Baby, that's rich

Times Staff Writer

It's NOT a boy. Nor is it a girl. Not yet anyway. That's a ways down the road. But seeing as baby showers are the "it" event right now, I feel like I should plan ahead.

So who wants to host this sucker?

FYI: Online site suggests you create a 10-week timeline. Hmm. Let's make it 12 weeks. After all, you'll need three months to come up with a hip theme, hire a live band and concoct a signature drink -- the "infantini" or a "gin 'n' colic," perhaps?

"Baby showers are becoming as sophisticated as weddings," says celebrity party planner Mindy Weiss, who worked with Nicole Richie on her "The Wizard of Oz"-themed shower at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which featured stuffed Totos and ruby red slippers as centerpieces and a yellow brick road edged with candy. "They're not homespun and low-key anymore."

Neither are the registries. Last December, Jennifer Lopez tailored a wish list with local baby shop Petit Tresor that would make Santa squirm. A $3,495 enameled Silver Cross Balmoral stroller topped her registry, along with a $289 suede play mat and $349 cashmere outfits. Jessica Alba -- like Isla Fisher, Christina Aguilera and Naomi Watts -- all registered at ultra-chic Bel Bambini in West Hollywood for the $249.99 Svan high chair. Sign me up too. (I can hang my clothes on it in the meantime.)

But, hey, let's also think outside of the jack-in-the-box. Strollers are cute, but someone has to push them. How about a Moto Guzzi motorcycle instead? Don't laugh. Kim Porter -- mother of P. Diddy's twins -- requested an $88,000 R-Class Mercedes-Benz for her registry back in 2006.

And don't think I won't know who might shaft me with a measly breast pump or a burping blanket. I'll have someone taking names and making notes, and we'll have plenty of time. "Right now, it's a big deal to open gifts and pass them around and ooh and ah, " says Weiss, who estimates that a baby shower typically runs about three hours if the mother-to-be wants to play games, open gifts and eat.

In that case, Beyonce's little sister Solange's baby shower probably lasted three days because she had 300 guests. Weiss recently planned a shower at which a gift display table shaved a good hour off the event. I like that idea. We can spend those 60 minutes doing the hora and the hokeypokey.

On to invites. According to Michelle Black of L.A.-based Lehr & Black -- who created Britney Spears' baby shower invites -- ribbons, buttons, glitter and crystals are in vogue. "People are steering away from those traditional blue or pink invites," she says. As they should. Pastels are so passe. I'm thinking python pop-up cards. People are also ponying up about $35 to $45 per invite. And by the way, Richie had hers hand-delivered to guests. What if we had mine delivered by llamas?

Of course, there's no reason to outdo ourselves on the shower. Before you know it, we'll be ordering 14-karat gold-leafed balloons for baby's first birthday party. Last month, Suri Cruise had live butterflies, Wolfgang Puck food and a four-tiered cake for her second birthday party.

Is it too early to book Cirque du Soleil? For the backyard?



Read Monica Corcoran's daily blog, All the Rage, at latimesblogs.latimes .com/alltherage.

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