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It was Narciso Rodriguez’s first official trip to Los Angeles, and he lapped up every minute of the bash held in his honor at Barneys New York on Thursday. “Isn’t this the chicest room you’ve ever seen in your life?” waxed Rodriguez, referring not only to the sleek pack of stylish ladies but also the cocoa-colored decor, courtesy of Simon Doonan. “I’m already thinking of ways to squeeze more trips out here.”

At the intimate dinner, sponsored by Audi, Rodriguez mingled with Lucy Liu, Amber Valletta, Karolina Kurkova, Kelly Lynch, Elizabeth Banks and Jacqui Getty, all clad in his designs.

This story first appeared in the August 11, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I love Narciso because his things push and squeeze in the right places,” said Rene Russo, who was seated beside the guest of honor.

The looks may have been understated, but the champagne-tempered crowd was not. For dessert, Doonan rose to propose a toast, but the group took it as a cue to scream out “Simon for Governor.” Not one to miss a beat, Doonan played the proper politician. “This was a Dom Perignon three-way,” he confessed, as Liu pulled out her digital camera to record the moment.

Across town at the Downtown Standard, Lisa Marie was also recording the moment when Jeremy Scott rang in his birthday on the rooftop with pals Arianne Phillips, Liz Goldwyn, China Chow and Lara Flynn Boyle. Amidst the wild dancing, someone suggested that Scott turn his fete into a weekly event.

“I just might do that,” he said, seconds before Lisa Marie swooped in with her camera to catch him blowing out the candles.

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