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The Crowd:

Reception reminiscent of old New York

September 22, 2007|By B.W. COOK

In days past and for generations long forgotten, the home was the center family and social interaction. In contemporary times this axiom is not so true. There’s the mall, hotel ballroom, country club and gym, but not the home.

With burgeoning wealth in Orange County and the transformation of the chaparral-covered hillsides into avenues lined with neatly trimmed pittosporum trees framing Mediterranean mansions, it is ironic when there is still that rare occasion when the home becomes the central focus of social activity.

Last week at Pelican Crest, the ultra-tony enclave of the O.C., hosts Jackie and Colt Melby welcomed the crowd into their chic new residence for a party that was so stylish it would have been worthy of Vanity Fair coverage.

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Let’s begin with a little housekeeping, no pun intended.

The gathering was the underwriting reception for the 2007 Harvesters’ fall fashion show and luncheon fund-raiser, set for Sept. 27 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

Fendi underwrote the Melby party at Pelican Crest, brought in Crème de la Crème catering and had the hippest party designers set a scene worthy of a Park Avenue bash from a late ’60s or early ’70s New York.

They covered the swimming pool with Plexiglas and turned it into a dance floor illuminated from underneath. Fire pits blazed with volcanic-sized flames, and people expected Nero in robes to appear.

Gilded 8-foot bird cages encased go-go dancers showing off the latest Fendi fashions as a squadron of more gorgeous Fendi models paraded through the party, showing off winter furs on a sultry September evening when the temperature was 78 degrees.

The residence was adorned with flickering candlelight throughout, and magnificent floral arrangements were strategically placed. Suited guards stood at attention throughout the Melby home, directing guests to the focal point of the party: the lower level of the estate featuring a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean at sunset and a party pavilion room that was certainly right out of a James Bond movie. Called for 7 p.m. last Friday evening, the turnout mushroomed into a full house rapidly with ultra-thin blondes in gold sparkling mini-dresses and 5-inch Manolos.

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