Pandora

BRET EASTON Ellis's signing party for his new novel Glamorama, at the Freedom bar in London's Wardour Street this week, was hit by a fashionable no-show. Ellis's handlers dished out free margaritas, and cigarette girls ran amok to lure celebs. But the prey were all partying around the bend at Chinawhite, where Next was celebrating the London Fashion Week launch of its model agency's new London office. Faces in the crowd included David Coulthard, Farrah Fawcett, Ozwald Boateng and Brit award winners The Corrs. There was a chilly atmosphere between Mick Hucknall, with his customary bevy of glossy talent in tow, and his former flame, Adriana Skenarikova, the current Wonderbra poster girl and lingerie model. Meanwhile, back in literary land, Ellis hit the hay before midnight. Given that Glamorama reads like an extended guest list, maybe the American psycho should've skipped the zzzs for some first-hand research.

SO LUKE Johnson has won the Menswear Council's award as best-dressed businessman of the year 1999. The mean-spirited might carp that it's a bit like winning fourth prize in a mediocrity contest (wouldn't an award for the worst-dressed businessman of the year be more fun?). But the owner of Belgo's and Pizza Express beat his dapper rival Oliver Peyton, who is seriously sartorially on point. But if the duo had gone head to head over the entertainment quotient of their respective eateries, wouldn't you have bet the farm on Peyton? Pizza parlours may be perennially perky, but it is mere scraps compared to Peyton's stable, which includes Coast, Mash, and the Atlantic.

DAVID HASSELHOFF'S proposed chain of Baywatch (Babewatch?) eateries is too good to be true. At the Glamorama party everyone was making jokes about ordering your drinks by cup size and waiting an hour after eating before trying to listen to Hasselhoff sing. The best was the broker who said: "Oh, it'll be just like the TV show. People sit down, strip off and dash around but after an hour you realise nothing's actually happened."

IN VIEW of the current Met mess, isn't it curious that supposedly sleepy Leicester cops can tell us that 4.5 per cent of their force is Afro-Caribbean, while the allegedly more responsive Met can't reveal the precise ethnic origin of any of their 874 minority officers? Is this a lack of communication? Or of concentration?

DON'T BOGART that cig, M'lud. A questionnaire currently circulating in the Lords asks members where and when they think they should be allowed to smoke on the premises. This may be a harbinger of a 21st-century Parliament- wide tobacco ban. If and when it's implemented, will it sound the death- knell of the smoke-filled room? Can a Parl'y Cigar bar be far away? Lobby rage? Perhaps health lobbyists will be attacked by a woolsack of wheezy old buffers with a nicotine monkey on their collective back.

THE ACTRESS Daryl Hannah (pictured) sharpens her claws on the catflap of her turbulent love life with Brit journalist Chrissie Iley in the next issue of the American men's magazine Gear. "Let's just say I've let my lovers treat me worse than my friends," says the 38-year-old star of Blade Runner and Roxanne. "I'm attracted to darkness," the animal-loving actress admits. "I pretty much go for the messed-up things. I don't want to. But I can't help it." Too right; a 10-year fling with Jackson Browne culminated in a black eye and her finger in a sling; the crooner pleaded self-defence. When Hannah's subsequent tryst with John Kennedy Jr fell out of bed - he married the Calvin Klein girl Carolyn Besette - she spent her ex's wedding day alone in a Colorado teepee. Glossy rivals Sharon Stone and Michelle Pfeiffer have rocketed past her in the Hollywood handicap, but Daryl, who has made eight films in the last year, can't remember the names of any of them.

Pandora can be contacted by e-mail at: pandora@ independent. co.uk

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