Byline: Holly Haber

Dallas went Hollywood last month, when the Escada boutique here hosted a cast party for a film by director Robert Altman that had just wrapped shooting in the city.
A glitzy crowd, epitomizing the juiciest stereotypes of upper-crust Dallas, squeezed gleefully into the store. All over the place, bits of conversation about plastic surgery could be overheard — an intriguing coincidence since the movie, “Dr. T. and the Women,” is reportedly a sendup of Dallas high society and is centered on a premium-priced plastic surgeon, played by Richard Gere, and his female clients.
“I love it,” enthused Altman, the auteur of such films as “Nashville,” “MASH,” “The Player” and “Ready To Wear,” drinking in the irony. “It’s just like a scene from the movie.” The movie is expected to be released late this year, but the action at the party could have provided material for a trailer. Indeed, the scene was quintessential Altman: overcrowded, frenetic and spiked with overlapping dialog.
At the event, Jeff Reynolds, a visiting operatic tenor, scanned the crowd and sniffed, “It’s fashion, and people trying to work their way up.”
Escada got into the act for the new Altman project because it had supplied much of the wardrobe for the women in the cast, including Farrah Fawcett, Liv Tyler, Helen Hunt, Laura Dern, Shelley Long, Lee Grant and Jeanine Turner.
Besides Altman, the Hollywood heavyweights present at the fete — also well attended by the local beautiful set and wannabees — were Long and Fawcett.
The director said he’d enjoyed shooting in the city, and especially at the lovely Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, where his crew set up camp for a week with a big tent and lots of trailers.
“We moved in there like a circus with elephants, and they were so nice to us,” Altman said. At the bash, however, niceness was shunted aside by a wave of hysteria once Fawcett and her famous mane arrived. Altman and Long became mere bystanders when the big blonde was mobbed by media and enthralled fans.
“Can I get a picture with you and my Mom?” begged one starstruck young lady of Fawcett. The star handled the throng with polished reserve, obviously gleaned from years of experience at the center of it all.
“In the film, I suffer from a disease called Hestia, which is when you get too much attention and you withdraw,” Fawcett explained. “Ryan said, was this part made for you? Even Mr. Altman said, ‘It’s hard to be at an event with you.’ “
Plenty of folks here didn’t mind the spectacle at all. The party netted $10,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation.

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