“For me,” growled hostess Donatella Versace, clad in fuchsia leather pants and a fuchsia silk blouse, her white bangs fringing her black smudged eyes, “Hollywood is like coming home.”

The diva was on another brazen babe’s home turf, that of Melanie Griffith, who along with her husband, Antonio Banderas, and In Style, hosted the Children’s Action Network lunch at the couple’s elaborate 1926 Spanish-style home on Thursday. Versace, sparing no expense, showed her fall collection with some help from supes like Carmen Kass, Carolyn Murphy and Karolina Kurkova, who stormed the Lucite catwalk with characteristic Versace chutzpah, strutting past a room that included Jennifer Tilly, Anjelica Huston, Lucy Liu, Kate Capshaw and Rita Wilson.

This story first appeared in the June 3, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Of course, these power babes did their best to out-Donatella Donatella. Even Wilson donned a low-cut black eyelet suit, although she instructed her tailor to add a lining.

“I can be bold — but not that bold. Even at Hollywood’s biggest Tupperware party,” said Wilson.

That evening, Versace held court at The Lounge, surrounded by the likes of Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, ‘NSync’s Justin Timberlake, Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix. Despite the constant replenishing of chilled bottles of Cristal, the temperature rose as her models stormed the dance floor.

“It is hot in here, no?” Donatella asked at one point. One of her gang, visibly exhausted, hoped that might signal the time to call the car. He’d have to wait another hour until she closed down the house, even outlasting Benecio Del Toro, who kept her company much of the night.

On Wednesday, the spotlight hovered on Natalie Portman, an honoree at Premiere magazine’s Young Power in Hollywood lunch, as Carrie Fisher took the stage to introduce her, calling her “my mother.”

“We’re sci-fi family,” explained Fisher. “In a galaxy far, far away. Both males and females have dressed up as us on Halloween. In fact, I’d love to pass her the mantle — but it’s so unsanitary.””

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