The stars and the jewelry sparkled and dazzled for the Spring Bling concert and fashion show poolside at the Palazzo, and there was a full-scale Hollywood invasion to help the Lili Claire Foundation fundraiser. Even though gorgeous Vanessa Minnillo was solo, she assured me that her romance with Nick Lachey was still very much on despite rumors they’d broken up!
It all began on the red carpet at the waterfall fountains of the Palazzo with Khloe Kardashian and mom Kris Jenner, 24 star Annie Wersching, Dancing With the Stars pro Lacey Schwimmer and reality TV stars Holly Madison of The Girls Next Door and Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York.
There also was a delightful and unexpected reunion for me with my former Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous co-host Shari Belafonte! L.A. fashion designer David Alexander paraded with the stars and his models before the poolside fashion show. His celebrity clients include Britney Spears, Tila Tequila, Toni Braxton and Mariska Hargitay.
Up in the resort casino’s sprawling Chairman’s Suite with an outdoor patio and pool, lovely Vanessa, wearing a necklace, earrings and a bracelet from sponsor Simon G Jewelry, joined the girls for a champagne toast. Here’s that photo we teased you with over the weekend that shows Brittny Gastineau, Bethenny, Kris, Lacey, Khloe and Vanessa! Simon G is the jeweler of choice for Miranda Lambert, Rebecca Romijin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and the Kardashians at red carpet events.
Then it was time to move up to the Palazzo pool for the fashion show and concert. Kris, Khloe and Vanessa served as hostesses and emcees, modeling the Simon G gems and introducing the musical acts All-4-One, American Idol’s Chikezie, Colby O’Donis and Sara Bareilles.
The spectacular and glittering Spring Bling fiesta was to benefit the Lili Claire Foundation, an organization here and in L.A. and Nashville that assists families with children living with autism and Down syndrome and Williams’ syndrome.
I couldn’t resist asking Vanessa, after she posed for our Vegas DeLuxe photos, about Nick! “We’re still together,” she said emphatically.” He would have been here with me, but he had to attend a best friend’s 40th birthday party. So once again it looks as if I’m always the bridesmaid but never the bride. However, this romance is still going strong. There will always be rumblings and rumors that we’ve broken up, but in fact, it’s very much still on -- and it keeps on getting better. Maybe this will be the one time I wind up the bride instead of the bridesmaid!”
As if to underscore that point, she showed me the 5-karat diamond ring she was wearing on her left hand! It’s on the middle finger though, and she laughed: “It will be 10 carats when it moves to the fourth finger!”
Tomorrow, we’ll have our interviews with 24’s Annie, who told me all about her dangerous stunts on the Fox drama, and Lacey, who has a new romance going with D.J. (John Derek) Guthrie, a backup dancer for Paula Abdul. The couple cuddled up for our exclusive Vegas DeLuxe photo, as she said that puts an end to all those romance rumors with Jackass stuntman Steve-O, her partner this past Season 8.
Advance Season 9 tip-off: Lacey said she will most likely be dancing with Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond as her partner, as he’s requested her to be his other half!
Before the festivities, Bethenny lounged in her private cabana at the Palazzo’s chic Azure pool and ordered a lobster salad from Wolfgang Puck’s menu. Khloe shopped at Barney’s in the Palazzo, where she bought a black mesh Alexander Wang dress and Christian Louboutin spiked heel shoes she wore to the event, except when she modeled David’s outfit on the catwalk that snaked through the pool. … Brittny hugged longtime friend Khloe as neither knew the other was going to be there. A light drizzle showered the celebs and guests during the fashion show, and Vanessa exclaimed, “The rain and the breeze are kind of sexy to enjoy in the desert!” Lacey promised she’d return to the Palazzo to celebrate her 21st birthday in a few months.
Khloe hosted the official Simon G after-party in Dos Caminos’ ultra lounge after the concert. Khloe, Kris, Colby and Vanessa ordered Veuve Clicquot to go with the famous Dos Caminos guacamole. Chikezie, MVP and All-4-One all danced to the spinning sounds of DJ Chunk.
Everybody agreed that the glamorous event had been a winner for everybody! Bethenny and Brittny, who danced on the ledge of the Azure pool while Colby and Sara were performing, said, “This has all been the nicest, classiest events we’ve been to in Las Vegas.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.