Thatcher? It's Hard to Catcher

Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may have declined, but new U.S. Secretary of Labor Ann McLaughlin has said yes to the keynote speaker spot April 5 at state Sen. William Campbell's annual Conference on Women.

"We invited Thatcher to speak at last year's conference, and she said 'no' so graciously we didn't hesitate to invite her again," said Karen Smith, conference coordinator. "And, we'll invite her again next year." (Wouldn't it be loverly?)

Meanwhile, some other heavy hitters have signed up to speak during the April 4-6 conference: former TV news broadcaster Christine Lund (speaking on "Is There Life After Broadcasting?"); distance swimmer Diana Nyad, ABC's "Wide World of Sports" commentator; author Judith Viorst; race car pioneer Janet Guthrie; former Chinese prisoner of war Nien Cheng, and Charlotte Feders, author of "Shattered Dreams," a book about the abused woman.

Weber, daughter of Marie and Frank Weber of Huntington Harbour, is the First Lady's deputy press secretary.

"Mrs. Reagan also gave Wendy a gorgeous peignoir at a White House shower," Marie Weber said.

Wendy Weber, 36, waltzed down the aisle in ivory satin sewn with Belgian lace to marry the 42-year-old exporter she met at an Australian Embassy bash in Washington last year.

She has served Nancy Reagan for the past five years. Before that, the USC grad was a teacher who was also vice president of the Young Republican Club in Beverly Hills. "She was very dedicated to the Reagans," her mother said.

Her plans after the First Couple exit the White House? "She's not sure. But she plans to stay until the end."

"We wanted something different," said Thompson, owner of A&C; Properties in Irvine. "Something people will want to take home."

While the serviettes will be dressed in red, white and blue, Thompson will don "red, white and black" for the gala. Perfect. Every finance chairwoman needs to be a little bit in the black.

Smith is set to leave soon for Detroit to testify in her suit against Bren, chairman of the Irvine Co.

Smith and her mother, Athalie Clarke, contend that their shares in the company were worth $330 million in 1983, far more than the $110 million Bren offered when he bought a controlling interest in the company.

Smith and Clarke say their 11% share of the company has jumped to $500 million with interest. Meanwhile, Bren has lowered his offer to $88 million.

Well, here's the scoop on what may become the Fashion Island snit. Newport Beach boutique owner Amen Wardy will invite just his fortunate 400 (favorite clients) to a showing on Jan. 29 of Christian Lacroix's spring collection. (The event will mark only the third time the collection has been shown in this country.)

As you must know, Lacroix's outrageous couture is all the rage with the upper crust. Sadly, Lacroix will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his couture house on Sunday with Mikhail Baryshnikov at Paris' Opera Comique and is unable to attend.

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