Supermodel SOPHIE DAHL stunned guests when she turned up at a New York party wearing a pair of $401,000 (GBP250,000) ear-rings - but left wearing just one.

The curvy granddaughter of novelist Roald Dahl had loaned the sparkling Italian jewels from Italian designer BRUCE HOEKSEMA, and was horrified to realise one of the diamond encrusted droplets had fallen out without her noticing.

A friend of the devastated stunner reveals, "Sophie is in a terrible state over it. She simply lost it and she's dreading what the gossips might say."

Worse still, Hoeksema is the protege of Sophie's friend VALENTINO GARAVANI who has advised his upcoming young designer that the blonde model would be the perfect person to showcase his new designs at the party.

Despite a frantic search at the bash for the missing ear-ring, it was nowhere to be found.

A fellow party-goer reports, "There was panic. People got down on the floor, others were crawling around the table, and security guards were rushing around, but there was no sign of it. Sophie was beside herself. She was so embarrassed."

Hoeksema is said to be furious about the incident.

11/05/2003 14:22