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Alber Elbaz continued his whirlwind world tour on Sunday, jetting directly from an eight-day holiday on the beaches of Goa, India, to the hills of Hollywood. For his Barneys New York-sponsored trunk show, Elbaz morphed the parlor of the Sunset Tower Hotel into an atelier of sorts, complete with red velvet curtain, crystal chandelier, gilt chairs and a framed photo of Marlene Dietrich propped up in the corner. Barneys’ Julie Gilhart introduced the designer as “a master of our time,” to which he joked, “Oooh, I hope I do not sound like Oprah Winfrey up here.” As models stepped out, Elbaz described each look and its inspiration, offering nuggets like, “With this illusion dress, you can all eat as much as you want,” and, “Now, if I didn’t just tell you the inspiration for these voluminous dresses was Africa, you might all think it was Balenciaga.” After chatting with guests Mary-Kate Olsen, Kate Bosworth, Kerry Washington, Kelly Lynch and China Chow, Elbaz — sick with the flu — was finally able to slip back to L’Ermitage to rest up for Monday’s ad campaign shoot with Steven Meisel. And no rest for the weary: Today he’s back in Paris and has 50 fabric appointments lined up over the next few days.

Friday night, Dean and Davis Factor kicked off L.A. Fashion Week with a dinner at Mr. Chow’s honoring designers such as Louis Verdad and Jennifer Nicholson, joined by the unlikely likes of Sir Ben Kingsley, retail mogul Fred Segal, Camilla Belle, Michelle Trachtenberg and Courtney Love, who told friends she’s been offered a role in a London production of “Hamlet” and may move there.

Meanwhile, up north in San Francisco, art lovers like Kimberly Bini, Vanessa Getty and Shannon Bavaro crowded the new de Young Museum for the Fine Arts Museums’ Junior Committee mid-winter gala. Singer Vanessa Carlton and beau Stephan Jenkins were fresh from a tour of New Zealand and Australia, where she was the opening act for Stevie Nicks. “Australia is totally hip, and New Zealand feels like a time warp, but is really great,” reported Carlton.

This story first appeared in the March 21, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Getty swanned in, wearing a gown of her own design. “I had some ideas, and I found an incredibly talented dressmaker,” said Getty, chatting with Peter Bacanovic, while Alexis and Claiborne Swanson and Samantha, Katie and Victoria Traina admired Stanlee Gatti‘s modernist decor.

Across the country in New York on Thursday night, the likes of Camilla Al Fayed, Jennifer Creel, Alex Kramer and Marielle Safra showed up at the Dolce & Gabbana Madison Avenue flagship for a dinner, fashion show and a lot of shopping to benefit the Food Allergy Initiative. The girls certainly weren’t allergic to their credit cards, and after picking out some new clothes and nibbling on roasted chicken and asparagus, they piled into Jason Pomeranc‘s car for a late-night pilgrimage downtown to The Double Seven.

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