Elsewhere in Paris, the American Friends of Versailles — including the Kissingers, Susan Gutfreund, Carolyne Roehm and Audrey Gruss — are winging into town for Saturday’s big ball at the palace with Laura Bush and Bernadette Chirac. Jacqueline de Ribes had planned to give them a welcome dinner at her house Wednesday, but was forced to cancel after she got news last week of her elderly father’s death. Although she hadn’t spoken to the old man in years, de Ribes reportedly confided to a friend, the old rules of society still dictate no dinners at home for 60 days after a death. The Americans will still get to see some swanky private dining rooms, though, since Eric and Beatrice de Rothschild, the de Ganay family (owners of the Château de Courances) and Jacques Garcia are all hosting the group.
Come July, Paris can expect another American invasion at the couture, where anyone under 40 is a social dinosaur in the making. Marjorie Gubelmann and Cornelia Guest may have outgrown the disco-deb age, but by the normally geriatric standards of the Paris couture, they’re both spring poulets. Which is why their party during couture week at the Plaza Athenée is giving the other young Concorde set something to cluck about. "It’s payback time," says Gubelmann, noting that she’s already racked up social debts after a few seasons at the couture. At this point, the invitations have gone out to clients — young and old — and designers. "But no randoms," barks Gubelmann. A "random" is what the older generation would know as a hanger-on."