Hardly a bare neck, an unadorned head or a plain earlobe was in sight on Thursday night at a Santa Monica Airport hangar where the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Christie’s Los Angeles hosted a gala preview of Tony Duquette’s estate, which hits the auction block today. Nearly every guest — from Dawn Comen to Susan Niven — donned Duquette for the Oriental-themed evening, be it a piece of his ornate jewelry or a gold-threaded silk robe.
“I even purchased a pink shirt for the occasion,” boasted Michael Niven.
Duquette’s former partner, Hutton Wilkinson, transformed the hangar into a series of galleries, showcasing the designer’s over-the-top furniture, artwork and accessories. In “Kismet” style — Duquette was famous for the Arabian Nights-inspired set design of this 1955 film — masked warriors and silk-clad handmaidens doled out delicacies, like coconut shrimp, and delivered sweets via rickshaw to the crowd, which Bobby Short entertained.
“This is so Tony,” said Charlotte Jackson with a smile. “He was all about change, and this is just another move on for him.”
Across town, Kirsten Dunst’s latest teen-flick, “Get Over It,” premiered at the Mann Festival Theater in Westwood.
“I did this part because I got to sing,” explained Dunst, who stars as Kelly, the lovesick little sister, whose object of affection is her brother’s best friend, who, in turn, loves someone else. High jinx ensue as the cast, which includes Swoosie Kurtz and Kylie Bax, prepare for a high school musical production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Dunst, who delivers a show-stopping ballad in the film, thought performing on film was easier than watching it.
“I was a little shy about it,” she admitted. “But I got over it.”