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INTO THE NIGHT / RSVP

Charging Into a Fashionable Party

August 01, 1995|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Thursday's premiere of Miramax's "Unzipped" at the Mann Festival. The after-party was at the Barneys New York department store in Beverly Hills. Director Douglas Keeve said he wanted his documentary on flamboyant designer Isaac Mizrahi to "bring what I learned in fashion over to filmmaking. Because fashion has an aesthetic, a taste level and that's what most of the world doesn't have right now."

The Ambience: Guests milled throughout the store's five floors. They were greeted by waiters with trays of dry martinis. Since hard liquor is such a rarity at L.A. parties, happy shoppers abounded.

Who Was There: One guest said the crowd, "looks like the cast of 'Pre^t a Porter.' " Besides flocks of models, on hand were Mizrahi and Keeve, plus 700 guests including Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Ellen Barkin, Stephen Dorff, Matt Le-Blanc, Eartha Kitt, Raquel Welch, Dennis Hopper, Mark Johnson, Steve Tisch, David Permut and Arnelle Simpson.

Overheard: One guest looked around the department store and said, "Finally, a Hollywood party with enough mirrors to serve everyone."

Observed: Sean Penn, sitting on a stuffed chair with Ellen Barkin on one armrest and Naomi Campbell on the other, put his arms around them both and said, "I love this country!"

Pastimes: Shopping. As her friend tried on an Armani suit marked down to $999, one woman said, "He's going to introduce Barneys to layaway."

Small Victories: Smoking was allowed. "You've got to understand," said one woman writer. "If you're a smoker in L.A., you're the enemy. Smoking at Barneys is the ultimate revenge."

Money Matters: Tickets were free, but 10% of any purchases went to AmFAR for AIDS research.

Dress Mode: The entire fashion spectrum--from Gaultier to the Gap. Mizrahi said guests at Los Angeles premieres "always manage to thoroughly shock me. It's always much better than I expect, or just much worse and I can't believe someone let them out of the house looking like that."

Fashion Standout: Mizrahi, who wore what he called "my prayer jacket"--a black pajama outfit he copied from a find at a French Foreign Legion thrift store, and zori sandals. "These are very Brooklyn, I'll tell you. In summer, my feet get all flipped out in shoes. I can't wear shoes."

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