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Threads to the Social Order

Leave it to CHER to show up in jeans for the fourth annual COSTUME DESIGNERS GUILD AWARDS at the BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL. The dressed-down diva made a brief appearance to praise the work of veteran designer RET TURNER (Donny and Marie, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour). He arrived on the arm of MARIE OSMOND, who presented him with the Career Achievement Award for Television. ANJELICA HUSTON (pictured) floated up the red carpet in a long, slinky Michael Kors gown that she admitted was “kind of a throwback to Morticia Addams.” Sex and the City’s designer PATRICIA FIELDS didn’t let her age (let’s just say 50-plus) stop her from sporting bright beet-red long hair, while Ocean’s Eleven designer JEFFREY KURLAND took a quieter direction with his shoulder-length undyed locks, and FRANCES CONROY, star of HBO’s mega-hit Six Feet Under, was pretty in pink from head to foot. PATRICK STEWART, appropriately selected to present the award for Excellence in Costume Design–Television Period/Fantasy, confessed that it was his secret fantasy to someday do a play wearing “just a tux like this.” And if you’re wondering where Tony Soprano buys his shirts: “I found this little shop in Brooklyn where wise guys have bought their clothes for years,” said the show’s costume designer, JULIET POLCSA. Other celebs happy to chat included PATRICIA ARQUETTE, TIM CURRY, TRACY ROSS and “that guy in the Seven-Up commercials,” ORLANDO JONES, although it was no questions, please, for KATHY BATES, sedately attired in a simple black pantsuit, who rushed past the media with just a wave and a smile. But the evening’s most apropos anecdote came from THEADORA VAN RUNKLE, recipient of the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, who recalled Edith Head’s advice to her when she was planning Faye Dunaway’s look for Bonnie and Clyde: “Chiffon, darling, chiffon!”

—Mary Beth Crain

Spread ‘Em

It looked like Altamont all over again as every greasy bedhead and neo-hippie in Hollywood converged at THE COMPOUND, a well-known party house on McCadden Place (behind the now-closed Hamptons restaurant), where a backyard shindig and video shoot for BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB’s “Spread Your Love” did just that. The event was also to be a benefit to raise bail for Brian Jonestown Massacre’s ANTON NEWCOMBE, who was recently jailed after allegedly kicking a heckler in the face at a Knitting Factory gig (perhaps time for that anger-management class), but that cause was scratched: The erratic singer was present, prancing about and deejaying a salsa-jazz set. Charlatans UK’s TIM BURGESS also worked the turntables, pumping out funk and soul, while deck duo DJ HUSBAND AND WIFE (a.k.a. DANIEL and PHOEBE MANCINI) dipped back to ’60s and ’70s rock and roll before BRMC droned out a moody, psychedelic set. Singer MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS, music man TOMMY BLACK and Smashing Grandpa design dame LESLIE GARDNER were among the leather-and-lace legions enjoying the free booze, BBQ and retro-y bacchanalia. While today’s MTV stars try to re-create a “real” vibe with big-budget clips full of extras and contrived setups, Compound resident and director CHARLES MEHLING just wanted to capture what usually goes on at this pad (which has seen the likes of the Dandy Warhols and Jackson Brown rock the lawn). Unfortunately, no production company would agree to the risks of an actual party, so he and BRMC had to put the whole thing on their credit cards, without insurance, and despite the threat of rain and cops. Everything worked out, even when it didn’t seem to, like nasty nymph PEACHES’ short but sweet opening set, which ended when the power blew during her third tune. You can’t get much more real than that.

—Lina Lecaro



Photo by Amy Graves

It Happened in Hollywood

The suave black-’n’-red foyer bar of Beverly Hill’s exclusive MAISON 140 hotel provided the cozy setting for a star-speckled bash honoring FATBOY SLIM’s new Live on Brighton Beach album. While the complimentary Smirnoff kept flowing, flashbulb-oblivious pros like ALYSSA MILANO (complete with obedient, identikit boyfriend) and a regally handsome, blond and permed CHER contrasted with fame-come-latelies including a brace of Temptation Island tramps and the hobbits from Lord of the Rings (and a few orcs too — or was that security?). The rooms on the hotel’s first floor were devoted to myriad entertainments and indulgences: a masseuse, a magician, a nail salon and a palm reader (“I see another generic screenplay in your future,” “I see a thousand unused head shots under your bed”) all plying their trades from double beds and dressers, while Slim’s upcoming mix-disc looped through the building. The excuse for all this, unassuming Brit DJ Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook (pictured) — the most understated man of the evening — politely went through the motions for the cameras. The hotel setting also offered some unexpected humor, when a Midwestern family, who’d apparently booked a room blind online, inadvertently gatecrashed this impossible-to-get-into bash. Bleary from their cross-country trek, Daddy, Mommy and two weary preteens, wide-eyed and weighed down with backpacks, bypassed the line and patiently checked in at the front desk, shoulder to shoulder with partygoers JAMES WOODS, DARYL HANNAH and ROSE McGOWAN, among others. The tourists were placed in a room opposite the one where Cher was holding court, and the evening’s lasting image was Suzy and Timmy blinking in disbelief at the “no one will believe us back home” scenario from their doorway.

—Paul Rogers


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