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You Say It's Your Birthday

Nicky Haslam Throws Himself an A-List Bash

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Nicky Haslam and Paris Hilton   
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Nicky Haslam's 69th (or was it his 70th? No one's talking) birthday invitation set tongues wagging. Why would he throw the party smack dab in the middle of London’s Frieze Art Fair? And why do it on the city outskirts, where guests would have to log in an hour's travel time each way? Haslam shrugged off his detractors. "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about," he declared at his Thursday night soirée. Well, he can rest assured: This party will be talked about for a long, long time.

Eight hundred guests, including European royals, fashion icons, American socialites, and a smattering of Hollywood-ers, piled into the sprawling courtyard of his family's estate, where the set from Fred Astaire's Ziegfeld Follies had been painstakingly re-created. Dov Amiel, a 14-piece band flown in from Paris, played well past midnight, when a breakfast of kedgeree, Welsh rarebit, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, and meringues was served. "It's an entire other world," Eugenie Niarchos sighed. And that world was inhabited by the prettiest of the pretty people, from Jerry Hall to Jemima Khan. Not that Haslam didn't have a favorite blonde, whose side he didn't leave for more than a minute. "Paris Hilton is the belle of my ball," he crowed, as he spun the proto-celebutante around the dance floor.

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