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FASHION : Angelenos Mixed In at Ford Models Gala

March 30, 1995|HILLARY JOHNSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

What better way to spend the pre-Oscar Sunday than at a pool party at the Chateau Marmont to celebrate the opening of the Ford Models Inc. Los Angeles office? No one swam, save for a brave 6-year-old, who, of course, had no cellulite.

The models wore satin dresses and strappy sandals, and smoked cigarettes. Caving to that old New York-L.A. fashion phobia, Angelenos didn't turn up in native costume: There was only one baseball cap in evidence. It didn't seem fair. How were the models supposed to know who the directors were if they didn't wear their baseball caps? (Hmm, maybe we've undergone a paradigm shift and that was them in the wrap-around sunglasses.)

Even more unsettling: Fabio in droopy shoulder pads. These sorry epaulets began way out there, where the Strapping One's body left off, and slumped earthward at a dejected 45 degrees. Clearly, he's no Joan Crawford.

What kind of party was it? Let's see, Uma Thurman wasn't there, but Oliver Stone was. Gerard Depardieu took him aside to tell him he uses too much violence in his movies. Vendela is only 5 feet, 8 inches. Jack Nicholson had his picture taken with Bridget Hall, while "starlet" David Spade ("Tommy Boy") looked around and exclaimed, "There are more interviewers here than people!"

More models than people, too, although a few of them appeared to be turning into real people. Isn't it a drag when you hit 24 and that osteoporosis sets in? Tony Krantz, with Creative Artists Agency and son of Judith, reacted with fear and trembling to the specter of maturing models: "When that brain starts emerging, that protruding forehead, the simian features, it's awful!" (Krantz is only kidding: His fiancee, Kristin Dornig, has a big brain and it looks great on her.)

It was a cool party. Witness the ultimate postmodern devolution: Joey Buttafuoco pulled up in a stretch limo, got out to pose for the paparazzi --then got back in the limo and left without going in. Word was, he was not invited anyway.

Those who made the effort to negotiate the stairs leading into the affair included Sofia and Roman Coppola; Amanda de Cadanet; Karen Duffy; Judd Nelson; Nicolas Cage; Chris Farley; Zoe, Zan and Nick Cassavetes; Stephen Dorff; Leonardo DiCaprio; Josh Evans; Ali MacGraw; Bud Cort; Wallace Shawn; James Truman and Elizabeth Saltzman, and Katie and Eileen Ford.

Was it poetic that a truly herculean billboard for "Little Women" loomed over the proceedings? These women were about as little as Babe the Blue Ox. One guy leaned against the bar and said, "I just want to look at Winona Ryder all night." The valet parking, next door at the Roxbury, had its own billboard. "Oh, my!" an interior designer was heard to say in awe-struck horror while waiting for his Volvo. "Look how big Chris O'Donnell's toes are!"

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