Where Paris is, cameras go, and where cameras are, Sharpton goes

The Baltimore Sun

I watched the Rev. Al Sharpton last week doing lots of TV grandstanding at being America's conscience, just as he tried to be in the matter of Don Imus. I want to say, he's not my choice for this role.

I'll listen to this big self-important windbag when he apologizes for helping Tawana Brawley put over her farce kidnap attack many years ago. (Sharpton has yet to admit he did anything wrong in backing a total liar and conniver while he pursued his own agenda.)

So this most recent outing was in connection with Paris Hilton, who finally came to the senses we didn't even know she had. She did her mea culpa with Barbara Walters. Paris has now found God, little kids and future philanthropy. She also decided she'd better get with the "Go to jail, do not collect $200" experience and make the most of it. That, my friends, may be dawning maturity.

Along with other pressing matters, such as the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, the nondemise of The Sopranos, etc., the last time we saw Paris commands us to wait for the inevitable denouements. She gets out of jail, she parties, the tabloid world reacts to her future. Maybe she'll be transformed into a do-gooder like Angelina Jolie? We'll see.

Dress (exhibit) to impress

The late New York social fashion legend Nan Kempner has been celebrated in Paris at an exhibit of her clothes at the Yves St. Laurent-Pierre Berge Foundation on Avenue Marceau.

I heard this from the ubiquitous Hamish Bowles, who has also collected certain of Nan's garments all on his own. I asked where he keeps such. Hamish says, "That's the question. I have storage in London, Paris, New York, but it's difficult."

Hamish advised me that whoever has any of Nan's famed YSL clothes knows that there are exact duplicates of same still in the St. Laurent headquarters. But Hamish has expanded his own collection to include Nan's clothes from Valentino, Norell, Gaultier and Chanel. Some of Mrs. Kempner's vast collection is at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco; others are at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. Hamish said he was told in Paris at St. Laurent: "The juice of these creations is here; it is not at the Metropolitan!" (Oh, those French; so snippy!)

Hamish says he found some of his best items at the Lighthouse for the Blind, where much of Mrs. Kempner's incredible closet ended up. Items benefiting the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are also on sale at its Thrift Shop. It's been a big success. So, hurry, there are only a few frocks left!

Something to sing about

You know Tony Bennett, 80, and longtime girlfriend Susan Crow, 47, are planning to meld legally. (They've been together 18 years.) But did you know they'll do it at City Hall this coming Thursday? So I hear.

Powerful 'Women'

Variety scooped that Diane English will tap her Murphy Brown star, Candice Bergen, and a host of other names to act this August in Connecticut in a remake of the Clare Booth Luce classic The Women. The rest of the cast is spectacular, too: Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Jada Pinkett Smith and Debra Messing.

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