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When Rena Sindi throws a party, it’s all about the theme. And for a dinner she threw at Kittichai at 60 Thompson for Christian Dior’s fragrance, Pure Poison, her friends didn’t take the invitation lightly. Samantha Boardman came with a “poison” green apple. Helen Schifter arrived wearing an eye patch. Jackie Astier and Alex Kramer hired a children’s party face painter to come to their apartments and paint snakes and spiders on their shoulders. Shoshanna Gruss asked her makeup-artist to give her “poisonous” eyes. Amy Sacco scrambled through her closet for a purple gown. Alice Temperly wore a crown of “poison” ivy.

Sindi, known for her fabulous parties, corralled a live snake along with the hundreds of rubber ones that graced the centerpieces, designed by Bardin Palomo, which represented such toxic themes as “Femme Fatale,” “Absinthe” and “Forbidden Fruit.” “But we ran out of money, so I had to do the table cards,” Sindi explained, lifting up a piece of purple card stock that read “Medusa” in golden glitter glue in an amateur calligrapher’s hand. “I went down to the Pearl art store on Canal Street and bought the supplies myself.”

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Between bites of kobe beef and pineapple fried rice, and sips of her purple fruity cocktail, Sindi grabbed the microphone to karaoke to “Fame.” She also asked the dj to dedicate “Erotic City” by Prince to her new pal, Padma Lakshmi, who will start filming her first feature film later this summer and is at work on a second cookbook.

“Isn’t Padma beautiful?” Sindi asked, adding that she has that certain “something” she likes in a friend.

“I am, aren’t I?” Lakshmi responded.

On the way out the door, guests chose their own poisons: For Kalliope Karella, in purple Chanel, it was a centerpiece of purple flowers (“It’s like a bar mitzvah,” she said); for Elizabeth Kieselstein-Cord, it was a half-dozen bottles of the new Dior perfume, which she stuffed in a shopping bag; and for Gruss, Boardman, Sindi and Fernanda Niven, it was more debauchery, at Bungalow 8.

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