Abdi Parvizian threw a party last night in his lofty Bethesda store and, no question about it, the rugs outnumbered the guests.
Soft oriental rugs everywhere: in stacks a million dollars high; draped on white walls; in vertical rolls propped against the wall; behind the rack of lamb roasting in back; below dancers' high-heeled feet. And underneath the rumps of more than a few guests who sat on them while eating souvlaki, or beef tenderloin, or salmon, or miniature spinach pies, or pastries.
The party was given in honor of Mary Day, the Washington Ballet's artistic director, and her gold-medal winning pupil, Amanda McKerrow.
"I'm a believer in the fine arts," said Abdi Parvizian, in white tie with a little red rose pinned to his lapel. "And Amanda's from Maryland."
Unfortunately, a couple of hours into the party, McKerrow still hadn't shown up. She was dancing in Harborplace in Baltimore and a car was still waiting to take her to the party. "She tried to get out of the Harborplace appearance," said one Washington Ballet staffer, "but she couldn't."
Still, guests didn't seem to mind. Parvizian had opened up three floors of his store and served French champagne and enormous amounts of food continously. Norbert Slama, an accordionist, played and Suzanne Slama, his wife, sang French cabaret songs.
About half of the guests were ballet friends and board members and dancers. The others were Parvizian customers. "Anybody who's a friend of Mr. Parvizian's," ballet managing director Alton Miller said, "should be a friend of ours." Indeed. A casual look at a randomly selected rug turned up an $85,000 price tag.
On another rug sat Frank Stallone, father of Sylvester, as in "Rocky" I, II and III. Stallone, who lives in Potomac, just came back from California where he was technical adviser on "Rocky III." He is also the brother of Parvizian's office manager, Anna Perron.
Washington Ballet dancer Malcolm Grant slipped over to a group of colleagues near the food table. "How about a picture of me lying on a rug with all these beautiful girls?" he asked a photographer.
In a cluster stood Donna Parise, Helen Sumerwell, Colleen Foley, and Michele Piquet, nursing champagne and nibbling on shrimp. "Tomorrow we begin starvation," said Parise. "Tonight we can't pass this up."