not until Larry had to go to Marseilles and get a new passport, and change all his credit cards, and the usual nonsense with stolen identity information.
Claude-Alix Bertrand, famed interior designer on both coasts was there, as were Paola and Arnie Rosenshein, Terry Allen Kramer, Francine LeFrak and Rick Friedberg, Michele and Larry Herbert, with handsome son Loren in tow.
Della Rounick flew in from Mykonos, and Marsha Levine was there for the Marlborough Galleries St. Tropez gala opening.
Legendary St. Tropez hosts, Jeffrey Steiner and Tony Murray, wowed the ever-growing crowds at their magnificent estates to the delight of everyone lucky enough to get an invitation.
Perennial New Yorkers, Hormoz, Susannah and beautiful young Serena Sabet took up residence in Monte Carlo, and made frequent visits to St. Tropez for all the festivities.
And to add to the thrill of it all, Paris Hilton and Paris Latsis, Nicky Hilton with beau Kevin Connolly, and the beautiful New Yorker Casey Johnson were in and out of every party adding their special brand of glamour.
Ivana Trump gave the most exclusive party of the summer! It was for just 100 of her nearest and dearest, but oh so many more wanted to be there. It was fun seeing how people were hustling to get on the guest list.
Ivana chose L’Escale in the old Port for the festivities. People came from all parts of the world and parts of the Riviera to attend the white tie/white dress and tiara party.
Throngs gathered quickly to see the comings and goings of her glammed up guests. Paparazzi by the score added to the excitement.
Among the glittering crowd were international glamour queen/actress Joan Collins and handsome hubby Percy Gibson. New TV queen Baroness Marianne Brandstetter had the crowds agog as bodyguards escorted her to the dinner. Lamia Khashoggi was there in all her beauty, wearing red as a dramatic backdrop to the all white party.
Eating, drinking, singing, Karoake, and dancing until 3:30 in the morning was the order of the evening. Then it was to bed for another day of fun, frivolity and festivities. What a way to live!
Somerset Maughan captured the essence and spirit of Monte Carlo when he called it a "sunny place for shady characters."
It is still a glorious sunny place, and for me, one of the most beautiful spots on the face of the earth. But, just like Godzilla overtook Tokyo, the tourists are overtaking Monaco. So many short shorts, flabby thighs, midriff jiggles, and downright fashion-ugly people now invade this beautiful space. It is rather frustrating.
Still, one of the Riviera’s most glittering evenings is the night Madame Daniele Thoma creates a gala of great social importance. It is for the Sheba Hospital for Children in Israel, that treats all children of any race or creed.
It’s similar to St. Jude in the U.S. Gravely ill children go for treatment, and in some cases it is a wondrously happy outcome; for others the outcome is less fortunate.
Madame Thoma is quickly turning this annual event into a must-attend for all visiting dignitaries. Under the patronage of his very new ruling prince of Monaco, Prince Albert II, the crowd glittered and glowed on the Terrace of L’Hermitage Hotel, overlooking the old harbor. Dinner was in the Belle Epoque Ballroom, surely one of the most glamorous rooms in the world!
Food was fabulous; wine flowed deliciously. When it came for the auction, pocketbooks opened. In fact, three great New Yorkers were the evening’s most generous givers. The beautiful Lily Safra, and Ira and Ingborg Rennert gave $1 million dollars to the cause! Almost $800,000 euros were also raised – and a wonderful evening was had by all.