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Designer Show Lends Hand to Thieves Market

Times Staff Writer

Why was Oscar de la Renta gracing the UCLA Art Council with his handsome presence and a view of his Fall 1989 Collection on the lawn at Hotel Bel-Air? He mused, “Well, Betsy Bloomingdale.” Said Betsy: “Did he say that? How nice. Well, my daughter Lisa (Bell) is very involved with the council’s Thieves Market.”

Saks Fifth Avenue hosted the event and underwrote everything. The elegant De la Renta, tanned from salmon fishing on the Cascapidian in Quebec, brought along his friend, Annette Reed, for the show, which was designed to boost the revival of the Thieves Market to be held Oct. 27-28 at Santa Monica Airport Center. That’s the one co-chairs Marian Mandel and Muriel Simkin are pounding the pavement for, collecting antiques, memorabilia, art, silver, furs--everything but the sofa.

At the runway-end vantage point, Nancy Mehta, with a patch on her right cheek, sat next to Betsy Bloomingdale, Betsy next to Merv Adelson, Merv next to Barbara Walters. Fashion doyennes such as Mary Lazar (who hosted a party for Oscar and Annette), Patricia Ward, Pat York (with Michael), Helene Irvin (with Richard) and Patty Fox gushed over the couture. Gloria Luchenbill sang the words to “Begin the Beguine” as the couturier’s black velvet dresses sashayed on the runway, and when the breeze billowed the chartreuse chiffon gown, she gasped: “I want that; I’ll take it right now.”

Dinner dates followed: A coterie headed for the Bistro Garden, while Bernie and Lenny Greenberg and Bob and Laura-Lee Woods chose the Bel-Air dining room, and Joan and John Hotchkis with Annette and Peter O’Malley sped to Spago.

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KUDOS: To William Carter, chairman, and his volunteers for triumphing in the Music Center Unified Fund’s $14 million goal. . . .

To Town Hall’s newest thing--evening receptions called Toast of the Town, the first with Richard J. Riordan. . . .

To Beryl Geber, succeeding James W. McElvany as head of United Way’s Metropolitan Region board. . . .

To Ellen Buckley, new president of Buckley School . . . To Catherine Passarelli, president of the Children’s Service League. . . .

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To Marjot and Hans Ries, feted at Pacific Asia Museum for their Asian ceramics collection. . . .

To Christina Varner and Brenda Owen, giving an initial donation of $252,525 to the Los Angeles Philharmonic from the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee’s 25th anniversary Showcase House of Design.

PIZAZZ: Red hot describes the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual Monte Carlo Ball on Aug. 12. Mary Stiles and Mac Canty plan a sizzling summer night of dining, dancing and casino gaming. They ask for black-tie and “incendiary gowns.”. . .

Tommie Spear and Sue Schwartz promise the polo ponies will kick up turf Saturday at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in Carpinteria for the Robert Skene Invitational Polo Match and luncheon for the Braille Institute Auxiliary. . . . The $9-million Keck Theater at Occidental College will be dedicated Saturday by trustees and members of the President’s Circle and Keck Foundation officials. “Peter Pan” will fly again.

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AGENDA: Fiorenza Courtright, Tichi Wilkerson Kassel and Lauro J. Neri, chairmen for Los Amigos del Pueblo Heritage Ball on Sept. 8, launched plans with a reception at the Regent Beverly Wilshire to introduce recipients of the Hernando Courtright Memorial Awards. . . .

The American Film Institute Associates expect 600 for their premiere of Universal Pictures’ “Parenthood” on Monday.

PAST PERFECT: The Fellows of Contemporary Art picnic at Linda and Jerry Janger’s handsome Malibu beach house. . . .

The Bill (or Willy, if you like) Shoemaker salute at Hollywood Park in the Directors’ Room, with wife Cindy and daughter Amanda co-stars. . . .

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Michael Crawford, “Phantom of the Opera” star, in a rare social appearance at the home of Bill Grubman (co-founder of the Dream Street Foundation aiding a summer camp for life-threatened children). . . .

Ellen and Berny Byrens’ “Come Fly With Us in Our 42nd Balloon” anniversary party at Jimmy’s. . . . The Louis Dell’Olio fashion show by Nordstrom and the Santa Monica Westside Charity League at the Biltmore. . . .

Robata owner/chef Osamu Miyazawa’s rapture at his grand opening, with Beverly Hills Mayor Max Solter on hand.

TRAVEL WINDS: The meet was planned for 45 minutes, but Susan Mubarak, first lady of Egypt, was so smitten with the delegation of Fellows of the Natural History Museum headed by Dr. Peter C. Keller and the chat about the museum’s new discovery center for children, that she kept them twice as long on their recent sojourn to Cairo. Southlanders along: Dr. Alvin and Pam Markovitz, Dr. Robert and Peggy Sloves, Dr. Patricia House, James and Charlotte Acret, Ed and Gayle Roske, Douglas and Phyllis Shamberg and Dr. Adel Samaan. . . .

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Etta-Belle Kitchen, Gloria Averbook and Jean Cohen are among those in Santa Fe this weekend for the Santa Fe Opera.


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