Some who think they're "who's who" in Los Angeles are finding they're not. They have not received invitations to designer Giorgio Armani's Jan. 27 party at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is turning out to be the hottest ticket of the fashion year.
Of course there are no tickets, per se. This is not a fund-raising event, and if you're not on Armani's 300-person guest list, there's no way to beg or buy your way through the door.
"When I give a party, my guests shouldn't have to pay or donate anything," Armani said this week from Milan. So the designer made a contribution to MOCA and will host his hand-picked group of guests.
Some who aren't invited, but think they should have been, are now complaining that "Lee Radziwill must have made up the list in New York," without really knowing who's who in L.A.
Radziwill represents Armani in the United States and co-chairs the event with MOCA museum trustee Jane Nathanson.
But Armani said the guest list is composed entirely of "friends of Armani, friends of the museum and some people I've always admired and would like to invite."
The designer's new shop opens on Rodeo Drive in September. But Armani said he didn't want to wait until then to host his bash. "I wanted to show my spring collection in Los Angeles, because it is perfect for the climate there. If I wait for the shop to open, I will be showing fall clothes."
Armani will have fitters and staff at the Biltmore Hotel on Jan. 28 and 29 for those who want to order from his spring line.
"But that is not why we are coming there," he said. "For us it is a fun trip; it is part of our planned expansion into a city we really like."
Armani will open an Emporio Armani shop here "sometime soon," although finding the right location for the shop, which will carry his less expensive, younger-attitude clothes, has been "tough," he says.
About the MOCA party: Rooms will be decorated to resemble the theater and fabric-swathed dining room in Armani's palazzo back home in Milan. Wolfgang Puck will provide the dinner, Peter Duchin the music for dancing, and Armani's models will show about 150 pieces of his men's and women's clothing designs for spring.
Among the invited are: David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Frank Gehry, Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving, Martin Scorsese, Ali MacGraw, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Mancini, Dawn Steel, president of Columbia pictures and her husband, Charles Roven, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Hagman, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Weintraub, Cheryl Tiegs, Helmut Newton, Jerry Magnin, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Leary, Alexander Gudonov and Jacqueline Bisset, Victoria Principal with Dr. Harry Glassman, Suzanne de Passe, president of Motown Productions, Bette Midler and her husband Martin von Haselberg, Mr. and Mrs. Michael York, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wells, Mr. and Mrs. Steven Tisch, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eisner.