A Wednesday Style section story incorrectly identified the string ensemble that performed at a Meridian House tea in honor of Chief of Protocol Selwa Roosevelt. The ensemble was from the Aubrey Studio for Strings.

About 100 ladies in pastels and pearls gathered at Meridian House for an elegant tea to honor Chief of Protocol Selwa Roosevelt yesterday. Knickers and haberdashery were very much on people's minds.

"I just loved Nancy Reagan's knickers and I'm not kidding," said Roosevelt, who went along on the presidential European trip, where the now-famous Galanos knickers were unveiled in Paris. "If it hurt her image--it's silly."

"I'm from California and wearing knickers was so out of character for Nancy Reagan," offered guest Gerri Nettleton, confidently. "It was so flagrant."

"Well, aren't knickers in style now?" asked Roosevelt.

"Yes, and Nancy Reagan does know how to handle the press," said Nettleton. "Those knickers were bound to attract attention."

"I take issue with that," said Roosevelt, smiling politely. "Mrs. Reagan doesn't need to wear knickers to get her picture in the paper. I'm 100 percent pro-knickers. I just wish I had the figure to wear them myself."

"They were different, but they were not outrageous," offered Pat Haig, wife of the secretary of state, a few minutes later.

A soft summer breeze blew through the historic house, as limos dropped off ladies in silks and patent pumps, who were invited to help launch the Meridian Ball fund-raiser held every October. Everyone kissed enthusiastically. Scarlet strawberries and delicate pastries were devoured by the platter. But nearly everyone was on a diet, so there was much left over.

"Look at you in your chic hat," marveled Roosevelt to Evelyn Di Bona, who was wearing a red hat.

"You look very prepared for this soiree," Betty Lou Ourisman told Mary Ann Lundgren, who was wearing a pink hat.

"I'm not going anywhere without my hat this year," said Lundgren. "And here comes Jayne Ikard in her hat."

Tea was served in the main dining room while a young string ensemble from the Cathedral School played. They were judged to be "adorable."

Standing off in a corner nibbling a cookie or two was a man, who stood out.

"I'm just a chauffeur here to pick up Jayne," said Frank Ikard, the attorney and former congressman. "I think I better retreat to the other room."