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THE SCOUT

Toying with a classic model

October 19, 2006|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

THEY are one-of-a-kind automotive stylings: a teardrop-shaped roadster, left, by Karim Rashid, a Darth Vader-esque deconstruction, center, by San Francisco industrial designer Yves Behar, and a suede-wrapped, gold-wheeled coupe, right, by L.A. interiors maestro Sami Hayek and a minimalist silver speedster by architect Richard Meier -- all variations of the Streamliner Classic toy car by Playsam created for the first Fitzsu Grand Prix, a design exhibition and charity fundraiser with an opening reception tonight in L.A. Three dozen architects, designers and artists designed toy cars, which will be auctioned to raise money for the World Childhood Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and exploitation. (To bid online, go to www.fitzsu.com and click through to the Grand Prix and its individual cars.) The vehicles and some of the designers will be at tonight's reception, from 7 to 11. RSVP required: (323) 655-1908. Fitzsu, 7970 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles.

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OPENINGS

The latest Container Store has premiered in true L.A. style -- with a splash of celebrity. Makeup-artist-to-the-stars Pati Dubroff and stylists Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley are among those who created room vignettes demonstrating cool gadgets for storing, hiding and otherwise containing all of your junk. The display with the most I-want-that appeal? The kitchen set-up by Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll, the restaurateurs behind Grace and BLD. They incorporated nifty new gadgets such as translucent cereal dispensers reminiscent of gumball machines and matte-finish steel breadboxes that double as magnetic bulletin boards for shopping lists, family snapshots and notes-to-self. Westfield Century City shopping center, (310) 551-1144.

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INNOVATIONS

At the International Home Furnishings Market this week in High Point, N.C., the convertible couch got a makeover by noted modernist Vladimir Kagan. The Dakar -- a boxy yet elegantly proportioned departure from his usual curves -- made its premiere at the show and will arrive in stores in 2007 as part of American Leather's Comfort Sleeper collection. The sofa has a patented mechanism that allows standard queen- and king-size mattresses made of high-density foam to sit on a solid wood base, eliminating that I'm-sleeping-on-a-rack feeling. www.americanleather.com.

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HAPPENING

Bowls of steel and other Kiln creations

Known for its vibrant enameled jewelry, Brooklyn's Kiln Design Studio has expanded its offerings with oven- and dishwasher-safe enameled iron tableware, all 15% off at a trunk show tonight in Los Feliz. Kiln's pieces include teardrop-shaped vases ($24) and double-walled bowls with stainless steel interiors (shown here, $112 for a set of four), as well as plates and coffee mugs in the intricate Rouleau scrollwork pattern ($68 for a four-piece setting). "People take products for granted," says enamelist Elissa Ehlin. "I want people to understand the inspiration that goes into our work." The trunk show starts at 6 p.m. at Show, 1722 N. Vermont Ave., L.A.; (323) 644-1960.

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