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The Drama Queen

March 23, 2008|Melissa Magsaysay

Leave it to Sue Wong to top off a fashion week filled with street-wear and lingerie with a glittering 1920s production number. For the first time in six years, Wong skipped the runways and instead presented her fall collection at an extravagant masquerade party at her 1926 villa in Los Feliz. The Venetian-style mansion has been brought back to its Norma Talmadge glory days by Wong's over-the-top restoration -- and this night, that included dressing a fair number of the guests in her own 1920s-style gowns. E! style correspondent Amanda Luttrell Garrigus found a Louise Brooks wig to go with her beaded gown; Jane Putch donned a silk kimono and gigantic tasseled hairpins; "Project Runway" vet Nick Verreos tossed a Japanese robe over a tuxedo and defended his look -- "I did research on the '20s!"

Wong commissioned Mannolo Sanz, the artist behind her amazing (and sometimes dangerous) headgear to make feathered masks for her guests, as well as the dramatic black feather sculpture that was spouting from her own head. Would it stay in place? Would it put out an eye? There was no end to the drama this evening.

"It's like a sensory overload," said Jennifer Egan, a vice president of Gen Art Los Angeles who had escaped to the poolside terrace for a cocktail.

While guests mingled amid the models and nibbled on sliders (sliders?) passed on silver trays, a tarot card reader stationed in the Talmadge bedroom (wearing a scarlet Sue Wong gown) gave readings, and a steady stream elbowed its way into the Hendrix bedroom, a purple Moroccan fantasy named for the musician who also briefly lived here. Wong added another layer of mystique, declaring that anyone who sleeps in the Hendrix bed has "erotic" dreams.

In any event, the fall collection, called "Opulent Restraint" and composed of beaded evening gowns and vintage-inspired dresses, looked not unlike her previous seasons of beaded and embellished party dresses. Opulent, yes. Restraint, not in the house.

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-- Melissa Magsaysay

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