Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gorbachev's Girl Blooms among the English Roses

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gorbachev's Girl Blooms among the English Roses

Article excerpt


AT FIRST glance there would appear to be little in common between the granddaughter of a former Soviet communist leader and the blue-blooded descendants of British lords, earls and marchionesses.

But money has a way of smoothing out history's rough edges and tomorrow night, Xenia Virganskaya Gorbachev granddaughter of the former Soviet president - will fight another sort of class war when she lines up against four London society girls at the Haute Couture Debutantes Ball in Paris.

In the (once) red corner is 20-yearold Miss Gorbachev who, as star of the ball, will wear a Christian Dior gown encrusted with jewels reportedly worth more than pound sterling15,000, to lead 23 other debutantes on the catwalk. In the blue corner are: John Gummer's niece the Hon Naomi Gummer; Florence Brudenell-Bruce, a descendant of the seventh Earl of Cardigan who led the Charge of the Light Brigade; the Hon Katie Green, daughter of Lord and Lady Atworth of Hampshire; and Genevieve Chapman, the daughter of British Vogue's jewellery editor.

Also doing battle for the hearts of some of Europe's most eligible bachelors will be Natasha Rufus Isaacs, the daughter of the Marchioness of Reading.

This is a posh person's version of Miss World - taking place at the same time amid the rather less glamorous surroundings of north London's Alexandra Palace - for girls who really have travelled the world and met interesting people.

Miss Gummer,18, who will wear a gown by Amurizio Galante, is halfway through a gap year travelling around Vietnam, India, Cuba and France. She has applied to Oxford to study history and politics.

Miss Brudenell-Bruce, 16, is studying art and art history A-levels, edits her school magazine and loves to ski. She'll be wearing Bruce Oldfield.

Natasha Rufus Isaacs, 19, is following in the footsteps of her older sister Sybilla, who made her debut at ball in 1997, and will be wearing a gown designed by Bellville Sassoon. …

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