For Tiffany's 150th anniversary, New York and Boston have had museum exhibition parties. Chicago has another this week at the Field Museum. A new Tiffany's opened in Munich last week amid fanfare. But Los Angeles got the gala, Jewel Gala IV. After all, Los Angeles has Hollywood.
It all melded together like a glittery diamond necklace the other evening at the Beverly Hilton. Paloma Picasso, famed for her Tiffany jewelry (including the "X" earrings) flew in from Munich wearing a hot fuchsia St. Laurent short satin suit, minus jewels. Co-chair Roberta Herbison, Tiffany vice president, whisked her aside, and she popped out with pearls the size of quail eggs, and "X" earrings with diamond drops, ready for the party and photos with celebrities including Frances Franklin, gala chairwoman, resplendent in black lace, and Paloma's mother, Francoise Gilot-Salk, and Francoise's husband, Dr. Jonas Salk (Salk polio vaccine) of La Jolla.
The invitations had said "very black tie." William Chaney, Tiffany chairman, was the most courtly of the black-tie gents, beaming at Los Angeles.
Jewels weren't spared. Judy Tallerico wore a bejeweled dog collar. And Rosemary Raitt wore her beloved jeweled dragon, lost once before, and lost this night, too, only to be found by her husband, singer John Raitt, who first crawled under the table looking for it, then quietly returned to his auto and retrieved the pin from the car seat.
Elegance was the universal theme. When former Ambassador to Japan James Hodgson analyzed the chocolate box delivered on the dessert plate with raspberries and creme, he observed as he lifted the lid, "This is like opening the Titantic." Just a simple little afterthought to a magnificent five-star gourmet dinner that athletic types proclaimed "too heavy," but the indulgeful adored.
The jewel and fashion extravaganza that followed was set against a Tiffany storefront and began with a model sauntering up with a sack and Danish, gazing wistfully at the jewels in the Tiffany windows. This "Breakfast at Tiffany's" beginning continued with choreographed dancers in black tie and models in I. Magnin and Fred Hayman's Giorgio fashions and furs by Edwards-Lowell.
For those with the stamina, there was dancing into the wee hours with Ray Anthony and the whimsy of Murray Korda and His Strings, topped with a nightcap party hosted by Happy and Frances Franklin in a Hilton suite.
The stars were in abundance--Esther Williams, Loretta Young, Gene Autry, Norm Crosby, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gary Collins, Monty Hall, co-chair June Haver MacMurray's "Mr. Wonderful," Fred MacMurray (last year's honoree at the ball); Michael Novarese; Dudley Moore; Anne Jeffreys, who had sung the National Anthem at the Army Ball earlier in the evening.
Walter Matthau had the prize seat, between Paloma and Francoise. Everyone crooned over "Moon River," disappointed that its composer, Henry Mancini, was at the University of Richmond giving a concert, but happy that Ginny Mancini accepted his Tiffany music box, which plays, of course, "Moon River."
The Friends of Fine Arts at USC will give proceeds to USC. That pleased university President James Zumberge, just back from a China trip. This night, ecletic, had the USC Marching Band for the opening.
GOLD ON SILVER: Heaps of Britain's new gold bullion coin, the Britannia, will be piled on a Victorian silver tray and ceremoniously delivered by Brinks truck with armored guards to the Garden Room at the Hotel Bel-Air on Friday at noon.
It will all take place under the watchful eye of the director of the British Royal Mint, David Snell. The Royal Mint's deputy master, Dr. Jeremy Gerhard, will also fly in from London for the luncheon reception, to be welcomed by British Consul General Donald F. Ballentyne and his wife, Elizabeth, and to be cornered by top coin dealers arriving from around the country.
The occasion calls for gold chrysanthemums, a harpist and English trifle for dessert, definitely not bread pudding. This is because the coin is struck of 22-carat gold, and becomes Britain's first gold bullion coin in 150 years.
MIDAS TOUCH: The three-day 36th annual luncheon of the 500 Club for the City of Hope Medical Center at the Beverly Hilton produced an attendance of 2,800, and should net nearly $150,000, say chairmen Helene Berke and Shirley Arons and boutique co-chairs Beverly Jacobs and Lorraine Dennis. The luncheons were Woman of the Year tributes to Vera Brown, Beverly Hills resident who turned her interest in skin care into a major business enterprise. Good friend and neighbor Leonard Goldberg, president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox, presented Vera at one luncheon.
RED LETTERS: Nine O'Clock Players open "Mr. Scrooge," their light-hearted musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Saturday at the Assistance League Playhouse, 1367 N. St. Andrews Place. It will be enchanting audiences five Saturdays (beginning Saturday and continuing Nov. 14, 21, Dec. 5, 12) and five Sundays (beginning Sunday and continuing Nov. 15, 22, Dec. 6, 13) at 2 p.m. About 5,000 children from hospitals, agencies and schools will be bused free. . . .
The Fund for Animals with Cleveland Amory, president, and Gretchen Wyler, vice chairman, hosts its second annual Genesis Awards luncheon Saturday at Le Bel Age Hotel. . . .
Pat Morita (Lt. Ohara on "Ohara") has been named to receive the Humanitarian Award from the board of directors of the East Los Angeles Retarded Citizens' Assn. Inc. (EL ARCA) at the black-tie Rainbow Ball Saturday at the Bonaventure. Dinner co-chairmen are Maria Contreras-Sweet, Richard F. Clayton, Sam Hernandez and Joe Pichardo.