Why Waste Elegance on the Guests?

We were intrigued by the opening-night party for the Lalique boutique on Rodeo Drive on Friday. According to the invitation, the elegant event, a fund-raiser for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Fashion Circle, was to be held in a tented parking lot behind the shop and hosted by Madame Marie-Claude Lalique herself. We wondered if any Lalique crystal was involved in the formal dinner for the 120 guests--after all, Lalique's most serviceable product is, undoubtedly, its stemware.

A representative informed us that because four glasses per person would be used--that's one each for water, white wine, red wine and champagne--it would be unthinkable to take so much stock out of circulation, never to be resold. (Lalique glasses retail for an average of $200 apiece.) Instead, generic glasses from Elegant Rentals Inc. would be employed.

As for centerpieces, there were no plans for using Lalique pieces for those either. Display pieces were replicated (and enlarged) in ice sculpture by Mark Daukas, who, we were told, is considered "one of the top ice sculptors in the world."

* Security With Class: Now that Sotheby's has relocated to bigger, better offices on Wilshire Boulevard (across from Saks), employees must wear security badges. We hear that just about everyone who toils at the auction house has opted to suspend their IDs with designer ribbon. The No. 1 ribbon choice is Barneys followed by Hermes and Chez Simone. Chez Simone? That's Simone de Cesare who makes the handmade chocolate truffles wrapped in exquisite ribbons.


Lions and Tigers and . . . Monkeys?: Our favorite invitation this week featured monkeys swinging from trees. It was dispatched by Tippi Hedren and her Roar Foundation as a fund-raiser for the Shambala Preserve, a safe home in the Mojave Desert for lions, tigers and other animals.

Best of all, Tuesday's party at the Emerald Forest Restaurant on Balboa Island--with its faux volcanic textured walls and murals of endangered rain forest animals--promises to be anything but dull. Guests are encouraged to dress in "spots and stripes" (no real furs, please!). And the buffet dinner will include exotica such as Endangered Elephant Endive salad and Serengeti Spaghetti.


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