Helen Rose, the two-time Oscar-winning movie designer (for "The Bad and the Beautiful" and "I'll Cry Tomorrow") who left the glitter of Hollywood a few years ago to enjoy a more relaxed life style in Palm Springs, will be back in town May 3. That's the night the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design honors Miss Rose for her "contributions to costume and fashion design."
You're bound to remember that she designed the gown the late Princess Grace of Monaco wore when she married Prince Rainier. She also created quite a few memorable numbers for Elizabeth Taylor to wear in private life. Many of the stars the designer dressed during her 20 years at MGM (Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Lana Turner, Debbie Reynolds, Lucille Ball, Angela Lansbury, Mary Martin, Ginger Rogers) will be on hand when Rose receives her special honor.
An important part of the May 3 banquet at the Sheraton Premiere hotel in Universal City will be a fashion showing of the 1985 student designs judged best by professional critics. It's the second year for this local annual Critics Award.
The industry committee for the banquet is co-chaired by Bullocks Wilshire President Jerome Nemiro and Ann Keenes, senior vice president of Neiman-Marcus, Dallas. Serving on that committee are John Martens of Neiman-Marcus, Beverly Hills; Nancy Dinsmore of Harper's Bazaar; retailer Lina Lee and designers James Galanos and Bob Mackie. The dinner committee includes Jonathan R. Bloch, Virginia Babbitt, Mrs. Charles Blore, Rosemary Brantley, Count Brando Crespi, Mrs. Bram Goldsmith, Mrs. Michael Gould, Mrs. Arthur Laub, Mrs. Frederick Lyte, Mrs. Vincente Minnelli, Mrs. Paul Selwyn and Mrs. Victor Temkin.
Love Notes: Geoffrey Claflin Rusack, an attorney with Haight Dickson Brown & Bonesteel of Santa Monica and the son of the Rev. Robert C. Rusack, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, and Mrs. Rusack, plans to marry Alison Elizabeth Wrigley of the Wrigley chewing gum clan next month in Phoenix. The bride-to-be, who is director of advertising for Landmark Entertainment Group of Hollywood, is the daughter of William Wrigley of Lake Geneva, Wis., and Alison Hunter Wrigley of Phoenix.
After 40 years of running the Civic Light Opera, Edwin Lester's mind is still on business. At the cast, sponsors and staff supper party following the musical tribute celebrating his 90th birthday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Lester was relaxing with an old friend, Anna Bing Arnold, who was in the theater before she switched to philanthropy. Michael Newton, president of the Music Center's Performing Arts Council, stopped by and the first words out of Lester's mouth were: "How was the box office?" (The evening was a benefit for the Music Center Unified Fund and the American Center for Music Theatre.)
Among those mingling at Monday's late-night party in the Pavilion's Blue Ribbon Room were Carmine Marinelli, the man who first suggested the birthday party; John Green, the tribute's musical director; Lyn Kienholz, who's off to London for another of her art shows; Ricardo Montalban, signing autographs; Rhonda Fleming and her husband Ted Mann, the theater owner; Joan Gilmore, Lester's secretary for the past 40 years; Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Rood (he was one of the evening's co-hosts) and Arthur Lewis, who produced the show.
Earlier Monday evening, Wallis Annenberg, wearing jeweled white crepe, stood next to Tony Martin at the top of the Pavilion's grand staircase, welcoming guests to the pre-performance cocktail party. Pointing to the steaming tables of cannelloni and tortellini, baskets full of tiny ham sandwiches on corn bread and the chilled seafood, Michael Newton said rather sheepishly, remembering the shortage of food at the New Year's Eve Gala, "This time we have plenty." Later, Barbro Taper and Peggy Parker laughingly suggested "freezing the leftovers and saving them for next New Year's Eve."
More in that $500-per-gold-ticket crowd: Beverly and Joe Mitchell (Joe's father, Edward Mitchell, who died in February at age 95, was one of Lester's best friends); Walter Mirisch; the Robert Dalys; Frances Bergen; Francie Brody; corporate warrior Fred Hartley (Unocal) and his wife Margaret, who'd arrived back in town just hours before the party; Mrs. Joseph Marx with Jack Lowrance; Stan and Ernestine Avery; Virginia and Si Ramo; Mrs. Frank Seaver; Russell and Margaret Pace; Martin Manulis (he produced "Space," but wasn't home watching the second installment because "I've seen it before--a lot"); Alyce and Spud Williamson; Wallis Annenberg's cousin Ronald Krancer and his wife Ann, here scouting a location for the upcoming Annenberg family reunion; Joanne and Roger Kozberg; Dona and Dwight Kendall; Donald Livingston; Philip and Audrey Reed (he was in the 1960 CLO production of "Destry Rides Again") and Brad and Mary Jones. Plus committee members like Alan and Nancy Livingston, Mrs. Dennis Stanfill (Dennis was home doing his homework), John and Joan Hotchkis, Robert Fryer, the Thomas Wachtells, Nancy and Tim Vreeland, Juli and Herbert Hutner, Curtis and Priscilla Tamkin and Mrs. Henry Mancini.
The Social Scramble: Hollywood Park's racing season gets under way Wednesday. And to mark the occasion, the park's officers and directors are hosting an afternoon of racing and lunch upstairs in the Private Turf Club's Director's Room. A jolly time will be had by the likes of Marje Everett, the Vernon Underwoods, Feliza and Elliott Plowe and other dedicated racing aficionados.
A Beaujolais tasting and dinner is in the works tonight at Le Bel Age hotel. The black-tie gustatory event is being co-hosted by L'Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beaujolais and the Thalians Presidents Club. Eva Gabor is serving as celebrity chairman. And, of course, Ruta Lee, Debbie Reynolds and Gloria Luchenbill will all be there.
And tonight Avis VP Oliver Milton and New Yorker Mariana Field Hoppin are throwing a little shindig at La Scala to introduce "Personally Yours From Avis"--a new travel planning service.
The Lunch Bunch: At the Bistro last week it included Skip Hathaway with Mignon Winans and Gloria Stewart; Giorgio's Fred Hayman with David Orgell. At Chinatown's Plum Tree Inn (a favorite of the Mark Taper crew), Claire Segal and Esther Wachtell were deep into Music Center business. At Jimmy's were Sterling Silliphant (back from Yugoslavia where filming ended on "Mussolini," the TV miniseries) in serious conversation with Dennis Foley, a Vietnam vet (Sterling's wife Tiana, who plans to teach karate, joined them later); Mrs. Norman Sprague Jr., still enthusing about her cruise down the Nile with Ann Getty and other chums; Suzanne Marx and Marilyn Gilfenbain, co-hosting a luncheon that included Loyola Marymount's Father Maurice Chase, Aida Grey Behrend, Ellen Byrens, Contessa Cohn, Frances Franklin, Ruth Berliner, Jack Lowrance, Sachi Irwin, Kathy Finley Matsumoto and Max Eckert; the Beverly Hills Gun Club's Art Kassel with Roger Corman; Cynthia Gershman, Nan Levine and a few other ladies; astrologer Carroll Righter; former Democratic Party chief Charles Manatt; Ruth Le Sage; developer Arpad Domyan. And at the Bistro Garden: Arthur Spitzer, hosting a luncheon for Dr. Peter Moser, Austria's consul general in Los Angeles who is moving soon to Seoul as the new Austrian ambassador; Doris Mendenhall, Jerry and Virginia Oppenheimer and H. Bradley Jones, and Grace Robbins celebrating her birthday with Verita Thompson, Fernando Allende, Carol Connors and a few other pals.