Anna wintour

The day Elizabeth Taylor kidnapped my daughter

New York Back in the good old days the Carlyle Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side was the hotel for Yankee swells, rich politicians such as JFK, and, of course, upper-class Eurotrash. Both my children were born at a hospital nearby, and both newborns spent their first month of life at the hotel. Alexandra and I would leave our nearby brownstone, which was more upside down, and move to the Carlyle, which was more sideways, thanks to my dad’s generosity. We were given the presidential suite with round-the-clock service and doctor availability galore. While waiting for her brother to be born, my five-year-old Lolly had the run of the hotel

We need Voltaire more than ever

New York The high life has gone with the wind because of you know what. The last time I went to a glittering ball, Marie Antoinette still had a head on her shoulders, or so it seems, and sweats and leggings are now ubiquitous at intimate dinner parties. Here in the Bagel fashion has followed the street for a long time, making high fashion seem as irrelevant and obscene as Anna Wintour being paid millions to kiss the ass of celebrities. No sweats, no leggings was my only rule for an intimate dinner for Prince Pavlos, expertly cooked by Michael Mailer and attended by Arki Busson and three youngsters of

Malice and back-stabbing behind Vogue’s glossy exterior

‘What job do you want here?’ asked the editor of Vogue, interviewing a young hopeful. From behind her black sunglasses the 24-year-old replied coolly:‘Yours.’ It took time, but she got it. The girl was, of course, Anna Wintour. Now she is the global Vogue supremo and queen of fashion, before whose lightest frown the whole industry quakes, and the magazine is acknowledged to be the top glossy. Its beginnings were small. It was launched on 17 December 1892, at a cost of ten cents an issue, and its dedicated founder struggled to keep it going. Its first editor was passionate about animals and its second was a female golfer with

The night I danced with Ginger Rogers

Gstaad When indolence becomes intolerable, remembrances of things past become a lifesaver. Charles Moore’s Spectator Notes also helps. His recent item about his friend Lady Penn reminded me of events long ago that had slipped my mind because at the time I was under the influence and without sleep. About 20 years ago, the designer Carolina Herrera rang to invite me to a dinner in New York for Prue Penn, who was staying with her and her husband. When I was introduced to Lady Penn, she laughingly told me that we had met before, ten years earlier, ‘when you tried to pick me up at ten in the morning in