Exit Hurricane Frederic. Enter the Glitz Blitz.
It started to stir up last spring as designers looked for ways to gussy up their dresses, gowns and even their suits. They started modestly, using dressmaker details and tiny doses of glitter. Before long, they swept up every sequin and shiny bead and put them on everything from silks to sweaters.
Not all the glitz dresses seen on the glitterati of last week's party circuit were brand new. Several women resurrected the wise investments of several seasons back.
Having caught the current price tag on the new glitz styles, they decided that a favorite old sequin dress had lost none of its shine. Others polished up perennial favorites with the addition of a sequined jacket, camisole or even pants.
Obvious glitz is not the only glamor route in town. On the black-tie party circuit last week, many of the dresses were short and black, among the best being Buffy Cafritz's Yves Saint Laurent short black velvet and taffeta. And evening pants were very apparent as retailer Diana Parker wore them to the opening of the Polo Club, and Ina Ginsburg and several others had them on for the party at the Fairfax Hotel given by its owner, John Coleman.
At Val Cook's party for Zandra Rhodes at La Serre in Georgetown, more than half dozen guests showed up in vintage Rhodes designs, not very different from her current crop. Among the new styles was the handscreen printed and beaded top by Rhodes worn by Frankie Hewitt of Ford's Theatre. Penne Korth's dress at the same party got its shine from woven silver stripes.
At the Polo Club opening, the slim black dress was the rule for the crowded club, the crowded lobby and the line on the street. Standout was model Diane Rulka in a total sequincovered chiffon short dress by Halston and fashion coordinator Barbara McConaghy in a sequined tunic coat.
At the glittery party in the tent behind the Fairfax Hotel, former deputy solicitor general of the United States Jewel Lafontant showed up in a long printed sequined dress. White House social secretary Gretchen Poston curbed the shine of her black sequined dress by wearing it with a velvet blazer.
Helga Orfila, wife of the OAS secretary-general, regrouped her favorite Zoran separates, wearing a black sequined halter with the shiny pink silk open jacket and slim black pants. Anna Chennault put a silver sequined jacket on her traditional Chinese style slim dress in silvery broacade. "I just love to wear glitter," she said. "It makes me feel very happy."