Black leather and studded collars are the norm on most nights at L.A.’s Viper Room. But on Thursday, sailor hats, garter belts and fishnets added themselves to the mix when the Pussycat Dolls, an underground burlesque troupe, performed their Forties-era swivel kicks to raise money for the American Red Cross.
“Damn, if Osama had just seen the Pussycat Dolls, he would know what we know,” said Christina Applegate, flanked by Gwen Stefani and Alicia Silverstone. “We’re here to celebrate living.”
Across town, Sheryl Crow and Mary J. Blige performed at the City of Hope’s annual gala at Universal Studios.
“We have to press on,” said Blige. “I don’t have Donald Trump money, but the little money I do have is going to the economy.”
Meanwhile, in Washington, Deeda Blair threw a dinner party on Tuesday at the Library of Congress to celebrate 50 years of Brain Research at the National Institute of Health. At the last minute, she switched the attire from black-tie to business suits.
“No one wants to feel like that Duchess who gave the ball before Waterloo,” explained Oatsie Charles, who has her own plans for coping with the threat of future terrorist attacks. Vowing she’d never buy a gas mask, Charles said, “I’m going to Newport.”
Writer Maureen Orth had another way of dispelling anxiety.
“When Mayor Giuliani told everyone to go out and start shopping,” she said, “I went out and bought this Prada.”
Back in Hollywood, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones dedicated a new building at the Motion Picture and Television Fund. In Beverly Hills, the premiere of “Amelie” drew a crowd that included Cuba Gooding Jr., Mira Sorvino and Kirsten Dunst. And at Nintendo’s Game Cube party, Monet Mazur premiered her skills at the turntable to Mandy Moore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Milla Jovovich — who revealed a hitherto undetected patriotic side.
“I called my mom and had her dig out the Boy Scout uniform shirt I’ve had since I was 10,” said Jovovich, “and I got a flag pin to go over my Marc Jacobs top. It’s my piece de resistance.”