Fiona Irving Donovan, the daughter of Flora Miller Biddle and the great-granddaughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and her husband Mark Donovan, the son of the late Hedley...

So Marylou Whitney, the everywhere-at-once widow of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, has given her last Kentucky Derby Eve party in Lexington, her old Kentucky home, breaking a tradition of several decades. No crying or sniveling, please. Marylou has simply decided to simplify her life. And, along with it, the lives of all those dear, dear people who own horses and stuff and have been traveling back and forth from the Whitney horse farm in Lexington to the Kentucky Derby in Louisville for more years than they care to count. No longer need Whitney houseguests struggle to arise at dawn to catch that private bus that took hours to get them to the Derby on time. Rejoice. Next year, Marylou will co-host the Derby Eve do with Polly Brown in Louisville.

At least Marylou went out with a bang. The theme for her farewell gala was "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," with decor to match. By the time Marylou finished, there was hardly an inch of blue or silver fabric left in the state. A silver moon hung in the big party tent as well as over the atrium, surrounded by about a million stars. Neil Smith and his boys kept them hopping in the tent, and for the sing-alongers there was a piano in the atrium. Marylou wore Scaasi's paper-thin yellow silk strapless ballgown with her hair in braids, adorned by lily-of-the-valley. Talk about making a statement. You may have heard that she made her entrance to "Younger Than Springtime," but you know how those Southerners exaggerate. Whatever, after filling her Blue Goose box at the Derby with special friends and flying to the Adirondacks for business meetings, she has now gone fishing. And so would you.

Speaking of Scaasi, Rosemarie Kanzler of the Paris, Buenos Aires and a-divine-house-on-the-sea-in-Greece Kanzlers, who has been dressed by the best in Paris for years, is a new Scaasi devotee. Now in New York for a little visit, Rosemarie wore one of his pink confections to the dinner Anne Slater (smashing in a mostly pink Michael Katz confection) gave for her at Mortimer's the other night. Anne took over the side room of the restaurant, which was all pink lights and pink apple blossoms with a painted mural of flowering apple trees and crystal lakes. Spring is here.
Page:  « Previous Next »
load comments


Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.
News from WWD

Sign upSign up for WWD and FN newsletters to receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts and weekly industry wrap-ups.

getIsArchiveOnly= hasAccess=false hasArchiveAccess=false