There’s nothing like a party that lives up to a challenge.
For instance, what sort of party do you give after the premiere of “Exit to Eden,” Garry Marshall’s S&M comedy? Peggy Siegal could have thrown a leather love-in at some downtown club, but instead sat a hundred at a very demure dinner at Daniel on New York’s Upper East Side. Even though the movie’s star, Dana Delany, cowered in a velvet wrap in the corner almost all night (“Can you imagine what it’s like to eat dinner with a hundred people who’ve just seen you naked?” one wag asked), the rather stuffy uptown environment seemed to get the kinks out of the “Eden” crowd.
“I laughed, I learned,” was Ron Silver’s reaction to the film.
“Eden” co-star Rosie O’Donnell, on the other hand, said she quickly shed her S&M image. “I didn’t even keep any of the clothes,” she quipped. “I don’t look that good in a leather corset. In fact, I’m wearing black Levi’s with my Donna Karan size 12 tux tonight — I can’t get into the tux pants anymore.”
The real eye-popper in this crowd turned out to be the late-night entrance by Eric Clapton, accompanied by Uma Thurman. Dan Aykroyd brought them over after Clapton’s concert at Madison Square Garden.
Leather chaps and straps did make an appearance the following night. But they were just a portion of the avant-garde getups donned for the DaDa Ball, which welcomed the not-so-usual mix of drag queens, socialites, designers and actors.
It was a recreation of the 1917 Blind Man’s Ball — a party for Greenwich Village artists. How’s that for a challenge? And the site of this year’s debauchery, Webster Hall, was the same as the original 77 years ago. Among the swarm of nearly 1,500 people were Blaine Trump, with mask in hand; Uma Thurman (sans Clapton); Marisa Tomei, and Cynthia Rowley. The proceeds went to Housing Works and Visual AIDS.
L.A. decorator Rose Tarlow had the unique challenge of throwing a large bash for New York architect Richard Meier on his 60th birthday, when his general feeling about it was, “I don’t want to be 60, I don’t like getting old.” Still and all, he acquiesced to sitting down with 100 L.A. friends on the tennis court of the Malibu home he built for Norman and Lisette Ackerberg. Then the problem was lighting the enormous tennis court.
“I started off with 600 candles,” explained Tarlow, “but I thought it looked too dark, and added 400 more.”
The party, which included Michael and Jane Eisner, Wendy and Leonard Goldberg, Barbara and Marvin Davis, and Doug Cramer, had a black and white theme, but Wolfgang Puck’s wife, Barbara Lazaroff, wore green velvet.
“We were in Paris, and I forced Ungaro to make me a maternity dress,” she said.