- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 22, 2005

Deborah Gore Dean’s bash celebrating her stunning new Cady’s Alley store was must-show-and-shop adventure. Guests dressed in “SoHo chic” — everything from Chanel and Hermes to muscle shirts and Nantucket reds — consumed an ocean of Veuve Clicquot, dined on Design Cuisine nibblies and danced until midnight while admiring an unusually eclectic array of old and new merchandise as varied as $65 leather bed trays, $25 Diamond as Big as the Ritz keychains, an 18th-century German walnut bombe commode ($29,000) and a bright red toy Aston-Martin ($8,500).

“We still have wonderful antiques, but we have widened our range,” Ms. Dean observed as she greeted patrons and pals to her two-story, loftlike emporium Wednesday night. “Now we also have furniture, fabrics and trim to evoke the glamour days of the 1940s. They were personally selected to remind you of Joan Crawford’s dressing room or what Constance Bennett (an actress who was Ms. Dean’s godmother) would have had in her Fifth Avenue apartment.”

Plastic artist Dianna Cohen, who scissors and sews shopping bags into vibrant wall hangings at $5,000 a pop, was relishing her Washington debut in a side gallery as EastBanc Inc. developer/impresario Anthony Lanier surveyed his latest success in transforming the west end of Georgetown’s M Street into a hip commercial district for upscale consumers.

“Deborah is selling design,” Mr. Lanier noted, “and people will be surprised what she can do; she is one of the best retailers I know.”

Washington Life Editor in Chief Nancy Bagley, who co-hosted the party, welcomed revelers along with Ms. Dean’s husband and partner, Richard “Spider” Pawlik, and the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, Jamie, who called mummy’s store “my home outside home.”

Bolivian Ambassador Jaime Aparicio — tie nattily tucked away in his jacket pocket — was sighted with his wife, Pamela, as were interior designers Sue Alefantis and Tom Pheasant and such diverse social folk as Nina Auchincloss Straight; Pamela Peabody; Carmen Petrowitz; David and Janet Bruce; Andrew and Leslie Cockburn; Kay Kendall; Septime Webre; Nini Ferguson (looking tres Hermes chic in an orange silk pantsuit); and Tandy Dickerson (in proper Louis Feraud white pique suit), who was pleased to open her black beaded handbag to buy several giant seashells for her Watergate apartment.

“Deborah always has beautiful things. Anything you buy here will be fabulous,” lawyer David Deckelbaum pronounced while standing sockless in black suede Belgian loafers near piles of Anichini Italian linens, Richard Ginori plates and Michael Aram seafood forks.

“The juxtaposition of brick and bric-a-brac is the chic-est thing in town,” novelist Jane Stanton Hitchcock noted. “It’s one-stop shopping for grand acquisitors.”

— Gail Scott

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