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Jody Jacobs

Fashion Show Looks Back at a Futurist

July 14, 1985|JODY JACOBS

At the box office, "Back to the Future" is scoring a solid hit. Equally successful, we're convinced, will be the Los Angeles Fashion Group's "Looking Back at a Futurist," a loving tribute to the extraordinary career of the late Rudi Gernreich, a futurist if there ever was one.

Some of Gernreich's most famous models--Peggy Moffit, creative director for the tribute and the first to be photographed in Gernreich's topless swimsuit (by her husband, Bill Claxton, who'll be in charge of the tribute's films), Ellen Harth, who modeled Gernreich's creations in the '60s and (keep your fingers crossed) perhaps Jimmie Mitchell, Gernreich's first model--will show off the Gernreich creations on stage Aug. 13 at the landmark Wiltern Theatre.

Times Fashion Editor Marylou Luther heads a committee that includes Sarah Worman, the Fashion Group's president, and Cole of California's Sheri Mobley and Barbara Trister, who serves as liaison between the mayor and the fashion industry. Tickets are $250 per person for cocktails, dinner and the show; $35 ($10 if you're a student) will get you into the fashion show.

Giorgio's Fred Hayman (he's also donating Giorgio fragrance favors), Herb Fink (among the first to recognize Gernreich's talent) of Theodore and Country Club Fashions and Vidal Sassoon (his hair styles often accessorized Gernreich's fashions) are underwriting the event. That means all the money raised in ticket sales will go to the Rudi Gernreich Fund for Design. Other generous people: Model agency owner Nina Blanchard is donating the models, and Moet et Chandon is furnishing the champagne and the Simi wine for dinner.

There was nothing wishy-washy about Gernreich's work. He loved strong color. And best of all he loved the combination of black and white. And in keeping with that, the Fashion Group benefit committee is making the night of Aug. 13 a black-and-white affair. Following the theme will be the decor, the food (yes, the food), and if they pay attention to the invitations, the guests.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, considered among the 10 leading scientific research centers in the world, isn't profligate with its awards. Since its founding in 1944 by Chaim Weizmann, the institute's first president, it has presented its highest honor, the Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities, to just 14 individuals, the last one being British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

But now the institute is ready to do it again. And this time the recipient is Bram Goldsmith, chairman of the board and CEO of City National Bank and City National Corp. The presentation will be made at a dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel on Dec. 8. That word comes from Frederic N. Richman, president of the L.A. Committee for the Weizmann Institute and 1985 tribute dinner chairman.

It was Jimmy Murphy, a Gemini, who made a tradition out of a yearly lunch (at Murphy's Jimmy's, of course) for his Gemini pals. This year when the time was right, he and his wife, Anne, were in Rome for an audience with the Pope and some sightseeing. That's when Contessa Cohn, who loves parties more than anyone else, stepped in and planned the Gemini luncheon to coincide with the Murphys' return to L.A. By then it was the Moon Children's time to shine, which was fine because Cohn mixed her Geminis with other friends born under the signs of Aries (that's Cohn's birth sign) and Pisces and Capricorn and Taurus.

The luncheon took place at a very long table in Jimmy's new glass-enclosed patio. (Other people eating their lunches at tables around the edges of the patio didn't seem to mind the high jinks and laughter.)

Flower Fashions did the decor--two brightly colored floral arrangements, crayons and marking pens plus lots of glossy paper. T-shirts in many colors, Gemini stamped on their backs, served as slipcovers for the backs of the chairs. During the course of the luncheon most of the guests were moved to scribble laudatory messages about their hostess. Costume designer and Gemini Moss Mabry wrote a poem. Max Eckert, a Taurus, wrote a note to Vincent Price which photographer Michael Jacobs promised to deliver. And being a Pisces and a bit perverse, Joan Quinn penned this message: "I wouldn't be a Gemini for all the money in the world."

Rima Rudina, who played the lighthearted violin music backed by an accordionist, serenaded each of the Geminis--Fred Hayman, who was there with Betty Endo; Mabry; Peggy Parker; Ellen Pollon, who's off to Jamaica for a holiday "because I've never been there"; Murphy; and Fred Gibbons. The non-Geminis included Kurt and Betty Niklas, Kathy Finley Matsumoto, Jack Lowrance, Jacques Camus (his birthday was July 5), Grace Robbins (hatted and wearing her gold nails), Gloria and Phillip Luchenbill, Cohn's daughter Stephanie Blackman, and Art Kassel.

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