Billy Fong Sez …

I was asked to consider the role of a perfect guest this month, along with my take on unique hostess gifts…

Billy Fong
November 02, 2012

Immediately, I started thinking about my plan for the upcoming holidays: Everyone on my list is getting Red Lobster gift cards. I just love the fact that they “sea food differently.” From there, I pondered dream parties or invitations to chic weekend homes and the glamorous figures who might host me. What fun it would have been to be invited to Warhol’s Montauk compound or, better yet, to score a seat at one of Diane Vreeland’s famous dinner parties. Yet, if I had my druthers, these would top my list: 

• A fabulous soirée at Chateau Marmont’s Bungalow 8, hosted by two California scions of style: Betsy Bloomingdale and Sofia Coppola. I saw a brilliant documentary a few years back that my PaperCity friends must put on their list: The Secret World of Haute Couture. Betsy is interviewed in her Holmby Hills compound that still has green shag carpeting and small closets, not the manses of late. For Betsy, I would bring handmade dominoes I find in Miami’s Little Havana. Such old-school craftsmanship is definitely appropriate for a woman who knows the value of parlor games. Miss Coppola would receive a recent piece from the brilliant artist Angela Strassheim. I encountered her work last year at an opening at the amazing Harper Fine Art in NYC.

• A weekend trip to a villa on Lake Como given by Deeda Blair. The vision of her wearing vintage Chanel in a Chris-Craft while picking up guests who have just landed is to die for. Would I ever be so pedestrian as to show up with scented candles for Miss Blair? I think not. If only Hermès made water wings, I would have the perfect gift. Alas, I would probably have a box of crustaceans and a key lime pie from Joe’s Stone Crab sent in advance. My own belongings would be packed in a Shelter Serra fake Hermès Birkin bag; Richard Serra’s nephew is the conceptual artist du jour, and his re-creations of high-end luxury items are pitch perfect and question our current obsessions.

Another random suggestion I would bring to the table:

Opt for a falconry glove — amazing and unexpected. If you find yourself invited to one of my dinner parties, I would love this, since I am hoping my favorite rescue organization (Metroplex Mutts, where I found my new best friend, Theo) will have some falcons up for adoption shortly.

Hopefully, our paths will cross this upcoming holiday season, and we won’t be walking in with the same gift. Hands off my original idea, the Red Lobster gift card. I plan on giving them out in increments of $25 since you don’t want the gift-ee to think you are implying that they have a ravenous appetite. Win-win. Easy on the wallet, and hostess flattering. Billy Fong,