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Jody Jacobs

Merchants Have Mania for Mackie

February 28, 1985

The 52-year-old Merchants Club for the City of Hope is getting ready to present its Second Annual Fashion Achievement Award. And the winner is: colorful and exciting Bob Mackie. (Jean Louis received the first award for individual achievement.) Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton "Dallas' " Linda Gray, honorary chairwoman for the Regal Ball, will make the presentation. And the evening's finale will be a Mackie extravaganza entitled "Around the World" featuring fashion highlights from his television, film and ready-to-wear career. Designer Edith Flagg, a longtime Merchants Club member and president of Edith Flagg Inc., is executive producer for the show. Helene Eisenberg, the club's first woman president, and her husband Stanley are co-chairing the event. Sandy Gelman is Merchants Club president.

The evening will also introduce yet another designer fragrance, Mackie's own. Quarter-ounce bottles of the perfume will be table favors for women guests.

Mackie has his own group of fans and some of them will be at the Regal Ball to applaud the designer. Among those he has invited are Ann-Margret, Larry Hagman, Carol Burnett, Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin and Mitzi Gaynor.

The Social Scramble: Father James Loughran, Loyola Marymount University president, has finally found the right man to be vice president for university relations. He's Father Loughran's fellow Jesuit, the Rev. Charles Gagan, who served as principal of Loyola High School from 1972 to 1980. The appointment will be celebrated next month at a party hosted by Mr. and Mrs. James Nally at the Valley Hunt Club. Cardinal Timothy Manning is expected along with Father Loughran, the Thomas McCarthys, Jean and Richard Archer, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Dailey, Maude and Richard Ferry, Ceilia and Dr. J. Mike Terres and more.

Between bites of fresh Beluga caviar and chef Ulrich's six-course dinner, friends of Jayne and Henry Berger showed just how eclectic their tastes really are. The conversation ranged all the way from high finance to "Hollywood Wives" to Hollywood's executive go-around to theater and the arts and to just plain gossip. It was a fashionable bunch--the host in a new Dunhill double-breasted pinstriped suit, the hostess in a black silk jump suit. And a few of the ladies in black with touches of color. Ginny Mancini's slim, long black wool by Gus Tassell had a cardinal red sash; Betty Endo's short black dress was splattered with primary colors; Cyd Charisse's black sweater was trimmed with silk bows and Betty Niklas' black dress was pure black. Virginia Oppenheimer wore a sparkly beaded top and Georgiana Montalban topped flowered chiffon pants with a pale overblouse. The sartorially perfect gentlemen included Fred Hayman, Jerry Oppenheimer, Luis Estevez (he talked fashion, naturally), Tony Martin, Ricardo Montalban and Kurt Niklas.

The lunch bunch: At Ma Maison were agent Sue Mengers with Universal President Frank Price and Peter Falk with John Cassavetes. At Marino's nibbling on good Italian food were Lucy Zahran and Estee Lauder veep Phil Greibe; television consultant John Mitchell and later in the evening the crowd included regulars Joan and Marco Weiss (they're moving into a condo) and Trumps co-owner Jerry Singer and his wife with Julie McDonald and Frank Burnaby. At the Bistro--Irene Dunne and Lorena Mayer Nidorf with Marion Jorgensen, Erlenne Sprague, and Giney Milner; Ceil Moore; Fred Hayman with the Music Center's Michael Newton and Katy Sweet; Count Hubert O'Brien.

It's been quite festive at the Regency Club. On a recent Saturday night a Clark Keen trio was playing sweetly (the vocalist was nostalgic) and on the dance floor were Teddy and David Orgell; Doris Mendenhall with a handsome date; newlyweds Geri and Dick Brawerman. And seated at tables in the main dining room were Dee and Dick Sherwood; the Whittaker Corp.'s Joseph Alibrandi with his wife and son; attorney Maurice Harwick and his wife Sue; Harry and Ruth Roman with Kurt and Betty Niklas (the Brawermans and Orgells were in this party); Barbara Trister helping Jackie and Leonard Cohen celebrate son Jay's 23rd birthday. A few nights later visiting chef Marc Meneau of L'Esperance in St. Pere Vezelay was performing miracles in the kitchen and enjoying it all were Carol Curb and her parents; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Heebner; Jacques Camus; Occidental Petroleum's Zoltan Merszei and his wife; Dr. Thomas Paine with Lord Dartington.

Stephanie Mardesich and Doug Delfeld's informal and slightly irreverent wine tasting and appreciating group, Les Amis d'Aluminium, gets together this evening at Trumps for tapas (Spanish tidbits) and a blind tasting (the bottles are wrapped in aluminum to foil the curious). Special guest of honor is Christian Vanneque, sommelier for Paris' Tour d'Argent for 10 years, owner of his own Parisian bistro and brasserie, and now a resident of Houston. Y'all come.

Oops and Pardons: The president of Scripps College, who was listed as a guest at Irene Dunne's Valentine party is, of course, John Chandler.

Tonight there's a reception at the Scratch Restaurant in Santa Monica honoring the "Five Friends" whose artwork is currently on exhibit there. The friends? Peter Alexander, Billy Al Bengston, Charles Arnoldi, Laddie John Dill and DeWain Valentine. And among those who say they're coming to admire are Victoria Principal, Sabrina and Bob Schiller, Sally Kellerman, Lynn Swann and so on.

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