Byline: Melissa A. Weisman

NEW YORK — “Let the party begin,” exclaimed Barbara de Portago, co-host at last Tuesday’s luncheon and fashion show for Christian Dior’s 1998/1999 ready-to-wear collection at Le Cirque 2000.
Without missing a beat the models filed in, weaving their way through the tight maze of tables past Hilary Geary, Cece Kieselstein-Cord, Pia Getty, Pauline Boardman, Anne Dexter Jones and Brooke de O’Campo.
“That tweed outfit is beautiful,” said Valerie Zilkha. “But tell me, how are you supposed to pack your bags or get into a car with that long skirt? It’s important to think about these things.”
When hemlines weren’t reaching for the ground, they were flapping freely about the knee. Tweed tulip skirts with lace hems or short fringes were paired with fur or fringed shawl-collar jackets. And the makeup and hair stylists from the Warren-Tricomi salon set off the monochromatic tweeds by sprinkling generous amounts of gold and silver glitter over the models’ eyes and hair.
“That was great,” said co-chairs Tiffany Dubin and Sloan Lindemann. “But now that this is over, I wonder if I get to keep this dress,” whispered Lindemann in her black Dior minidress.
The show earned a warm round of applause — and left the ladies asking for more.
“Three or four clients came straight from the lunch to the boutique,” said Rebecca Saavedra, director of the Christian Dior Boutique on Fifth Avenue. “But the clothes were still in transit from Le Cirque when they arrived.”
The best-selling items so far are a pale blue jacquard jacket with a fox shawl collar and belt, $4,000; a black crepe suit with black Calais lace-encrusted collar and cuffs, $5,800; a silver-gray velvet slingback shoe with a chinchilla pom-pom, $520, and a couture handbag in gray tweed, $1,200.

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