Gala Benefits Light Up the Nighttime Sky

These days, Los Angeles seems to want "fashionable" benefits. The fashion show, long a purview of lunchtime, has moved into the nighttime world.

Coming up Feb. 12 is an evening expected to pull in $500,000, as the California Fashion Industry Friends for AIDS Project/L.A. does a spectacular second annual fund-raiser. This time the evening at the Century Plaza honors Geoffrey Beene and involves the efforts of every major department store, most specialty shops and just about every fashion label one could wish for. Last year's first effort brought in some $175,000 for AP/LA, a service organization for people with AIDS.

Michael Ankatell and designer Carole Little have assembled a committee with folks such as modeling czarina Nina Blanchard; Giorgio's Fred Hayman (he's chairing the Rodeo Drive contingent); manufacturer Stanley Hirst; designers Nolan Miller, Nancy Johnson and Jessica McClintock; artsy-about-town Joan Quinn; chef Michael Roberts (chairing the restaurateurs committee); Torie Steele; and, doing his usual spectacular job, the May Co.'s Jim Watterson, who is producing and choreographing the show.

Silent Auction First

Beene's great fashions will be on stage, but the silent auction preceding the dinner will feature lots of other wonderful things to wear as dozens of designers and stores have donated "Something Red" to the cause. Kudos to the Broadway, Nordstrom, May Co., Amen Wardy, Robinson's, Bullock's, Neiman-Marcus, Gumps and Wilkes Bashford, as well as to Loretta Young, who will be emceeing, and to Ali MacGraw for her great energy and enthusiasm on the committee.

Other fashion show news: Famous people keep searching their mail for the invite to the Giorgio Armani party at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Jan. 27. The invites are in the mail, so if you didn't get yours. . . .

And, already on the calendar for next fall: The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Foundation hosts Hubert de Givenchy. That will be Oct. 28, when benefit goers at the Beverly Wilshire fete will see not only the '88 Fall/Winter Couture Collection but also a promised spectacular retrospective of the Givenchy House. Della Koenig, who is spark-plugging the event, has spoken to Audrey Hepburn, who tells her she will fly into L.A. to join Givenchy for the evening. More details later on this hot stuff.

ROYALS ALERT--Fergie, Duchess of York, who will be wowing L.A. come late February, makes a solo appearance (that's minus Prince Andrew) in New York on Jan. 26, to attend Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera."

Rolls-Royce U.S. PR boss Reg Abbiss racked his British brain, searched the Northeastern states and finally came up with appropriate wheels--a rare, $200,000, 1955 Phantom to carry Fergie from the Waldorf-Astoria to the show. Assisting in the wheeling-dealing--Bev Hills once-very-own Tony Thompson, now an exec with the Carriage House, which is where NYers buy their RRs.

LAWYERS GALA--Wait, you don't believe attorneys have a good time? Just catch the act of the members of the L.A. Trial Lawyers Assn. at their installation dinner Jan. 30 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Honorees for the evening include California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, Justice Allen E. Broussard, to be honored as the appellate justice of the year, Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky and Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne, who will be honored as the trial judge of the year.

GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD TIMES--Here are some of L.A.'s favorite people--Marjorie and Michael Fasman, Judy Henning and Richard Rosenzweig, Ruth Yablans, Susan and David Gersh. And when the Venice Family Clinic holds its "Silver Circle 8" evening Jan. 17, the night begins with a visit to one of their homes. After viewing their collections, it's on to the Four Seasons Hotel, for dining, dancing and a very black-tie, very good time. We can't wait.

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