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YOU CAN PREEN WITH BEENE AND STILL MAKE A DATE FOR 'SWAN LAKE'

By Jared Paul Stern

WE went for a little high/low Tuesday night, mixing a party for fashion designer Geoffrey Beene with the American Ballet Theater's production of "Swan Lake." Maybe we were courting a bad case of aesthetic indigestion, but as they say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Beene affair was held at the Sephora store in Rockefeller Center, a discotheque-ish monument to vanity with three floors packed wall-to-shiny-wall with beauty products of all descriptions.

Some of the designers "favorite creations" were on display as part of a month-long in-store exhibit, including a yellow sequined Felix the Cat dress and a weird, plaid hood-with-arms contraption, probably costing tens of thousands of dollars.

By the bar we bumped into stylish socialite Anne Slater, sporting a high-tech Beene poncho number accessorized with diamonds and the brightest pair of blue sunglasses ever. She complemented me on my outfit of pink-and-blue rep tie, navy chalk-striped jacket, white flannels and spectator shoes. "Geoffrey must love it!" she cooed.

We actually hadn't encountered Beene yet, and when we did he couldn't have cared less what I was wearing. We joked about how he was the only one to show up last week when he, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein were honored with the first stars in the new Fashion Walk of Fame. "Must have been on account of the rain," he joshed.

"They knew they'd melt," I told him.

Swing music blared from the sound system; men in white "Sephora.com" Gasoline Alley-style jumpsuits seemed to be everywhere, probably making sure no one made off with all the Hermes Caleche perfume. The bar was woefully empty of booze. All they had was wine and other soft drinks.

The party's hostess Pia Getty was looking very Samantha in "Bewitched" in a Beene silk jumpsuit and vintage Nefertiti necklace. I felt like asking her to twinkle her nose and make some liquor appear. Her friend was exceedingly interested in my shoes and wondered where she could procure a pair for her husband (Allen Edmonds if you must know).

Also circulating were Allure magazine's fashion cop Polly Mellen and a crew from Paper magazine, including editors Kim Hatsreiter and David Herskovits, and self-described "schmasion maven" Mr. Mickey. We said hello on our way out and ankled over to Lincoln Center in time for a glass of champagne before the curtain went up on "Swan Lake."

I wondered why they were selling stuffed ducks. "Swans, you idiot," Snoodles remonstrated. "All right. But why the stuffed moose and rabbits then?" I challenged. She had no answer for that. They weren't exactly selling like hot cakes anyway.

The ballet was breathtaking, against sets that looked like Old Master paintings. The evil villain van Rothbart looked a little like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

As enthralling as it was, I couldn't help but be reminded of the swan that killed Donna Karan's daughter's dog in Central Park a while back. See what mixing does to you?


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