Babe Paley –  THE American Socialite of Her Time

2-3 pm EST The Colin Lively Show~ Barbara “Babe” Cushing Mortimer Paley (1915-1978) was, and still is, one of THE most influential socialites of our time. Her style and grace were a sight to behold, and without even trying, she influenced fashion and high society. If you read the history of her life, you would think it a Lifetime Movie, yet, it was all true-the highs, the lows, the parties, the tragedies.

My first guest is Joan Browning from Rainelle, WV. Her brush with Babe Paley came through, of all things, quilts! Joan is the Arts Historian of West Virginia and one of my closest friends. She and my lifelong best friend, Andy Aide Pendleton are working hard to bring Rainelle back to Greenbrier County importance by creating a dynamic arts scene in Rainelle and Joan sold quilts made by poor West Virginia women to Sister Parrish, who was Babe Paley’s designer, who in turn sold the quilts to Babe, who then brought mountain artisan quilts to prominence in the greatest homes in the U.S., and subsequently provided great livings for many otherwise impoverished West Virginia families. Sister Parrish is still considered one of the best designers of all time, her reputation continues in the hands of Albert Hadley, her Golden Boy.

babe paley

Babe Paley

And no show about Babe would be complete unless I were joined by Will Kolb, Dallas style setter who is a socialite, collector, and Texas Bon Vivant and has a Facebook page called Babe Paley, the Ultimate Swan. Truman Capote called the then most famous Society Women in the world The Swans- all were thin, rich, and incredibly chic. The phrase “you can never be too rich or too thin” was coined as a description of these women. The “swans” included: Babe Paley (“Numero Uno”), Marella Agnelli (“European Numero Uno”), C.Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness and Slim Keith. Babe is in the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame, owned and lived in the famed Saint Regis, and had family estates on Long Island and in the Grand Caymans. Will Kolb and I are going to talk about High Society and especially the position Babe held and the imprint she made that still exists…she raised the bar so high that no one since has ever hit.

LIVE Friday, 2-3 pm EST, online at

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Replay: Friday 11pm EST


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