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The Crowd: Handbags, cocktails and burgers

As the holiday season gets underway this weekend, here are a few insider tips on food, fashion and fabulous gifts. Over the past week, the Orange County the social crowd has turned out en masse for a dash of good cheer to get in the spirit.

First stop, Tiffany & Co., where store director Michael Botsko introduced local VIPs to exclusive Tiffany leather goods designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex. The distinguished and talented pair flew in from New York to do lunch at Marché Moderne with some of O.C.'s most fashionable women (and a few men, too).

In the crowd were Muriel Mitchell, Sandra Glain, Loretta Graham, Mary Adams, Bonnie Roadarmel, Monique Nguyen, Valaree Wahler and Pamela Paul. Also enjoying the luncheon event with tables set displaying crystal domed cake plates serving up the exquisite new Tiffany handbags were Karen Jones, Gladys Carey, Meg Hearn, Twyla Martin, Kristin Lasher and Alison McCormick — to name a few.

After the luncheon, the crowd descended into the Tiffany salon for an afternoon peek at the line as the designers handled a meet and greet with the public. Bags flew off the shelves.

A few days later the very young, very hip and very thin crowd arrived at Herve Leger at South Coast Plaza for a midweek cocktail reception and preview of the fall-winter line. It was wall-to-wall electricity in the chic boutique featuring unique designs that scream sensuality. The in-store reception was created to benefit the much loved Orangewood Children’s Foundation.

The major treat of the evening was the appearance of the beautiful and talented Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson, who arrived in her signature Leger mini dress accompanied by her stunning mother, Bernice Gordon, and Hollywood super publicist Pamela Sharp. Henson charmed the crowd, which included glam Newport ladies Patricia Marshall, Loretta Haugen and Eve Kornyei, all front and center for Orangewood.

How about the best burger in town for the holidays? Charlie Palmer, the rather famous chef-restaurateur with some 13 talk-of-the-town establishments from New York to you name it, arrived in Costa Mesa this week to introduce the crowd to the D.G. burger, which Palmer and crew devoted months to creating. His four teenage sons got involved in the milkshake formula. The French fries and the dipping sauces are, as they say, “to die for.”

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.