There certainly weren’t any tropical breezes to lift skirts this year, but Marjorie Gubelmann had other things to celebrate at her annual Southampton luau — which has steadily become one of the summer’s most eagerly awaited parties.

“OK,” said Rachel Peters. “Are they or aren’t they?”

This story first appeared in the June 19, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The answer is that Marjorie and her beau, Reza Raen, are engaged — almost.

“I did it in reverse order,” Raen said with a laugh. “I got her father’s permission, then I got her mother’s and now I need to get hers.”

The frigid and rainy night scarcely deterred the guests, who’d been instructed to dress in “luxe luau.”

“It’s 9 o’clock and I still haven’t gotten lei’d,” Daniel Benedict joked, heading for the trough full of orchid necklaces shipped from Hawaii.

A few hours later, it was impossible to remember just how cold it was outside, as Cabana, the restaurant at Southampton’s Capri Hotel, had morphed into a sweaty, steam-filled disco.

“Leave it to Marjorie to turn this place into a gay club,” said Rena Sindi.

On Monday, it was smoke, not steam, filling the air at Jazz Johnson’s art-filled apartment, where Coralie Charriol unveiled her new line of candy-colored leather clutches at her first Stateside trunk show. Perhaps inspired by Johnson’s collection of photos featuring smokers, guests flopped on the couches with their purchases and pulled out the Marlboro Lights.

“I took the family crest and kind of decomposed it,” explained Charriol, running her hand over the “C” logos on a fuchsia bag. “I like to say they’re for the stylish working girl.”

As old friends like Marisa Berenson and Marisa Noel dropped by, Charriol presided over her table of goods, collecting checks and surveying the hazy room.

“Aside from my goodie bags and posters getting stuck in customs, I think it’s been a real success.””

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