While John Richardson was thrilling the crowd at Mortimer's, Robert Altman, the auteurs' auteur, was celebrating his 69th chez lui in Paris where he and his wife, Katherine, have settled into a house with, as the French say, all the comforts. Of course, if we hear one more time that Altman is in France to direct "Pret-a-Porter," the movie about the fashion biz, we're liable to vomir but where there's an Altman there's always une publicite formidable. So stay near the basin.
Harry Belafonte has been house-guesting with the Altmans, so naturally he was at the party, as were Anouk Aimee, who stars in "Pret-a-Porter" and Marisa Berenson, who doesn't. (To date she isn't even in the movie). The happy guests were served up a catered Chinese dinner, a sort of pret-a-porter because Katherine hasn't mastered Sino-cookery yet.
Now that the Spaniards have saluted the fashion designer Oscar de la Renta (he received the Spanish Institute's Gold Medal at the Institute's recent gala), it's the French's turn. On April 13, at its Spring Gala at the Plaza, the French-American Foundation will honor Oscar for enhancing with his talent the relationship between the two countries. You do remember that Oscar learned his trade in Paris -- wasn't it at Antonio Castillo's knee -- and that's he's the first American couturier to show his wares there? Dear Oscar.
The evening's co-chairmen, Mrs. Sid Bass, Mrs. Walter Curley, Mrs. Edmund Pillsbury and Mrs. Anastassios Fondaras are already lined up, as are the honorary chairmen, Ambassador Pamela Harriman, the Hon. Anne Cox Chambers, Mrs. Michel David-Weill and Mrs. James Houghton. Not a mouche on the bunch.