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M.C. Deborah Norville at Design Dinner

March 19, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

The Art of Packaging benefit for the Marc Rosen Scholarship The University Club Tuesday, 03.13.01, 7 PM onward
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It got a bit stuffy at the University Club. And we're not talking about the club's jacket-and-ties-are-required attitude. It was hot. But when the guests at the Art of Packaging benefit sat down to dinner, the temperature in the club's seventh floor dining area didn't stop them from chatting with each other or enjoying a surprisingly good dinner. (You don't expect good food at these types of events, but the filet mignon and truffles mashed potatoes were a welcome treat.)

Filled with more than 300 guests from the cosmetics package design industry, the event was a benefit for a scholarship fund for package design students set up by Marc Rosen, a professor at Pratt Institute. The event, which was organized by Annik Klein of KX Associates, included an award presented to the Wella Fragrance and Cosmetic Group of Cosmopolitan/Intercosmetics and a short video of the firm's package design work for fragrances.

Despite the heat, the University Club was a classy venue for the event, and its dining room--which is filled with dark wood, marble floors, gilded ceilings and stately portraits--required minimal decor. L'Olivier Floral Atelier created gorgeous, tall centerpieces (we've been seeing a lot of these lately). Each arrangement included large quince branches coming from a base with violet hyacinths and more than two dozen white roses wrapped with a large philodendron leaf.

Deborah Norville served as a gushing M.C. for the event, but unfortunately many of the guests couldn't hear what she was saying. (What we did hear was a bit curious: Norville used a quote from Henry David Thoreau's Walden to describe Pratt. Pratt is obviously a great school, but we doubt selling perfume is what Thoreau was talking about.) Norville is a friend of Rosen's, so she hosted the event for free.

The musicians playing at the event didn't share Norville's problem with sound. A group of freelancers put together by musician Dominic Derasse, the band played soft jazz (nice background music) during dinner, but as the wait staff started to clear the dinner plates and bring out dessert, the band launched into a loud rendition of “I Will Survive.” That was followed by more raucous dance music--including “Play That Funky Music White Boy,” believe it or not.

--Chad Kaydo

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