An elegy on the end of elegance

Gstaad During these dark, endless periods of lockdown, let’s take a trip down memory lane to a time when we still had real high life: parties galore, carefree girls in their summer dresses, and drunken dawns playing polo in dinner jackets. Life forms began to move properly about 500 million years ago, but I will take you back only 50 or so years, when chic creatures moved to the beat of the samba, the tango, the waltz and the cha-cha-cha. The Roaring Twenties roared because of the Great War’s privations, and the fabled, fabulous Fifties were a reaction to the second world war. People ached to have a good time

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