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Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles social scene has been deadsville since the Oscars, but things are picking up, suddenly. It could be because the Santa Monica freeway is open again -- or just because Angelenos are tired of cocooning."I've become a pain in the...

The Los Angeles social scene has been deadsville since the Oscars, but things are picking up, suddenly. It could be because the Santa Monica freeway is open again -- or just because Angelenos are tired of cocooning.

"I've become a pain in the neck," said Barbara Davis at home in Beverly Hills during her biannual Carousel of Hope Ball kickoff luncheon. "I walk into a restaurant and they all look away. I've asked everyone in this town to help out, and the fact is, every studio has already bought a table [at $25,000 to $50,000 each]. They're not talking to me, but they're all coming."

Already, almost $2 million worth of tickets have been sold for the Oct. 28 event, which is being underwritten by Guess and Revlon and will benefit the fight against children's diabetes.

The luncheon attracted 75 carefully clad Carouselettes, including Nancy Reagan in a periwinkle blue plaid Adolfo suit, newlywed Nancy Rickel in buttery Karl Lagerfeld, Dana Davis in Armani and Barbara in bubble gum pink Chanel.

The next night, over at the Beverly Hilton, Ted Turner added to his burgeoning collection of environmental awards -- this one from Ted Danson's American Oceans Campaign. During pre-show cocktails, a new disciple for Donna Karan turned up, as Turner employee Larry King proudly showed off his new navy suit by the designer.

"I had lunch with Donna, and she sent me this," King said. "I'm going to start wearing them."

Later, at the Renaissance club, L.A. designer Pamela Barish, who's been dressing a lot of young Hollywood for the Golden Globes and big parties, hosted her first runway show.

Although plenty of stars turned out -- including Laura Dern, Rosanna Arquette (who's pregnant), Donovan Leitch and Donna Dixon -- Barish said it's loyalty, not celebrity, that pleases her. "It's the people who were with me at the beginning that make up my A list," she said.

"I thought the show was fabulous," said Dern. "I don't usually go to fashion shows, but I am excited for Pamela."

Terrence Trent D'Arby was also happy for Barish. "I'm a recluse, and the only reason I'm here is for Pamela," he said. But he did manage to have some fun as he and Lori Petty joked around in a secluded booth in the back.
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