By Kim Devore/Entertainment Writer
That fabulous mix of champagne, shopping and celebrities drew a flock of A-listers to the Barker Hanger once again for this year’s Divine Design Gala to benefit those fine folks over at Project Angel Food, who provide thousands of hot meals to people disabled by AIDS.
Every year, the 3,500-square-foot facility is transformed into a high-end mega mall featuring a glorious selection of goodies donated by everyone from Ralph Lauren to Kenneth Cole.
Even the celebrities couldn’t resist a bargain. Lisa Renna, Jennifer Tilly and Lauren Hutton were among the many minglers hoping to finger some fabulous Christmas finds. While Lauren paused to rap with a fan about hormone replacement therapy, one couldn’t help but come to the rescue of Eric Idle who was looking a bit unprepared to take part in that particular conversation.
“I’m not really looking for anything,” he assured me. “I’m so bad at this.”
Well ’tis the season, so what’s on his wish list?
“Oh, I wish it will all go away. But I’ll do something last minute.”
Shoppers made their way from rack to rack snapping up snazzy numbers from Anna Sui, while sniffing fragrant soaps, oils and lotions. Tucked away at the rear was Frederick’s of Hollywood where one can always count on vast array of sexy stocking-suffers guaranteed to light a fire or at least bring a laugh.
Once past the racy Christmas teddies, Santa Claus thongs, reindeer hot pants and patent-leather bras, there were sweet nothings aplenty like candy-flavored dusting powder, whipped body cream, glow-in-the dark body art and edible underwear-all 50 percent off-Ho Ho Ho!
As for kids’ stuff, there was every imaginable kind of Barbie doll as well as an entire room dedicated to Hello Kitty. The popular pussycat paraphernalia included a pink shag kitty carpet, kitty lamp, kitty bedspread, kitty TV, pillows, curtains, mobile phone, mirror, tissue box and Razor scooter.
As dinner bells chimed, we made our way to the flower-filled tent where “American Beauty” Annette Bening and ’60s supermodel Hutton were about to be honored for their many good deeds.
Longtime Project Angel Food pal Erik McCormack helped kick things off, explaining the rules of the game. “It’s all 50 percent off,” he said of the four-day event. “And every day the prices get lower and lower. By Monday, you can just go in and take stuff.” Well, almost.
The “Will & Grace” star was followed by ever-dapper Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, who presented Bening with the 2002 Woman of Style award. The acclaimed actress spoke from the heart about the efforts of the organization.
“We don’t always get things right in L.A.,” she said, “but we get a few things right and Project Angel Food does get it right. I am so proud to be a part of that.”
The evening raised a heavenly $1.5 million for the organization.