PARKED at an outdoor table at the Sunset Marquis, Lindsay Lohan was dressed to stop traffic. The occasion was a luncheon celebrating her March Paper magazine cover, one of three post-rehab covers she has this month. To honor L.A. designer Jeremy Scott, who photographed her for the spread, the broasted bronze brunet wore his thigh-grazing, road sign-print jumper dress, along with the pair of oversized sunglasses that seem to be welded to her head.
"I wore it on a shoot once but didn't get to keep it," she said of the dress, seemingly unaware of how funny it was to be a vehicularly challenged starlet festooned with road signs (including "Stop," "1 Hour Parking By Permit" and "Do Not Enter").
Lohan thumped her pack of Parliaments on the table and leaned in to whisper conspiratorially to flannel-shirted DJ/wing-woman Samantha Ronson as the Mediterranean patio filled with the butterfly flutter of camera shutters. Knots of cool kids posed for each other in endless permutations of threes and fours, led by Mark "the Cobrasnake" Hunter, who has made everyone into a paparazzo. His former muse -- the sloe-eyed, mussed-hair Internet "It" girl Cory Kennedy -- trailed like a puppy dog, wearing Scott's tire-tread print dress and the kind of dazed expression one might have after being hit by a truck.
At one table, Paper editor and publisher Kim Hastreiter could be heard talking about her stint playing the triangle for the musical group Pink Martini, at another DJ Steve Aioki (brother of model/actress Devon) discussed an upcoming clothing line. (Everybody's got one!) Scott himself circulated through the crowd, documenting well-wishers as diverse as Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin and skateboard legend Tony Alva by snapping photos with a fake-jewel-encrusted Polaroid.
The lunch part of the luncheon -- including truck-tire-size pans of paella, slabs of filet mignon and shrimp the size of hummingbirds stacked high on a buffet table worthy of an Easter brunch -- was all but forgotten in the buzzing patio hive with the celebrity honey pot at its center. Something the chef could understand all too well.
"The chef would like to meet her," a manager whispered in her publicist's ear. "His name is Guillaume."