Big announcement yesterday that Paris Hilton — she of the lost dog, the porno video, the bruised arms, and the career as an insta-celebrity — is now an author and a jewelry designer.
That's the same Paris Hilton who has no formal education, just one posing for pictures raunchy and otherwise. I don't know if she wrote her book — I suspect she did not — but I can tell you this: She did not design the jewelry.
No, Paris Hilton's new line of baubles sold through Amazon.com is indeed designed by Caroline Ballou, a hot New England jewelry designer who has a family legacy longer and more prestigious than the Hiltons.
Ballou's great great great grandfather started Ballou Jewelry of East Providence, Rhode Island, 135 years ago, according to their Web site. Caroline is the fifth generation of the family to be involved in it, but the first to have her own line of upscale designs.
Apparently, someone at Amazon.com put Ballou together with Hilton's marketing people, or so I am told. Amazon sells affordable jewelry (who knew?) in huge amounts. But according to my sources, Amazon did not want anyone to know that Ballou was the "ghost jeweler" in Hilton's life. However, the web company wound up outing themselves when they featured Ballou in a short promotional video that you can watch on Amazon.
I'm told that the video — shot in Los Angeles — was the only time Hilton and Ballou ever met or spoke. Scenes of them appearing to work together side-by-side were concocted for the shoot.
"Paris showed up with her agent, bodyguards, stylist, a whole entourage. She and Caroline barely had a whole conversation," my source reports.
Ironically, Hilton is wearing no jewelry in the opening or closing segments of the video. This is obviously an artistic statement of some kind, in which eschewed ornamentation is supposed to signify earnestness, thus making the viewer desire it even more.
Ballou created the designs — some of which sell for as little as $15 — by looking "at pictures of things Paris liked," my source reported. Ballou sent back about 30 different ideas, Hilton pointed at the ones she liked, and Ballou executed them.
Now, Ballou isn't complaining. (In fact, she didn't return calls.) But isn't it a shame she can't just be known for her own work instead of having to let Paris Hilton take the credit?
As far as Hilton's literary debut is concerned, "Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose" was no doubt authored by someone, and I suppose in due course we'll learn who that is too.
Last night's uni-cultural blast at Cipriani 42nd St. was for John McCain, but by the time the night was over Rudy Giuliani and even Henry Kissinger were singing "New York, New York."
About 500 people jammed the ballroom that used to be a bank to hear "Saturday Night Live" star of the present Darrell Hammond and past Joe Piscopo do some comedy. "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels was said to have produced the evening, but he was nowhere to be found. And a rock band with a black singer played soul hits for a 99 percent white audience.
Familiar faces were few, in fact, with only artist Charles Fazzino signing posters, journalists Al Hunt, Judy Bachrach and Joe Klein schmoozing, and Kissinger making a surprise appearance on stage. Piscopo crooned a parody version of "My Way" to McCain with references to the swift boats and voter litigation that was quite funny.
But Hammond, who delivered his famous imitations, worried that he'd bomb because the large crowd wasn't listening. They got it together, though, when he did a dead on imitation of Al Gore.
Oh, these RNC parties, they are certainly tedious affairs. At one point a security guard asked Hammond, "Are you with the band? We need more towels." He laughed, kind of. But I'm starting to think either New Yorkers' standards are too high or our visitors' are simply normal. To them, Kissinger was a celebrity with whom they had to have a picture taken. As someone once said, we learn from history that we do not learn anything from history.
Even Paris Hilton knows that.