News of the night-after-Thanksgiving wedding of Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy was broken by a brief item in Page Six, then picked up everywhere—from Vanity Fair to People to NY Magazine to the Toledo Torpedo. Nobody expanded on Page Six’s report that “the reception and dinner was held at a private residence on 49th street between Second and Third avenues.”
Since nobody else has, Orbmagazine can reveal that the “private residence” is in fact the home of the bride and groom, a magnificent mansion in the exclusive Turtle Bay Gardens enclave that Olivier and Mary-Kate purchased 18 months ago for $13.5 million. The ravishing interior is the equal of a Loire Valley chateau or a Venetian palazzo. This demonstrates once again that those Olsen twins (now + Monsieur Sarkozy) have the taste of a Rothschild and the real estate acumen of a Safra.
In any work of art, provenance matters, and this place has it. Breathtaking architecture can only be created by someone with vision and money: for Turtle Bay Gardens that person was the heiress Charlotte Martin. In 1920, she bought up twenty run-down 19th-century houses in a then-unfashionable neighborhood, remodeled them inside and out, and created a lush communal garden in the rear (not unlike the one in Sutton Square) with willow trees and a fountain inspired by the one at the Villa Medici. She sold the houses, really mansions, to friends, with restrictions, and kept the best one for herself, 38-feet-wide. The 22-foot ceilings in the ballroom/salon hold panels brought over from a 16th-century chateau. This stunning edifice is the new home of the Sarkozys.
After Mrs. Martin’s death in 1961, the house was bought by a Standard Oil heir, Dallas Pratt, who was a psychiatrist, art collector, animal rights patron and founder of the American Museum in Bath, England. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Dr. Pratt entertained there on behalf of the museum. Your humble editor attended cozy drinks parties alongside Sister Parish, Hardy Amies, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Sometimes, Turtle Bay Gardens neighbors like Katharine Hepburn (she owned one of the houses for 60 years), Mary Martin, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon would drop by the garden. It is reassuring to see that the house has passed into the hands of owners with mondanité and style.
You know all about the clothing lines that Mary-Kate and her twin Ashley own and design – The Row and also Elizabeth & James. The most knowledgeable women in the fashion industry tell us that the luxurious understatement and superb tailoring of The Row is the rage with elite women who have the taste and funds to afford anything.
The bridegroom, Mr. Sarkozy, is equally distinguished. A successful investment banker and merger specialist in New York, his father was Hungarian and his mother a member of the aristocratic French family De Ganay. His older half-brother, Nicolas Sarkozy, was president of France and might be again. Olivier is said to be witty and endlessly charming.
If all this sounds too good to be true, it couldn’t happen to nicer people.
That’s why the headline on the Page Six story, “Mary-Kate Olsen Had Bowls of Cigarettes for Guests at Wedding”, and the endless elaboration on the cigarette smoking by the other publications, is reductio ad absurdum. When chic Europeans are in the house, there will always be cigarettes glowing. This had to be one of the most glamorous weddings in a long time; we’ll never know because cell phones were collected at the door and the guest list is still a secret.
But Olivier Sarkozy could not care less what the papers write. When he’s not gazing at his beautiful bride, he can glance upward at one of the most beautiful ceilings in America. And he knows what he’s looking at – he has a master’s degree in medieval history.
May they live happily ever after in this fairy-tale castle.