Designer Arnold Scaasi (who, you'll recall, defined the look of '80s society dames) and longtime partner Parker Ladd planned to get married in a private civil ceremony on June 26th, but the judge missed their appointment. No matter. They still held their lavish reception at Le Cirque. The New York Times reported that the oh-so-charming "pre-wedding" affair was attended by the likes of Barbara Walters, Liz Smith, Martha Stewart, Mayor Bloomberg, Mica Ertegun, Arlene Dahl, the philanthropist Vartan Gregorian, Kenneth Jay Lane, Fernanda Kellogg, Audrey Gruss, and Tory Burch. In other words: the swellest of Manhattan's swells.
The Times article goes on to tell the story of their longtime love, in elegant (if florid) prose: "From the first, their relationship seemed unlikely, a union of opposites — Mr. Scaasi, the exuberant, wasp-tongued young man about town; Mr. Ladd, his buttoned-up foil, boasting a wardrobe as hushed as his manner. They met in 1962 at a dinner party in New York, a high-wattage affair at a penthouse overlooking Central Park South. Mr. Ladd had on a khaki jacket and trousers, his turnout so reticent as to leave no impression at all.
"Mr. Ladd catalogued the details of Mr. Scaasi’s dinner attire with near-perfect recall. 'You were wearing kid gloves and a three-piece suit in July,' he said. He added crisply, 'When I saw you, I thought you were English and that we could just have a fling, and you’d go home, and I’d never see you again.'
"Mr. Scaasi, it seemed, had other plans. Scarcely two days after that encounter he invited Mr. Ladd to another party, this time at his apartment, a high-ceilinged aerie that looked like nothing so much as a film set. Mr. Ladd descended a Lucite-railed staircase to find himself mingling with the likes of Milanese nobility and Manhattan luminaries."
The story goes on from there. A fascinating and enchanting read.