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Darn It! They Had Something to Wear Already


When Gucci held a reception recently for "Parallax," a show of contemporary photography at Venice gallery Sandroni Rey, the fashion house might have loaned some clothing to owners Tara Sandroni, 30, and Kristin Rey, 34. But there was no need.

"We were set. We already had our own," said the statuesque copper-haired Sandroni, who was wearing Prada's kitten-heeled sandals.

"We probably should have said we didn't have a thing to wear!" said Rey, equally stylish in black cigarette pants and a gray tie-dyed baby tee.

Gucci's designer, Tom Ford, has a great interest in contemporary art, so during his tenure, Gucci has made a point of sponsoring up-and-coming artists and galleries like Sandroni Rey.

At the recent reception, L.A. fashion designer Julie Chaiken mixed with boutique owners Jill Roberts and Tracey Ross, actress Elizabeth Berkley and Darren Higman, who owns underground British music label Tag Records. It was an eclectic, fashion-conscious crowd.

Sandroni Rey, which opened on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in 1998, showcases new artists. In June, it will be the only venue in the U.S. to show "Heart and Soul," a multimedia exhibit of work by young British artists, which has gotten much ink in art journals. Gucci will sponsor the opening party. If it comes up, said Sandroni, she vows to stay mum about having something to wear. "Maybe we'll get fabulous gowns!"


Mark Badgley and James Mischka, whose hand-beaded gowns are a favorite with the Hollywood set, will be honored at this year's AIDS Project Los Angeles black-tie gala, to be held Nov. 2 in Los Angeles. Past honorees include Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Todd Oldham and Gianni Versace.

Badgley and Mischka took a few minutes out of a pre-Oscar sewing marathon at their New York showroom last week to talk about APLA, which provides support to more than 8,000 men, women and children with AIDS.

"We're super excited," Mischka said. "We've been familiar with APLA and the work they do in Los Angeles for years. We're big supporters and fans."

They added that they are busy stitching up gorgeous gowns for the Academy Awards but wouldn't say for whom. What trends will we be seeing on the red carpet?

"Now more than ever, there is a range of looks," Badgley said. "We've seen different takes on evening dressing. We're finally seeing beautiful separates--pants and gorgeous tops. It's not just about the siren gown anymore."

Booth Moore can be reached at

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